Thursday, April 23, 2009

Brown Sugar Pub @Holborn: yes, you can have great Thai food in a London pub!

Thai food can be a huge hit-or-miss. The tricky thing is that sometimes Thai restaurants are run by people who became cooks because they couldn't find any other job, just like Russian police. Another trap is eateries where the grub is watered down to suit the local punters' tastes. In such establishments, tom kha tends to lean towards the taste properties of leek soup. In a very popular Thai takeaway in Amsterdam's Jordaan, coconut milk was completely abandoned in favour of cow's milk. Every dish there featured chopped bell peppers and bean sprouts, the essential ingredient of "Oriental veg mix" in every Dutch supermarket.

When Barry recommended me a great pub with Thai food in Holborn, my reaction was more along the "Duh?" lines. Sure he knows a great chippie in the area but to buy kaeng khiao waan on a white-haired Englishman's advice? I sure know better than that!

The only reason why I ended up there was because Jen, Patricia and Ian dragged me there. See, we had an assignment to work out a cross-cultural awareness training in the course of lunch, so I simply had no choice but to succumb to the majority of my team.

And, boy, weren't I glad! It turned out to be the best green curry since Thailand. Rich and unctuous coconut broth sweet from burapha (Thai holy basil) and
flavourful from kaffir lime leaves coupled with jasmine rice cooked to perfection. As it is after all a pub, you need to order at the bar, so don't sit around waiting for your order to be taken, it won't happen.

Pro's: As authentic tasting Thai food as it gets in London.
Con's: Can get drafty if you sit next to the back door, which the waiters use to bring food from the kitchen.
In a nutshell: A great place to have Thai lunch in Holborn.

Brown Sugar Pub, 146 High Holborn, Holborn, London, WC1


Thai language school and translation agency in Bangkok, Thailand offering Thai, Chinese, English, Japanese, Russian and Laotian (Lao, Isarn, Isaan) language courses.

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