Monday, 16 February 2009
Addie’s Thai, 121 Earls Court Road, London, SW5 9RL
Some like it hot. Some it like it very hot.
And some like Addie’s Thai.
I’ll elaborate further later, but for now, let’s just say that halfway through my meal, I had cold beads of perspiration and a faint dizzy-like feeling complete with little chicks going in circles around the orbit of my head. If there was a pool in the restaurant, I would have been in it.
Oooo you say, I wanna try some, how do I get there? The nearest tube stop is Earl’s Court, and to get there, I had to go by Notting Hill Gate station.
Look at the station lights. When I was younger, and had only seen Britain from films and computer games, I thought London looked like this (even in the daytime). I thought that it’d be foggy, that people dressed in tweed jackets with tweed flat-caps and women wore huge skirts and held delicate lacy umbrellas, as they sipped tea from china cups, little fingers in the air.
Americans still think England is like this (joke).
You don’t usually see stations like these. Most of the newer lines look like something out of a space-themed film.
Back to the restaurant, it isn’t the most obvious to spot, compared to the other brightly lit shops on the same street. From what I saw, there is a waiting area at the entrance of the shop, from where you can smell, but not eat. It’s not a big restaurant, so booking ahead is advised unless you particularly like waiting areas.
When the table was ready, we were shown to it, sat down, and a menu was put on the table.
Their menu is not big, it’s enormous.
It had tabs along the sides, and was bound in a leather-like material. The tabs were the sections of the menu, i.e. drinks, starters, main dishes. I nearly looked for an index to find my way around it, it was that big.
Tabbing from the start to the end and back to the start of the menu felt like a trek through the Sahara and by the time I was done, I still had no clue as to what I wanted to order.
In the end, we decided on going for the dishes which had accompanying pictures on the menu. My friend had dined there before, and highly recommended a fish dish, so we went with that too, and of course, in every Thai restaurant, you have to try the Pad Thai.
Comment: My friend’s recommendation was excellent, the highlight of the meal.
In keeping with the theme of the menu, I have split this review into several tabs.
TAB 1: The food
Egg fried rice £1.80. The plain white rice was £1.50 and for another 30p, you get egg so why not? (This was not the recommendation, in case you were wondering)
Pad Reau Poh (Stir-fried seafood with brandy £8.95). This was one of the dishes with pictures in the Specialties bit of the menu. The seafood selection in this dish were fresh, very tasty and the dish as a whole went very well with the rice. It came in a metal dish, which perhaps had been used to cook the dish, and in the mixture were deep-fried fish, prawns, squid and mussels. For the price, the portion was reasonable, and because it had that much seafood in it, the portion was never going to be that huge.
Superstar of the meal
Pla Pad Prik Sod (Deep-fried cod fillet with morning glory £8.95). This was the highlight of the meal, and also the dish recommended by my friend. The cod was deep-fried with a very tasty batter, and then cooked in a sauce which tasted almost like black bean, but not quite, and the morning glory vegetables (kangkung) that came in the dish absorbed the sauce very well. For the price, we got quite a few chunky pieces of cod.
When I bit into the first piece of fish, I wanted to jump from the table shouting ‘Gimme another serving.’ It was THAT good.
Gai Tra-Kai (Fillet of chicken with lemongrass and fresh chilli £7.95). This was pretty much a stir-fry of chicken with chilli, as the name suggests. The chicken was quite dry, but the dish was tasty (as stir-fries go).
TAB 2: The chilli experience
By this time, I’d invariably eaten lots of little pieces of chilli, disguised as green beans, sprinkled liberally over all the dishes. The little chicks were beginning to circle the orbit, and my cold drink was no help at all in cooling those chicks down.
Anyone would have stopped eating by now, and perhaps gone in search of some water to swim in, but I continued heaping portion after portion of these green beans onto my plate, while the chicks were now learning to fly.
With that, some of the words used to describe the food (i.e. tasty) could be wishful thinking on my part, as, by that time, there was nothing but the taste of chilli in my mouth.
TAB 3: The food, continued
Pad Thai £5.95. This dish came with a net over it, some sort of an eggy omelette disguised as a net. The texture of the noodles was as it should be, although taste-wise, I couldn’t taste the tamarind or fish sauce that would have been used in the dish. This could mainly be due to the fact that all I could taste by that time was chilli.
Yam Woonsen (Vermicelli salad with pork, prawns and jellies mushroom £6.95). We expected this dish to be cold, and it was described as a salad, but it came warm, probably from the pork which would have been cooked before being mixed into the vermicelli. If I had to guess which dish was the main source of the chilli-chow-down, it would be this one.
Between the four of us, we ordered 4 main dishes to share, 1 Pad Thai and 2 portions of rice. The portion sizes were reasonable without being OTT, and the food in this restaurant is definitely tasty.
Would I make a return visit? Definitely, but this time, those ‘green beans’ better be removed from the dishes.
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