I don't think that Thai food is done well in London.
Too far from Thailand and without a significant population of Thai people to judge it's authenticity.
My main complaints are; the curries are too liquid, the dishes are often Chinese rather than Thai, the meat - paraticularly prawns - are not fresh, and generally the tastes just aren't as well constructed or exciting as they should be. The flavour of good Thai food really should blow you away.
Lemongrass caught my eye as I walked past it last week. I read the ubiquitous reviews posted on the front window, they sounded impressive (as they always do) I then read the menu, which seemed to be very specifically Thai, with prices being at least a third less than the quite upmarket restaurant Yum Yum around the corner.
We went along on a Friday night at about 8.30, prime time for dining. It was busy but we were still able to get a very good table without a reservation. Although it's not a big place the tables are well spaced.
Despite being busy the service was very quick and attentive. Drinks arrived less than ten minutes after we were seated and were replenished as soon as they were emptied.
The wait for food was also very short.
My favourite thai dish is the beef salad. It is this dish in particuar that English thai restauants really stuff up. It has a complex mix of herbs and liquid sweet and chile sauces. But the main thing is the quality of the beef - which should be a single fried quality steak, cooked very rare and then sliced into thin lovley, red pieces. I had an example of an awful beef salad at Yum Yum a few weeks before, where it was like the meat had been ordered from the Donner Kebab rack at the Turkish shop.
Here the waiter asked me if I would like the meat rare or well cooked, showing an understanding of the dish I found encouraging.
His question highlights the problem for Thai (or other exotic) restauraunts in England. Their main purpose is not to create great authentic Thai food. It's to sell something that will make the customer happy. Of course the meat should be rare, but I bet 9 times out of 10 if they cook it like that, it gets sent back the kitchen with the advice that they should cook the meat properly.
The salad arrived and we also had a Tom Yum soup. The salad flavour was quite good and the meat was rare. It was really tough and chewy though. Obviously it was let down by the quality of the product.
The soup flavour was a bit light. Tom Yum varies a great deal, but I felt this one was missing a bit of kick. The prawns though tasted quite fresh.
For our main we shared a yellow curry. This was well constructed and very spicy. One thing London does do well seems to be curry - whether it's Thai or Indian or whatever.
If I could give half stars I would give this place 3 and a half. The overall experience was great - the food was good and the prices were very reasonable. I'll be coming back here.
I have to say this isn't the best Thai place in the area but we are a little spoilt for choice. Fred J is right, a lot of the menu is fired and that is a little bit disappointing. The menu selection is fantastically huge and a great read though.
I ordered take out from here rather than eating in and yes the delivery was a little slow but the guys on the phone super helpful. I think it may just be that this place is too popular for its own good and can't deal with the demand.
I think I'll give this place another try, possibly in the restaurant and see what it's like face to face. I feel like you can't really judge a place by it's take out anyway! And it was great value for money.
Lemongrass has a modern eat-in atmosphere that is casual and trendy on Stoke Newington Church Street, as well as a very quick delivery service. The service aims for an efficient turnaround at this busy little place. There are a range of vegetarian options available on the menu, along with some scrumptious seafood and meat curries. The curries can sometimes be on the oily side, but the flavors always go very well together.
I like the jungle curry here, with lots of vegetables cooked in a spicy coconut broth. The seafood dishes are all great, and its certainly worth coming back for more. There is sticky rice for pudding as well!
A simple, modern Thai restaurant with a very good takeaway and delivery service. Its big plus for me is that it is open till 11.30pm- I even walked past at 11.45pm after a very late day at the office convinced that nothing on Church Street would be open, but they still put together a quick takeaway for me.
Recently we had the Prawn Spring Rolls to start which were delicious- huge deep fried tiger prawns with chilli sauce- a standard Pad Thai which was too greasy and lacking on prawns, and a very good panang curry.
Reliable local thai restaurant. For starters, try Tom Kar Hed, the hot and sour mushroom soup with coconut milk delicious!
One of my favourite main courses is the sea bass steamed in ginger and soy sauce, and the vegetable panang curry is very tasty too. For those who can stand a bit of heat, I recommend the green papaya salad, which will certainly enliven your palate though I always make a point of asking for it with no sugar added, as the first time I went there it was oversweetened. Nevertheless, it packs enough punch to fulfill your spiciest dreams!
There's a decent Chilean Sauvignon Blanc on the wine list that goes well with spicy food.
I'll certainly be visiting again.
The place is huge and you can have a party there, the staff is really nice and helpful as they don't hesitate to come three times to ask just if the food is good and if they can do anything
Prices are really attractive and you can also order and take away.
The food is nice but not amazing, I ate better thai food, for me it looks more like a chinese food but the environment and the staff make the restaurant a nice place to eat when you don't want to cook.
You can also order and take away or choose delivery.
On the website you can print a voucher and use it as a 50% Discount on dine-in meal from Monday to Sunday (6:00 to 7:30)
Lemongrass prides itself on offering a bit of Cambodia in London (the location might as well have been in Cambodia for how hard it was get to!) so I was hoping the journey was worth it.
The menu is large and vast and appears to offer quite a range of Thai food options. Most Thai food I've had has been pretty good so I was looking forward to the meal. We had a full three courses starting with Hoi Joi (a crab/chicken dumpling) and going onto mains chosen from the Chef's house specialties of char-grilled steak, ostrich green curry, and a scallop curry. We finished with desserts of pancake and ice cream, and sticky rice with sweetened mango.
For taste the food was so-so with the scallop curry being the winner for the night. The other dishes, though not exactly horrible, weren't exactly special or extraordinary. The service, friendly when we did get it, was actually quite lax considering how few other diners there were in the restaurant. Unfortunately there was little in the way of atmosphere in the restaurant though it is an attractively well-lit space.
I'm still of two minds whether I would recommend Lemongrass. I guess it was worth the journey to try it out but I think it would take a special occasion or a special offer to get me out there again. Then again, they do have lobster on their so maybe I should give it another chance just for that
Although a bit ticky to find, I would say the effort was worth it. The food at Lemongrass is amazing & the staff are always friendly and go out of there way to help you. I really enjoyed my meal here
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