Paolina's only competition, in the 'scruffy, endearing, delicious and cheap' league, is Tippy's in Barking, where one of my dearest friends and I used to scoff Pad Thai while pretending to be anywhere but East Ham.
Yes, Paolina's is scruffy. Its pine-paneled dining room is bizarrely reminiscent of an ersatz Swiss chalet, or a themed room in a Bangkok love hotel. Yes, really. But it's in a pokey corner of Kings Cross, and kinda fits in.
As other reviewers have noted, the food is as authentic as you'd find in any restaurant (or on any street corner) in all of Thailand, the staff are charming and helpful (Pad Thai Jai egg or no? without having to ask), and it's very, very cheap.
I'd disagree with lizwhitney it's for those dates you want to impress with your local knowledge, or you'd want to make out with in a love hotel, and those you'd go absolutely anywhere with.
Go there and fall in love with either the food, the faux Swiss chalet, or with someone you're with.
This small family run Thai restaurant is among the better places if you have to eat in the King's Cross area.
It doesn't look very impressive from the outside (I wonder why they don't fix the exterior), but the inside dining hall is fairly clean and comfortable.
The choice of traditional Thai food is quiet considerable and the quality is generally fine. It's certainly not high end, but probably fair given the prices. Most main course meals cost around £3 - 5.
When I first entered this establishment (I can't call it a restaurant) I thought I might find some old sex-workers sitting in the corner, eating thai food before their shift on the streets of Kings Cross.
It's charming, in a slightly run down and uncared for sort of way, but don't worry cos it's clean and safe (no food poisioning just yet).
Average Thai food if you can look past the exterior, interior and strange set up.
Not for dates. Not somewhere I'd go out of my way for. But it's alright if your stuck for anything else to eat.
Recommend the Pad thai...it's pretty decent.
Paolina's Thai Cafe is my favourite in Kings Cross. The dilapidated exterior hides a gem of a place that is pretty much off the radar.
If you don't know it, you wouldn't give it a second glance, but once you have been you will back for more. It is an extremely friendly, family run restaurant with the emphasis on no frills.
That doesn't mean that the quality of the food is compromised - far from it. I have eaten there countless times and the food has always been magnificent - the green curry is hot and spicy, the starters fantastic, and it is very reasonably priced. Add to that the fact that you have to bring your wine/beer etc, it makes an excellent alternative to fast food when you are on a night out.
Payment is cash only, although you can usually pay for dinner out of the change in your pocket!
Maybe not the best Thai restaurant in London but definitely the most endearing, Paolina's Thai Cafe is great lil local dive near King's Cross. This is a perfect spot for a homey lunch (londonist.com/2008/12/wh…) at a decent price. The staff couldn't be friendlier and the lady in the kitchen (Paolina?) is about the sweetest woman I've ever encountered in London.
Don't be fooled by the dodgy exterior, this place does a banging Chicken Pad Thai! It's very cheap but the food is really good quality and the little old couple who run it are super friendly. If you are in the area, this is the only Thai place to go.
Very cheap & cheerful. You wouldn't expect it to look at but a little gem in Kings Cross. The food was great & really reasonable: 2 starters, 2 mains, rice & soft drinks was £26 (not including tip). Will definitely go back! Oh, & it's BYOB.
highly recommend! In fact, best tasting restaurant in this area that we've had all week! we know our Thai food because we lived in Bangkok for 2 years! Service is friendly,quick and portions are a good size. As everyone mentioned previously, the ingredients are fresh and the taste is authentic! For the 2 of us we ordered a thom yam soup, satay for starters' a vegetable dish, pork dish, and a pad thai plus 2 jasmine teas. came to 28GBP.Absolutely full and were thankful for the 10 min. walk back to the hotel to burn some of it off!!!!Great value meal with superb taste! we will definitely eat here again!!!:-)
This place is great, it offers exceptionally good value for money and the food is always very good. You can take your own wine for a very reasonable handling fee. True, it looks scruffy on the outside but don't be put off by this, it is so nice to be able to have a delicious meal at a very tasty price.
Poalina cafe is a brilliant Thai restaurant if you are looking for a sincere, friendly, relaxed and down-to-earth place to have delicious Thai food. The best pork dumpling I've ever had anywhere and I'm Thai! The lady owner is very friendly and sincerely lovely and generous. Her husband had passed away a week ago, unfortunately. The decor aren't great, which is a shame as she could attract more customers otherwise. But the quality of food compensated for that once you are inside and eating! Since I moved out of London, I came here for a meal every time I come to London.
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