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  • “The green curry with vegetables is excellent, and the pad thai with prawns is alright.” in 4 reviews

  • “The food was great & really reasonable: 2 starters, 2 mains, rice & soft drinks was £26 (not including tip).” in 3 reviews

  • “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.” in 2 reviews

Recommended Reviews

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  • 5.0 star rating
    18/9/2014
    2 check-ins

    Hole in the wall thai walking distance from kings cross station. Just visiting for a week to london but decided to come back here for a second pad seeyu beef and banana fritter with ice cream.

    As good as it gets for cheap eats in London from what i have seem this week. The only drawback is that things could move a bit faster in terms of service and food. Both times i was there an hour although i ate and wanted to pay quickly

  • 5.0 star rating
    22/9/2014
    1 check-in

    On my own in London for work and very happy to have found this gem of a place. Had been curry with rice, awesome

  • 4.0 star rating
    13/9/2014

    Cheap and cheerful.  Probably not the highest-quality ingredients, but one guy in a tiny kitchen making good Thai food to order.  Casual and cheerful and low-key.  There is nothing not to like if you want some home cooking.

  • 3.0 star rating
    11/8/2014
    1 check-in

    Maybe I'm used to the thai food here in the states, but I was pretty disappointed with the Pad Kee Mao, Drunken noodles, the noodles were bland and flavorless.

  • 4.0 star rating
    17/10/2013

    I'm a big fan of this place. It looks dingy from the outside, but don't be afraid, walk on in!

    I absolutely adore Thai food. It's so hard to find a place in central London that is both affordable and serves high-quality food; luckily, this is one of them! I come here at least three times a week.

    The green curry with vegetables is excellent, and the pad thai with prawns is alright.

    I also appreciate that the restaurant has an open kitchen, which I'm always a fan of because I'm a real stickler for cleanliness and open kitchens make me feel that the restaurant has nothing to hide.

    Tip: this place is cash only.

  • 5.0 star rating
    25/8/2013
    1 check-in

    Okay, why isn't there more review on this Thai place located off Kings cross?

    Oh- my- god. (with Friend's Janice's accent). Delicious thai food freshly cooked right next to you in the store. This place deserves more rave and praise!

    Don't get put off by the small store front, say hello to a few step down and a few bigger long tables! All their noodle dishes are well made with affordable pricing. Not the cheapest thai, but for what you get, and its portions, it's not a bad deal.

    Also once saw a group celebrating a birthday dinner here, so, there you go. It is big enough to cater more than 10+ people!

    Do try their thai ice tea! Yum!

  • 4.0 star rating
    9/11/2013

    Not necessarily the cheap spot it once was, but truly fresh and flavorful Thai food made in a seriously tiny open kitchen right at the entrance. You can see that they know what they're doing and not skimping/shortcutting on any of the layers of flavor that makes Thai so wonderful. Main dishes of curry range between £6 and £9 depending on your meat, but this adds up as the portions are not huge, and don't include rice which is £3+ Regardless, the food is yumminess, so that's the price you have to pay!

  • 5.0 star rating
    16/8/2009

    if this is the paolina's i think it is, it's really close to dinwiddy house on pentonville road and pretty much the BEST thai food i've ever had.  pad see ew, gyoza and chicken satay. AMAZING. humongous portions, and their food was so so good.

    i went to SOAS for my third year of undergraduate and lived at dinwiddy house. we used to frequent paolina's and sit in their downstairs room w/ the tables that were too close together at least once a week. ok so here's the thing -- the food was good but the ambience wasn't even close by a longshot. and service was always so slow. however, they were SUPER friendly and it was really close to our school. so we returned frequently.  

    paolina's is the type of place you go to all the time with your best friends because it's close to your heart. because it's got comfort food. because they always make you feel welcome and smile big and you leave full and happy.  you don't really notice the stained linens or cramped bathroom (which you sortof have to climb your way into) or the fact that your table is pretty much touching the table next to it. you sortof just gloss over all these things. because paolina's is the type of place you can make your own "spot".  and who doesn't love having a restaurant to call their own spot.

  • 4.0 star rating
    3/10/2012

    A friend who has lived in London for ages brought us out for one of our first restaurant meals after moving here from Toronto. We were not disappointed! The food was delicious and inexpensive. Plus, we saved money bringing out own beer with no corking fee!

    I got the prawn pad thai and hubs got chicken pad thai. Both were great.

    My only complaint (which, really, I could have voiced at the time but didn't) was that my pad thai (1 of 3 we ordered) was much smaller than the orders given to my dining partners. Not sure if that's just because I'm a small woman or if it was an accident. (When I used to live in Guatemala, my portion sizes when I ate out would frequently be "sized to fit" my tiny frame. Unfortunately for me, I eat a lot more than one would expect for my wee-ness!) Luckily, my fiancé had already eaten before we went out so I was able to finish his equally yummy dish.

    • Qype User consta…
    • London
    • 15 friends
    • 91 reviews
    3.0 star rating
    24/5/2009

    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.

    • Qype User lizwhi…
    • London
    • 12 friends
    • 19 reviews
    3.0 star rating
    4/3/2010

    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.

    • Qype User mr_bub…
    • London
    • 0 friends
    • 19 reviews
    5.0 star rating
    4/2/2008

    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!

  • 3.0 star rating
    21/10/2010

    alrighty, my coworker recommended this place as a cheap eat.  it was cheap and down n' dirty family run establishment.  it's no nonsense thai cooking.  no pad see ew here.  the menu is largely under £5 and the portions are hefty.  i ate it all, but it was missing a kick.  it ain't no king of thai (sf), but for london standards it's good value for money.

    directions for first comers:
    1.) order you dish.
    2.) take a seat in the back.
    3.) pay when your finished.

    • Qype User DrO2…
    • London
    • 85 friends
    • 127 reviews
    5.0 star rating
    18/11/2007

    This is a wonderful little spot just round the corner from the Kings Cross Thameslink station. Easily located by its bright yellow A-board, once you're up the steps, you're facing the chef. The family that run this place are really friendly and accomodating. The place is tiny; the downstairs section can probably fit 20 people at a maximum, and fills up v.quickly. However, it all makes for a cosy, convivial atmosphere. The menu gives you loads of options and overall the food is fantastic (if perhaps not as spicy as I have had elsewhere). The don't have an alcohol license, which means you can bring your own (corkage is 50p per person)! Brilliant!

  • 5.0 star rating
    7/1/2009
    First to Review

    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.

    • Qype User antiso…
    • London
    • 41 friends
    • 159 reviews
    5.0 star rating
    31/7/2010

    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.

    • Qype User totall…
    • Nice, France
    • 25 friends
    • 61 reviews
    5.0 star rating
    27/11/2011

    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.

    • Qype User levant…
    • London
    • 0 friends
    • 35 reviews
    3.0 star rating
    19/11/2008

    Dirt cheap and dingy Thai cafe. Handy for a quick bite before Scala gigs. Decent pad thai but some of the other noodle dishes are glutinous and to be avoided. No alcohol licence. Three stars just for the prices.

  • 4.0 star rating
    3/5/2012

    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.

  • 5.0 star rating
    22/1/2011
    1 check-in

    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.

    • Qype User shisha…
    • Vienna, Austria
    • 0 friends
    • 3 reviews
    5.0 star rating
    9/1/2013

    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!!!:-)

    • Qype User Foodta…
    • London
    • 2 friends
    • 1 review
    5.0 star rating
    8/1/2011

    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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