Taste of Siam – Camden

Reviewed on November 6th, 2013 by Dina

It had been a while since my friend and I had been out for Thai food and we were kind of missing it. So we took it for a sign when we were supposed to go out for Greek food and the restaurant could not take us as they were fully booked for a private party.

Taste of Siam has three parts: one is the supermarket, second is the restaurant and the third is the noodle bar cafe. We were pleased that we chose the lovely restaurant. It seemed like a nicer setting than the informal cafe.  The food is cooked fresh and the quality of ingredients is high. As my friend pointed out, we should have expected this, seen as Taste of Siam’s shop next door has good produce.

Taste of Siam Tom Yum Hed SoupTaste of Siam Jasmine TeaTaste of Siam Tom Yum Kung SoupTaste of Siam Kang Ped Jay Green CurryTaste of Siam InteriorTaste of Siam Prawn Green Curry

It felt like a cold day and after my friend said that she was having a soup starter, I also decided to go for a warming soup! It is not very often that I have Thai soup but everytime I have it, it is always so tasty.

The Tom Yum Hed was a hot and sour mushroom soup. Lots of mushrooms bobbing in the hot flavoursome broth and garnished with coriander. The Tom Yum Kung soup was equally satisfying. This was a spicy prawn soup with lemongrass, chilli and vegetables.

A comforting curry and rice was chosen for the main meal. The menu doesn’t specify what type of curry the vegetarian Kang Ped Jay is. The staff told us that they can make it as a red or green curry.

Crispy tofu, cauliflower, broccoli, baby corn, mange tout and carrots in a creamy coconut sauce made up the curry. It was delicious and very moreish. All of the dishes had a lot of garnish including lime leaves, lemon grass, ginger and coriander. This really gave them the fresh flavour.

All of the food was made mild just as requested. To drink, Taste of Siam has an extensive menu including a whole range of fresh juices. But for me, it had to be Jasmine Tea. This was served by the pot.

Taste of Siam is a fantastic Thai restaurant, even though its dining area is slightly small. The staff were really lovely, polite and friendly. The restaurant was busy all through the evening and also a lot of people were coming in to have orders to take home.

Taste of Siam, 41-47 Camden High Street, London, NW1 7JH

Rating: ★★★★½

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Nid Ting – Holloway

Reviewed on January 15th, 2013 by Dina

A nice impromptu weekend treat was going for lunch with my neighbours! It is really great when you get to know your neighbours and they become close friends. It’s nice when you get to spend proper time with them. Staying local is a bonus; it takes no time at all to get to the restaurant and no time to return home after the meal!

Yellow tablecloths covered the dining tables at Nid Ting. This is contrasted by the blue theme going through the restaurant. There is a slightly raised level where there is a decorated bar like area.

A basket of crispy prawn crackers were given while we were deciding on our order. To start with, the Kang Chud Pak clear vegetable soup was chosen. This was a really light but flavoursome soup. The soup had slices of carrots, baby corn and mushroom in it. It was a small portion but that was okay as it meant that we would have room for the main meal.

Nid Ting InteriorNid TingNid Ting Interior 2Nid Ting Kang Chud PakNid Ting Jasmine TeaNid Ting Tempura PakNid Ting Tao Hu Ob Woon SenNid Ting Interior 3Nid Ting Vegetable Green Curry

The Tempura Pak was the other starter dish that we had to share. Broccoli, mushrooms, onions and peppers were deep fried in a light batter. It was nice enough but I always find that there is nothing too exciting about tempura.

After asking the staff which of the curries would be mild, the Green Vegetable Curry was chosen. This was a surprisingly spicy dish and I was disappointed as I had specified for a mild curry. It was hard to distinguish the flavours due to the spiciness of the curry. The vegetables that made up the curry were aubergine, carrots, bamboo shoots, mange tout and baby corn. It was a shame that the curry was too spicy, as it was a meal that I was looking forward to.  Plain steamed rice was had with the curry and this seemed to mellow it out slightly.

The Red Vegetable Curry was identical to the green one, except that it was even spicier. My friends were saying that even though they liked spicy food, this one definitely had some heat to it!

A better choice was the Tao Hu Ob Woon Sen. This dish was served in a clay pot and it was made of thin noodles, beancurd and coriander. It had a great taste to it and it is one dish that I would have again.

The staff were friendly but I wouldn’t say that they were too knowledgeable about the dishes. When we asked about how the soup was made, they said that they did not know. I guess it was better that they were honest rather than tell us something that wasn’t true.

A teapot of boiling water was served to me when I ordered the Jasmine Tea. I had to have a double take as I thought that surely I wouldn’t be just served water. The staff apologised when I told them about the error and they replaced it with the correct tea. All the plates, bowls and tea sets were matching with a blue and white design.

Nid Ting was an average Thai restaurant. Some of the food was enjoyable and maybe if we had tried some other different dishes, then we would have been more impressed. It is nice that at least we tried out a local place but the highlight was more the company than the food.

Nid Ting, 533 Holloway Road, Holloway, London, N19 4BT

Rating: ★★★☆☆

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Patara – Regent Street

Reviewed on November 2nd, 2012 by Dina

It is always nice to have family come visit. An added bonus is that it gives us a chance to explore and try new places to eat. This time, it was my cousin who had come over from LA! I was after a place near Oxford Circus as we needed to be close to the theatre, to get there in time for an evening show.

On recommendation from my brother, Patara was our restaurant for this evening. I always trust my brother’s restaurant recommendations and have never been disappointed by any of them to this day. They are always outstanding restaurants and so I was excited to try Patara!

The entrance to Patara was lit with orange and yellow panels. There was a sofa area opposite the bar. We were seated here while our table was being prepared.

Patara Bar AreaPataraPatara InteriorPatara Gang Ped NuaPatara Prawn CrackersPatara Pad Makua YaoPatara Interior 2Patara MealPatara Decor

Around the corner, it opened up into a big, light and airy dining area. The walls were decorated with ceramic artefacts. It all felt really clean and organised. There was attention to detail in everything. A nice touch were the little green topiary plants on each table. The staff were extremely friendly and polite and they made us feel really welcome.

While we were deciding on what to order, we were given some prawn crackers to munch on. They came in a little gold basket. The crackers were crispy and they had a slight spicy heat to them.

Now some may say this is a bit of an odd craving to have, but both my cousin and I were in the need of some aubergine, or as my cousin called it, “eggplant”! There were two dishes that we spotted on the menu, but both said that they were seasonal. It was our lucky day as the Thai aubergine was in season!

The Gang Ped Nua was right up our street. It was a red coconut curry with Thai eggplant and sweet basil. We chose to have it with chicken. This dish was perfect in every way. It was rich, creamy and had plenty of chicken and eggplant in it. The chicken was really tender and soft and together with the eggplant, they just melted in your mouth.

The red curry was presented in a gold dish and it had the tealight in the base, to keep the dish warm. To complement the rich curry, we had the steamed fragrant rice.  Both the rice and curry were of a good portion size, so much so that we were able to share the one main dish of Gang Ped Nua!

The side dish again had to be one that would satisfy our craving! The Pad Makua Yao was Thai long aubergines cooked in yellow bean sauce with sweet basil. The aubergine was soft and chunky and had not been overcooked. It had a great flavour to it with the sauce. All the dishes were presented well and the food was of a high standard.

There is no doubt that Patara does good quality fine Thai cuisine at its best!

Patara, 7 Maddox Street, London, W1S 2QB

Rating: ★★★★★

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