Friday, 23 April 2010

Noodle Special @ Talad Thai (Thai), London

One of my New Year's resolutions was to review more London restaurants outside Zone 1. I've made some efforts, most notably with write-ups of Papaya and Sichuan Restaurant but I still feel that Central London reviews predominate.

With that in mind, I decided to take my soup noodle odyssey to Zone 2 with a trip to Putney's Talad Thai. From the moment I walked through the door, I had a good feeling about this place. The dining room was light and airy and I loved the pictures and woodcarvings that adorned this homely little restaurant. The service was also good although there were few diners that lunchtime so I'm not sure how they might cope in the heat of battle.

The menu lists the usual suspects like pad thai and curries but I came here for the Thai Noodle Special section at the back of the menu, where eight soup noodle dishes lurk. There's a distinct trace of Chinese DNA in Thai soup noodle dishes and this is evident in the ingredients used and the fact that it's the only Thai dish eaten using chopsticks.

My choice of kuay tiew moo tom yum (£4.00) was no exception with ingredients such as kuay tiew rice noodles, fish balls and fish cake that originate from China. Also in the mix were mince pork, bean sprouts, liver slices and a fried wonton. These were all in a soup topped with dried ground chilli and crushed roasted peanuts.

The soup had sweet undertones and it could be accused of being under-seasoned but this didn't matter once you gave it a stir to mix in the chilli and crushed peanuts. This brought the soup alive and whilst the fish balls and fish cake were bought in (they usually are), everything else was fresh. With so many different ingredients, this bowl of noodles could've been a car crash but somehow the combination worked and the result was a clean, tasty and refreshing lunch.

Portion size wasn't the world's largest and on another day, I would've needed a second bowl or a side dish. However, it was fine for a light lunch and besides at £4, it cost only a bit more than a boring old sandwich.

Verdict: I really enjoyed the soup noodles here and as Putney isn't too far from where I live, I'd like to return for a proper Thai blow-out.

Other Stuff: There's a small supermarket also called Talad Thai, a couple of doors down from the restaurant that stocks the ingredients to recreate your favourite Thai dishes at home.

Talad Thai on Urbanspoon


  1. Good resolution - I like it - and looks like it paid off here.

  2. Good to know about places outside Zone1 - now all you need to do is come north and east ;-).

    This sounds like just the sort of simple Thai place you want as a neighbourhood lunch spot. Affordable, tasty. And yet surprisingly hard to find.

  3. GC - thanks ! There are a couple of more local gems coming up in the next week or so.

    Gworm - the 'local' season has been mainly south and west but I will branch out north and east at some point.

  4. You are dead right, 90% of Thai noodle dishes are indeed of Chinese origin. Any dish that is served with chopsticks that is :)

  5. 3HT - Talking of chopsticks and Thai food, Busaba Eathai, a Thai mini-chain in London, lays out chopsticks on all its tables and that really gets on my goat. It's not as if there are that many soup noodle dishes on the menu (2 or 3 at most) to justify the practice.

    Perhaps I shouldn't give a toss but I hate it when cultural ignorance is being actively promoted.