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This buzzy South-East Asian canteen has been serving hungry City workers for over a decade now, and it has the business down to a fine art. You can be seated and served in minutes, and there’s no
shortage of smiles either. The interior is brightly lit, with swathes of bamboo, recycled metal and huge chunky wood tables suggesting a ‘street market indoors’ – though not all dishes match up to
the authentic vibe. Malaysian chicken kapitan (literally the ‘captain of curries’) packs a powerful punch, but our pad thai was disappointingly heavy on the noodles and light on spice. Also look
for assorted ‘little plates’ including ayam goreng (Indonesian spiced chicken) or prawn and crab sui mai (steamed dumplings). Aside from wines and beers, the drinks list features Thai teas and
‘detoxing’ fresh juices – the latter providing a surprisingly sprightly pairing for the often bold flavours.
As much as i love fine dining, Michelin stars and avant-gard cuisine, i've been making more of an effort to review chains, cheaper entry level dining and honest cooking. I sometimes forget that not everyone (including myself) can eat at exspensive restaurant everyday and we all need good, cheap eats now and again. Matched with affordable wines and pleasant service - that's exactly what Ekachai is. Oh and it's Liverpool Street branch's new decor is lovely...
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Pan Asian/fusion food scares me a little, I usually prefer my meals to be one or the other but Ekachai has been going for over ten years so I guess they must be doing something right. They specialise in south-east Asian food with a focus on Thai, Malay and Cantonese style dishes and have just taken on the highly regarded Norman Musa, Europe’s leading Malaysian chef. I took my fellow Asian food loving friend Keith to the Liverpool Street branch for a quick after-work dinner (there’s also one in both Selfridges – London and Birmingham plus a Wandsworth outlet). We found Ekachai hidden down The Arcade – a proper retro...
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