The Heron may not scream ‘London’s most authentic Thai food’, especially when you find yourself in a subterranean karaoke lounge below a scruffy, traditional Paddington boozer, exposed to plasma TVs, lino flooring, cheesy hits and plastic chairs, yet Thai food is exactly what lures in-the-know regulars. And it really is authentic stuff. Even when ordered ‘mild’ just about everything packs serious chilli heat, from zingy papaya salads loaded with lime juice and fish sauce (warning, the Thai sausage version may induce tears) to orange curries laced with mouth-puckeringly sour tamarind and shrimp paste. Acquired tastes they may be, but shredded catfish and peanut salad with chilli sauce, crunchy-fried duck tongues or crisp-skinned century eggs in fermented fish juice with green beans and pork are absolutely worth your perseverance. However, dishes such as cold pig’s intestines with raw onion and peppers are more hard core and easily avoided thanks to staff who can be relied on to express concern at adventurous ordering. Drinks are limited to beer, fizzy pop and some unintentionally humorous stabs at mixology.
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