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|Address:||46 Grosvenor Place, London SW1X 7EQ|
|Tel:||020 3544 7978|
|Price: £45.00||Wine: £19.00||Champagne: £39.00|
|Opening Hours:||Mon-Sat 12N-3pm 6-11pm (Thurs-Sat -11.30pm) Sun 12N-10.30pm|
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One of few decent, reasonably affordable options in Victoria. That being said, a two course business lunch with soft drinks and water only still came in at £40 a head. It’s a relatively soulless barn of a space under a large hotel / office building, light and bright enough on the sunniest day of the year but little ambience delivered by the large plate glass windows staring out on the traffic choked Grosvenor Place. The decor feels a little scuffed and tired round the edges these days, and the confusing, tatty menu piles three special menus on top of the banqueting options on top of the a la carte. The £17 set lunch needs to be asked for separately however.
I went for two from their seasonal Street Food Festival menu, unsure of what this was linked to but the options looked interesting enough. Kai Nok-krata Tord or Quail egg Wanton was a bit of a one trick pony. Pleasant enough, though a little cloying after a while, the portion containing six of the little orbs, hard boiled and fried in wanton skin, my anaemic chilli sauce had me eying a neighbours satay avariciously. The satay and associated chicken skewers were pronounced quite as good as anything my colleague had eaten recently in Thailand.
My main was more interesting, deep-fried sea bass with a mango salad. The former came a touch over-fried for my taste, the accompanying chewy mouthfeel tasty for sure, but killed the sea bass a little. The green mango salad worked alongside, a cooling mix of crunchy matchsticks contrasting with the heat of the fish. Elsewhere they didn’t seem to compromise on flavour for pedestrian local taste buds either. Other dishes receiving plaudits round the table included a robust Massaman Lamb Shank curry, thick, creamy and almost aggressively spiced with the soft lamb falling off the bone.
Wines are fairly punchy in their ambition. I’m not sure I’d waste a premier Bordeaux on such spicy fare but if you would, then they’re all here and priced as you’d expect. There’s plenty around the £18 – £30 mark too though the professional workers (or those with bosses) weren’t able to imbibe.
Overall, it’s difficult to fault the food that we had, though I might chose differently next time. Big portions of fresh and authentic, well spiced Thai banqueting specialities. But you’ll pay handsomely for the privilege and if not stuck in Victoria with no escape I wouldn’t necessarily travel for it. The ambience, decor and tightly packed tables rule out romantic rendezvous too. If you’re craving expensive Thai in Victoria, Michelin starred Nahm on West Halkin Street is also worth a thought.