Farang 22

Squaremeal Review of Farang ?

There’s already quite a following for this temporary Thai venture from chef Sebby Holmes, thanks to his two successful Street Feast stalls (Dinerama and Hawker House). Loyalty is certainly required to find the restaurant, ensconced in Holloway suburbia on the former site of neighbourhood Italian San Daniele (which was run by Holmes’s stepdad for years). Farang will be here for at least six months, until the landlord decides the fate of the property. The look has barely changed inside or out since the days of San Daniele, but what this outfit lacks in funds, it makes up for on the plate. The small menu manages to incorporate something for all palates, from a broodingly meaty curry of coconut-braised, butter-like beef cheeks, to a slap-you-round-the-face jungle curry: an energetic, spicy concoction of fresh Cornish fish, supremely fishy sauce and bitter baby aubergines. Everything arriving at our table intrigued, from the whiff of smoke evident in the ketchup-like burnt chilli dipping sauce, to a Bolognese-like salad of lon (fermented shrimp paste dip, slowly simmered in coconut cream) partnered by an array of raw vegetables for dipping. The large, low-key dining room is convivial, prices low and the mostly young troupe of staff effortlessly charming. The only dud was an overpriced, unremarkable doughnut dessert, so save your money for a bottle of Monsoon Valley wine all the way from Thailand’s Hua Hin vineyards.

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