Oli’s may be small but it packs a big Thai punch. Named after the owner’s young son, this café-style set-up seats around 20, so peak-time tables can require booking a month ahead – especially as the food is also terrific value. Alternatively, you can turn up on spec and stake your claim, then head off for a pint (they’ll call you when a table is free). Everything on the modest menu is cooked in a tiny open kitchen, and we’ve yet to have a dud dish from the dozen on offer. Top marks still go to the confit duck ‘panang’, but fans also rave about the crispy chickpea salad, the deep-fried sea bass with basil and chilli, the aubergine curry and the glass noodles with tofu. To finish, Portuguese-style custard tarts are the only dessert on offer, but they’re unmissable. Oli’s may be homespun, but it’s stylish too, from the orange melamine eating counter to the fine glass tumblers used for wine. In short, a beacon of independence in an increasingly chain-heavy city,
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