Plaza Khao Gaeng

Thai·
££££
·
Bronze Award
·

SquareMeal Review of Plaza Khao Gaeng

Bronze Award

Having never been to Thailand it’s hard to say this with much conviction, but Plaza Khao Gaeng feels legit. There are beachy neon blue cocktails, plastic covered canteen-style tablecloths and bright strip lights that feel more hawker territory than a plum London address. 

It’s hard to remember a JKS restaurant (the group behind Gymkhana, Lyle’s, Bao and more) which hasn’t been a swiftly won success. Heading up this opening is Luke Farrell, who has brought with him a fiery passion (more on that later) for Thai food, after spending fifteen years in the country.

An extremely jolly team keeps things pacey and despite a general vagueness about what each dish is, everyone is at least enthusiastic. The joy of this is that plates come out more or less a complete surprise.

The Miang Phuket is a bowl of sticky, sweet and spicy cashew nuts that are ready to wrap in leaves and eat as little parcels. The chicken curry is fragrant but ferociously hot – the slightly alarming colour a neighbouring diner was turning should have given the game away. It soon becomes clear that Farrell has an impish disregard for western spice sensibilities. While we respect his allegiance to authenticity, favourites for us included a more mellow soft, sticky pork belly that been braised low and slow until it was falling apart, served in its caramelised juices which were rich with fat. Accompanied by the perfect fried egg (crispy on the bottom, soft on top), some fluffed up rice and a plate of morning glory, it was a reminder that sometimes pared back plates pack the biggest punch.

The utilitarian aesthetic and the unyielding heat won’t be for everyone. But it takes a lot for a restaurant to stop London in its tracks these days and Plaza Khao Gaeng undoubtedly offers a hot new haunt for jaded foodies sick of 'seasonal small plates'.

Good to know

Average Price
££££ - £30 - £49
Cuisines
Thai
Ambience
Cool, Fun, Lively
Other Awards
SquareMeal London Top 100
Food Occasions
Dinner, Lunch
Special Features
Vegetarian options
People
Group dining [8+]
Food Hygiene Rating

About

Plaza Khao Gaeng finds its home upstairs in the Arcade Food Hall beside Tottenham Court Road station. You’ll make your way to your table by weaving through the throngs of people downstairs before arriving at the mezzanine level which houses the arcade’s hero billing.

Here Luke Farrell is in charge. A young chef who has spent the last 15 years in Thailand obsessing over the details of its cuisine. He’s come back armed with his experience and this is the culmination of his hard work. The menu centres around curries – with the name translating roughly to ‘curry over rice’. Plaza Khao Gaeng showcases the best of Southern Thai cooking which means ferociously hot plates of curries and stir fries plus sides like crispy eggs, steamed rice and crunchy flash-fried veggies. Many of the ingredients used in each having been grown by Luke himself in Devon. 

The interiors have been designed to mimic similar restaurants in Thailand. There are plastic tablecloths fixed on with thumb tacks and a bright open kitchen that allows you a glimpse at what the kitchen team are up to. The only slight drawback is the blinds, which are rolled down on all sides to obstruct the view of downstairs. While it does make the dining experience feel more exclusive, it cuts off the party atmosphere of the assembled crowd that many coming to Arcade Food Hall will be looking for.

The drinks and cocktails are just as adventurous as the food. The Thai-ami Vice – for instance – is made with banana rum, coconut, pineapple lime, guava and pandan. Elsewhere other drinks come out colour-changing from blue to purple, topped up with shaved ice and promising a good time.


FAQs

Who owns the restaurant?

The restaurant is part of the JKS group and was created by Luke Farrell.

Helpful? 0

Do I need to book?

Yes booking is essential here!

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Location

Arcade Food Hall, 103-105 New Oxford Street, Oxford Street, London, WC1A 1DB
Website

Opening Times

Lunch
Mon 12:00-14:30
Tue 12:00-14:30
Wed 12:00-14:30
Thu 12:00-14:30
Fri 12:00-14:30
Sat 12:00-14:30
Sun Closed
Dinner
Mon 17:00-22:00
Tue 17:00-22:00
Wed 17:00-22:00
Thu 17:00-22:00
Fri 17:00-22:00
Sat 17:00-22:00
Sun Closed
All day
Mon Closed
Tue Closed
Wed Closed
Thu Closed
Fri Closed
Sat Closed
Sun 12:00-20:30

Reviews

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3 Reviews 
Food/Drink
Service
Atmosphere
Value

Vedia M

22 February 2024   - Verified Diner
Food & Drink 5
Service 5
Atmosphere 5
Value 5
Thai Perfection

If you like spicy and flavourful food this is your place..if you can't handle chillis don't go here. I loved everything. Great food and staff. 

Shaun B

30 November 2022  
Food & Drink 5
Service 5
Atmosphere 5
Value 5

The BEST Thai food outside of Thailand. Simply delicious and the staff are so passionate, they explain every dish with so much knowledge. I was very impressed. 

Lois

24 November 2022  
Food & Drink 5
Service 5
Atmosphere 5
Value 5

This has to be one of the most exciting restaurants of the year. The flavours are mind blowing and it's taught me so much about the regionality of Thai food (in this case Southern). I find it addictive eating.

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