Category Archives: Thai

Thai Dream

Located in a tiny alleyway off Boswell St near Queens Square, with dim lighting and barely any decorations around the entrance, Thai Dream is about as nondescript as it gets. The look of its exterior coupled with the fact that dimly lit places with names like “Thai Dream” in Thailand usually provide other types of services rather than table service, did make me hesitate before walking in. In addition, my experiences with Thai food in Bloomsbury hadn’t been the best of late (read my Busaba review). However, I took a leap of faith, and opened the door.

Like a typical family run restaurant, the inside is simple, quiet, and warm. There’s one waiter, a middle-aged, perpetually smiling Thai man, and every now and then he’d yell Thai instructions at who I presume is his wife in the kitchen downstairs, who would of course yell back telling him to watch his tone. This man is so sweet though, he even told me, “Don’t come for dinner, lunch is cheaper no need to spend more money”. Their menu offered every Thai dish one could want, from tom yum soups to noodles to fried rice to curries. And the best part…almost everything was priced under £6!!! I decided to order one of their set lunch options, which includes any starter and any main course for £8.90 altogether. Being a cold and rainy day, I went with hot Tom Yum Soup, and a beef Pad Thai (noodles). The soup was…PERFECT. With lemongrass, kaffir lime, chilli, and mushrooms, all mixed together in absolutely delightful ratios, this soup satisfies every corner of the pallet. I wouldn’t mind for it to be freezing and rainy every day just so I had a good excuse to keep coming back for this King of Tom Yums. The Pad Thai, was almost identical to Pad Thais I’ve had at homes in Bangkok and Koh Samui. The hardest thing to get right about the Pad Thai is the fish sauce, but these guys nailed it, with its wonderful taste infusing itself into every bite. The texture of the noodles and thickness of the beef pieces were also on point, and just at the end of every mouthful, the lime would kick in just as it should.

It’s a pity Thai Dream isn’t more well known, however after reading this I hope you will help change that, by taking many a lunch trip here for a true taste of Thailand!

£18 (2 people)

17 New North Street, Bloomsbury, London, WC1N 3PJ

Thai Dream: Website / Menu

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Busaba Eathai

Nothing screams “Authentic Thai Restaurant” more than placing on every table, an eating utensil that majority of Thai people have probably never seen. Having heard about Busaba as being a traditional Thai restaurant, you can imagine the shocking, earth-shattering, and devastating horror of seeing CHOPSTICKS on each table.

I can say with confidence to the people of Busaba Eathai: my dear but confused friends, you would have to travel no less than 3000 miles from Bangkok to find a local cuisine that uses chopsticks. To those of you wondering, yes, I still ended up ordering food, albeit with not the highest expectations. I opted for a green papaya salad and a red beef curry – the litmus test for any Thai eatery. While ordering, the Italian waiter suggested I get the curry with sticky rice as “that’s the way they do it in Thailand.” No, Salvatore, that’s the way they do it in China, but I’ll give you points for getting the right continent…

The papaya salad was surprisingly good. It was as spicy as I would want it to be, they put in dried shrimp which I felt was a very nice touch, and the peanuts provided a nice crunch in between the soft papaya and noodles of the salad. However, as I would soon find out, this was merely a cruel ploy by the Devils of Inauthenticity to place me in a false sense of comfort. The beef was thick and chewy, not thin and soft as it ought to be. They used regular lime leaves instead of kaffir lime, but that’s okay, kaffir lime is only the most important ingredient in all of Thai food. As I took my first spoonful, it starting pouring down outside. Clearly the Thai gods had flown over to London to shed their tears. My friend ordered a green curry, and upon seeing corn present in it I too wanted to shed tears. Additionally, instead of tangy and spicy, the curry was sweet and almost sugary. By now there was thunder outside. How they manage to get away with charging £10.50 for what evidently is curry powder in water is beyond my understanding.

Overall, when considering Busaba as an option for a Thai meal, it’s best to think of it as Indian/Chinese food served by Southern Europeans.

£20 (2 people)

22 Store St, London WC1E 7DF

0207 299 7900

Busaba Eathai: Website / Menu / Facebook / TwitterBusaba Eathai 2Busaba Eathai 3