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You know what it’s like when you travel young. The most cultured thing you do is drink 80 proof rum in a coconut. When I found out last week I was visiting the Greyhound Cafe, I was excited to try an authentic Thai lunch in London, because when I went to Phuket, the closest I got to Thai food was a KFC meal that came with rice. I did review Foley’s , the other week, but if you are specifically looking for a Thai lunch in London you will be disappointed there as they are more “Asian inspired” than authentic Asian, and they take flavours from allover Asia rather than one country or part.
From the minute you walk into the Greyhound Cafe you can tell they absolutely want to put some Bang into your Kok. Their website describes them as “Bangkok on a plate” and I do genuinely believe it was the most traditional Thai food I have ever had. I know I have admitted I have nothing to compare it to, but there were a lot of Thai people in there so that cemented my good impression. I mean, say if you went for a Vajazzle yeah. Who would you want next to you? Well if you went for a vajazzle you would of course want to be next to a mouthy orange thing that calls you “hun”.
One of the most pleasant things about having a Thai lunch in London is that the protocol seems to be order loads and loads of food for the table. This is my favourite way to eat for two reasons. The first being I can leave what I want without looking ungrateful. The second being you can eat as much as you want without being judged. Because all bets are off when the food is spread out among ten of you and you can easily fit down an eleventh corn ball without anyone realising.
We started off with the Greyhound single bone wings. Although there is not a lot of meat on them – the flavour makes up for it. Despite being someone who seriously doesn’t enjoy fish, I have to say the use of fish sauce is a winner here. Crispy without being dry, spicy without burning, these little guys are the perfect way to ease in to your Thai experience. If you are going to have a Thai lunch in London pre-warn your taste buds. I love spicy food, and I have just ordered one of these:Hot Chili Sauce: Bang Bang Edition | A Glass Container of Hot Sauce to be used with Pizza, Chicken Wings, Salads, and More.
The “Angry Pasta” is an east meets west dish that is touted s a great hangover cure. It’s pretty much what it says on the tin kids, open with caution. I’m always struck by the lack of availability of good meat in Thailand and the Philippines. Filipino’s love their fish, much like Thailand do. Last time I was over there I cooked a beef stew and ended up buying all of the stewing beef in the supermarket because there was so little of it. This level of expectation always means I’m fully expecting to have to settle for food with a head any time I got for a Thai lunch in London. You know the food I mean. Either it’s the fish that has been cooked whole sitting on your plate judging you for eating it of the lobster/crab just poking far enough out of the soup to remind you how awful you are for eating it. So when I saw the “Hot Oil Pork Knuckle” on the menu I was determined to try it. Fried pork is always hit and miss to me, it’s either over crispy and hard to eat, or even worse, not fried enough, and you end up chewing it 87 times. The Greyhound’s pork was amazing. It came with two delightful spicy but not too spicy sauces to jazz it up a bit, and some rice that was all neatly wrapped up in a packet, that made my day.
The absolute shocker of the day came in the form of the “Crab and Corn Pops”. If you were to ask me if I liked crab I would vehemently deny having ever eaten it, tell you that just the smell puts me off and it is not something I would put in my mouth. When the corn pops were served, just seeing the corn in them led me to believe that they were just some sort of deep fried corn. Needless to say the crab isn’t an overpowering flavour (FYI I ate seven without realising they had crab in them). They were wonderful. A prime example of food you can still fit in when you are too full for anything else.
As well as the eclectic food menu, they also have a great choice of drinks. As I don’t drink alcohol I ordered a Thai ices coffee. When it came I was quite surprised about the colour, but it really was nice. The perfect sweet treat on a cold day. As far as atmosphere goes, Greyhound Cafe became one of my favourite places. The decor was vibrant and fun, and everything I imagine Bangkok to be like and certainly know it is what Patong is actually like. They keep the style inside very clean and basic, perhaps as a homage to the streets the food on the menu is served on.
If I had to recommend somewhere to eat with a group of friends I’d certainly say here.
*this review was not paid for or made in exchange for a free meal. I visited the Greyhound Cafe as a paying customer, but there are display and affiliate ads on this page.