London, being the cosmopolitan hub that it is, is not short of excellent Thai cuisine. What you’ll find in London’s Thai restaurants is almost always a mix between that cuisine and the local flare for abstraction. Each option here offers an experience that differs from the last, so feel free to roll the dice to decide which to visit first.
White Lion and Dragon
Maybe the lion represents the British pub aspect of the establishment while the dragon represents the Thai. What’s that, you say? A British pub serving Thai cuisine? That’s right, and in no undue fashion.The building’s interior is wonderfully decorated, and outside you’ll find calm gardens. You’ll find the restaurant in Worplesdon, so it’ll be a bit of a drive—but one well worth it as a Buddhist will appreciate the break from the city.
You’ll find Buddha-Bar in Knightsbridge. It’s part of a global restaurant experience that began in Paris and has gone as far as Washington, DC. The bar might not be the most serene place for a Buddhist, but its Thai cuisine and ultra-modern décor make it pretty darn desirable. They offer an assortment of menus, from the Wellness Menu to Buddha-Bar brunch Menu and even Afternoon Tea. You have to try the lime and ginger cheesecake.
Sang Thai Restaurant
In Woking, Surrey, you’ll find two delectable Thai restaurants. The first is Sang Thai Restaurant, a truly authentic Thai restaurant, not least of all for the hiccup English on their website. They have been around for 30 years, which goes to show that they have a loyal support base of clients. People tend to talk about the red curry especially, but with their high-backed leather chairs and the beautiful aquarium, you can enjoy just about anything here.
Just down the street from the Sang Thai Restaurant is Charlie Choy’s, a pan-Asian establishment that serves its food buffet-style. You’ll find Thai, Chinese and Indian food well-represented here. So although it might not be specifically targeted to Thai-cuisine-lovers and Buddhists, it’s surely an appropriate dining option. The restaurant is based on an open-floor plan, making the buffet all the more efficient. Our only complaint is that it’s difficult to choose from such an astounding variety of dishes.
One of the best-loved Thai restaurants is Patara. They specialize in fine Thai cuisine, and their success has taken them to 4 locations in London plus locations in 5 other countries, including Thailand itself. The restaurant is beautifully furnished, no matter which branch you visit. Their menu is in both English and Thai, allowing you to brush up on your Southeast Asian linguistic prowess. The restaurant is upscale, and offers unique dishes that you’d be hard-pressed to find elsewhere.
Located at Imperial Wharf in Sands End, this fine restaurant brands itself as a place where you can eat Royal Thai Cuisine. They have an expansive menu that includes dishes a la carte, vegetarian, tasting options and cocktails. The chefs are themselves Thai, so anyone visiting Blue Elephant can be assured of authenticity.
If you live in London or are travelling there and wish to have a fun day learning how to make some Thai dishes. Check out our Thai cooking classes in London. It’s a great way to meet Londoners and also meet fellow foodies travelling through.