Sunday, January 22, 2012

Thai With A Twist: Suda Thai, Covent Garden

St. Martin's Courtyard in Covent Garden is my new favorite escape: quiet, tucked away, and full of my favorite stores (Twenty8Twelve, Jaeger, and the newly discovered French organic skincare brand, Melvita) it also currently boasts a pop-up concession from Glassworks, a newly opened yoga studio and is, above all, QUIET. Struggling past tourists down Long Acre on my way to Zara is enough to give me heart palpitations, but slipping into St. Martin's Courtyard is like a little sanctuary. At least, for now - until more people stop forgetting it exists and start spoiling it for me.

Meanwhile, I have Suda Thai to enjoy. Since its opening last year, I've been for lunch and dinner on several occasions and its delicious and diverse menu means I get to try something each time - not just stick to my boring usual of pad thai (although their version is delish).

When Udita was in town a few weeks ago, we met there for lunch and caught up on life, shopping, and everything in between. I always order a lychee juice as their juices are freshly pressed and their juice options are both varied and plentiful.

I also love the contemporary interior and spacious seating, which means even at its peak times, you can still hear your dining partner's conversation without having to shout - rare for London restaurants and a real blessing. Service is prompt, polite, and attentive.

Though I'm a big fan of their noodle dishes, I'd also recommend their rice and salad options.

I took a leaf from Udita's book when I met up with a co-worker for lunch last week and ordered the Gae Yang Som Tum: grilled lamb chop with lemongrass and chilli dressing, served with som tum (a spicy Thai salad consisting of fresh green papaya, fish sauce, dried shrimp, chilis, garlic, and lime). The sticky rice that is optional (but advised) is stickier than what I'm used to, but apparently more traditional. My only complaint is that I managed to accidentally eat a whole clove of garlic, thinking it was something else. Oops. Needless to say, I avoided meetings for the rest of the afternoon. Dragon breath.

Prices are very reasonable (read: cheap) and the experience is one that is both enjoyable and calming. I'll definitely be a returning regular.

Photos courtesy of Udita Iyengar. 

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