Dinner for 4 BYOB: No idea because Lee paid – but certainly worth every penny
Not surprisingly my friends are always recommending restaurants to me. I could probably write this blog based upon these restaurants to me alone. Often these places are really good, sometimes they’re pretty mediocre. Every once in a while they are really special.
My good friend Lee has been telling me about his favorite Thai restaurant for a while now and last Friday night we finally made the trek out to visit it in Leytenstone of all places. Leytenstone in East London is not an area renowned as a culinary destination. The insane number of fried chicken places packed into the area gave me a real sense of the options available to most area residents. It was no surprise then really that Singburi was full of diners – both local and visitors on a Friday night.
A small family restaurant with mom running the front of house and dad in the kitchen Singburi does not at first seem like a restaurant worth mounting an expedition to get to. But a quick look and sniff around the dining room at the other punter’s meals was encouraging.
I started with Som Tam – papaya salad. For some reason you can’t see the generous pieces of chilli or dried shrimp in the salad, but believe me they are there. I like my food hot – seriously hot – and this salad was eye melting. It was also absolutely delicious and refreshing. I was wide awake after eating it.
We ordered a ludicrous amount of food – all of it spectacular. My favorites were the pork belly with chilli and basil. This was just so so good. Salty, porky, spicy and fragrant. I was unable to finish it and I have to admit that I woke up the next morning and finished the leftovers for breakfast. It was one of the specials but if we’re lucky it will wind up on the regular menu.
Another favorite was the chuchi fish. We liked it so much we oredered it a second time. There was also a yummy squid dish, stir fried morning glory and all manner of other utterly scrumptious dishes.
Singburi is cooking authentic Thai food without watering down the flavors or heat for a western palette. If it it had a more accessible location I am sure that every food mag would have it on its best cheap eats list. I am already planning another expedition to the far reaches of Leytenstone to try their curries which I am sure are going to be marvelous.
Practical notes: You’ll probably need to grab a taxi or bust to get there and back. There is a mini-cab company just a few doors down to get you back to the station (if you’re coming into Stratford) . Also bring your booze with you as it is BYOB.
593 Leytenstone High Road
London, E11 4PA