The Market Thai
Dinner for 1 with beer: £21.00
I wasn’t planning to go to this restaurant. My original target was a pub that serves Thai food in the same area. But when I turned the corner where the pub was it was rammed to the rafters with those Notting Hill type guys with collars popped up on their rugby shirts. There was some kind of football match on and the yelling and cheering did not seem like it would make for enjoyable atmosphere so I decided to move on and suss out one of the other neighborhood Thai restaurants.
I almost ended up skipping the Market Thai as well because it doesn’t look particularly appealing from the street. Its above a pub and is entered by a somewhat grim looking stair case. At this point though I was getting pretty damn hungry and just decided to give it a try.
Once you get past the stairs however the interior is actually nice. The whole place has a sort of distressed, worn look – not in a grotty way at all. It reminded me of restaurants I’ve eaten in in South East Asia.
I was given a seat by an open window overlooking the hustle and bustle of Portobello road which made for some excellent people watching.
I started with the grilled shrimp salad. I hate it when you order a shrimp salad and you get 3 pieces of shrimp. This shrimp salad had a ton of big plump shrimps in it and tons of fresh shallot and lemongrass and all sorts of other sour, salty, sweet Thai flavors. It was the absolute winner of the meal. I ate the entire dish.
For my main I had the vegetarian red curry with tofu. It was a respectable curry – could have used more fish sauce or just some salt but other than that it was enjoyable.
The Market Thai are not doing anything particularly exciting or original with their food but the service was very nice and the food satisfying. This is a great place to come for lunch if you are wandering around Portobello road on a Saturday – especially if you can get a window seat to allow you to watch the goings on in the market below.
The Market Thai
240 Portobello Road
London, W11 1LL