North London Food & Culture

So you’ve never been to…The Little Thai, Fleet Road NW3

As autumn comes, this is a handy place to warm up after a walk on the Heath

Age: 5.

Where exactly is it? The top bit of Fleet Road that hits South End Green right at the bus stop; expect double-deckers to pause outside like dark clouds and block any daylight momentarily. Opposite is the newly revived Cork & Bottle pub, which has somehow never taken off despite its prime location.

OK. So what goes on there? Curries, pad thai and all manner of dumplings, calamari, sweetcorn cake, soups, noodles and starters. For mains there are also the likes of whole seabass, crispy salmon and, of course, Weeping Tiger.

What should I eat? Well, we enjoyed dumplings to start with steamed pork, prawn and water chestnuts, served with crunchy slaw, salad and herbs (which, apparently only for decoration, we were told off for eating). A pad thai with chilli, juicy prawns, basil and egg was delicious, with exactly the right amount of fire, while a bowl of milder laksa proved satisfying, the red coconut broth almost too rich. Chunks of chicken, eggs, tofu and prawns made it a protein-heavy delight, too: this one will be a keeper as winter approaches.


Cute: downstairs at Little Thai. Photo: LT

The interior: discuss. It’s an odd-shaped contemporary-styled venue, and has survived many incarnations, from Polish restaurant back in the day to, more recently, cute French brasserie. The elegant slither of a room downstairs is dimly candlelit, with a bigger first floor dining room upstairs.

And what do I drink? We sank glasses of Argentinian merlot, which at £9 for 175ml were not especially good value – but this is, dare we say it, NW3.

What’s the service like? Charming and lovely. We waited a short while at the bar without a booking on a Friday night and were seated swiftly at a four-seater table. Service between starter and mains was, however, a little too slow, with us eeking out the vino.

Do say: ‘This is quite simply the best Thai food in South End Green.’

Don’t say: ‘But is it as fun as the BYO-only Dars over the road?’

The Little Thai, open daily, 85b Fleet Road NW3, more info

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