East London Thai in a tucked away location
After a quick and easy Thursday night supper, we went to the Thai Room which is located in the still secluded Bow Wharf, of the Regent’s Canal, and tucked away from the main shops and restaurants of Victoria Park Village, near where we live. We are spoiled for choice for South East Asian cusine in the local area, perhaps a hangover from our proximity to the docks where East London’s multicultural past flowed in on its future. But when you’re taking the kids out for a midweek meal, you really only want to go somewhere super convenient, so we’re lucky to have this on our doorstep.
We’ve been here a few times, and always been impressed with the food, and the quiet efficiency of the staff – perhaps helped because it is rarely too busy – even on a Friday night. We also have takeaway sometimes, which can be delivered by many of the delivery apps, but it never seems to transport as well.
Dining is, however, is always a pleasure – even with children – there’s always something that everyone will eat, and it pushes the kids to try something new. I was greeted by Tom and the two kids, Jonah and Ava, with a piping hot Tom Yung soup, to stop me scarfing the complimentary spicy prawn crackers when I arrived straight from work after a chilly cycle. This was just as well as the kids had already demolished the crackers. We each ordered a starter -crispy prawns with sweet chilli sauce for Ava, Sate chicken for Jonah, prawn and pork dumplings and ribs to share. All hot, sticky, salty and sweet, all delicious; all gone in a matter of minutes.
We followed up with sticky rice, and with Gai Yung for Jonah – chargrilled chicken with spice and sweet chilli, a beef stir fry for myself, Pad King, and something spicy and gas provoking for Tom. All very nice. Empty plates all round.
But what made this meal so special was how beautifully we all got on. We discussed important issues, like why the government are bombing Syria; we talked about Jonah’s role in the school play – he got the lead, and his climbing – he’s on the squad. Ava’s recent trip to the Tower of London, and the fact we’ve just started Tai Chi together.
From the outside, we probably sounded like one of those unbearable, pushy families that we’ve overheard here before, talking loudly about their myriad achievements as if to cover up a raft of deep-seated insecurities. But from the inside, there was a warm glow that, in this moment, I had so much to be proud of – even my kids’ normally dubious manners.
We probably finished it off when we came up with the idea of starting a family food blog together, having been inspired by a recent Simpsons episode. Luckily however, there was only one other family to overhear us, being smug and middle class, and from where I was sat, they did actually appear to be Thai. So the Tiger mother in me can rest easy. It’s perfectly okay to be a pushy parent. As long as you do it in a way that doesn’t get up anyone else’s nose.
Jonah, who’s Asperger’s, is determined to do a top 50 South East Asian restaurants in the local area, and he may well have the scope to do so. We’ll keep you posted.
The 4 Hungry Tigers rated our meal ****.5