LDNReview

101 Thai Kitchen review image
8.7

101 Thai Kitchen

££££

352 King St, Hammersmith
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Making bad choices is part of the human experience. Making bad choices is also why we’ve made a sacred pact with ourselves to never drink an entire bottle of red wine and go on Twitter. That is why we stand before 101 Thai and thank them from the bottom of our shame-riddled hearts. Because this is that rare restaurant where there are no bad choices, only unmissable curries, spice show salads, and a sausage that carries the elan of Mick Jagger mid shoulder-shimmy.

The Thai spot on King Street in Hammersmith is easy to find thanks to its luminous pink frontage that is serving London’s Top Thai Food But Make It Barbie. Inside, where the bright pink theme continues, it’s a low-key place perfect for a casual birthday dinner where you and your favourites treat the menu as an aspirational tick list. A round of Chang’s beers, a critical debrief of the blackboard specials, settle into the curved plastic chairs for the night, and an inevitable doggy bag full of tender laab at the end.

But it’ll also work just as well for a satisfying £15 lunch while watching MasterChef Thailand play on an eternal loop on the small TV suspended between portraits of Thai nobility. On each of our visits during the day there’s been a group of suited men devouring pad kee mao at the front table by the window. They know the drill—high fives all round lads for making stellar life choices.

101 Thai Kitchen review image

Category here is: keep things simple, let the north-eastern Thai food do the talking. And trust us, it talks. Everything from the crispy skin of the had yai ‘HFC’ fried chicken to the soul-healing spice factor of the tom sab demands an order here. The prawn in blanket is both an adorable mental image and a fried fishy starter for the ages. The crispy pla plaa style lao fish claims to be a salad but is in fact concrete evidence that fried red sea bream and lime leaves are quite clearly soulmates. And that traditional Isaan sausage that is fermented and handmade here daily truly brings a whole new meaning to salty, in the very best way possible.

101 Thai Kitchen review image

The best decision you can make at 101 Thai is to commit to your second visit before you eat a single thing. For the sake of essential maximum menu coverage, the second best decision you can make is rocking up with a group. Come for lunch, come for dinner, come time and time again. Because deciding to go to 101 Thai is one decision you’ll never regret. 

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Food Rundown

Prawn In Blanket

Cute name, satisfying crunch. Despite being a ‘snack’, the king prawns are pretty hefty and are dutifully deep-fried in plenty of crispy pastry. We stan 101 Thai’s approach to big portions.

101 Thai Kitchen review image

Isaan Sausage

Truly an exceptional salty and sour fermented sausage comprising of pork, rice, and garlic, and served with fresh chilli and a slab of ginger. No notes.

Vegan Laab Mushroom

Vegan laab should not work in theory but like Harry Styles pulling off a fisherman’s hat, some things are not meant to be understood but simply enjoyed. Savour each and every bite of this coriander and mushroom medley.

101 Thai Kitchen review image

Panang Curry

For the love of all things coconut milk, order this. It’s deliriously rich. We like it with the prawns so that you get a nice little hit of salt between the chilli, lime, and all that creaminess.

Pla Plaa Style Lao

This hot and sour dish is 101 Thai’s own creation. A round of applause for the team for putting crispy fried red sea bream, dried chillies, chilli paste, lemongrass, lime leaves, and toasted ground rice on a plate and declaring it a ‘salad’. Legendary behaviour.

101 Thai Kitchen review image

Gai Tord Had Yai Fried Chicken

Known as HFC chicken by the fans. Now officially known by us as the best fried chicken in west London. The sprinkling of crispy garlic on top means that you get just as much flavour as texture. For that reason, we must declare it one of the best ways you can spend a tenner in London.

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