Address: 94-95 Isabella St, SE1 8DA
When we read that one of our favourite Chinese Restaurants ‘Royal China’ was branching out by adding Thai Silk in Southwark to their group we were pretty excited…
The prestigious Royal China can do no wrong in our eyes, you order with confidence knowing you are not going to be fobbed with soggy squid, gelatinous sauces and the inevitable MSG high which comes after a dodgy Chinese.
But Thai is so different we thought to ourselves…completely different tastes, textures and dishes. When we think of Thai food we are instantly transported to the streets of Bangkok where we stuffed ourselves silly with street food, where it’s not only excellent but famously cheap as well.
Thai food is known for its enthusiastic use of fresh (rather than dried) herbs and spices. Think garlic, coriander, lemon grass, kaffir lime, fish sauce and chillies….flavours which you can’t get away with without them being the freshest of the fresh!
The invitation to review Thai Silk was met with a few silent fist pumps and a small jig of celebration around our desk – and it is at this point that we need to apologise for the lateness of this post – so we headed south to Southwark to see whether Royal China could really do no wrong even when tackling Thai.
Starting proceedings with large gin and tonics which helped us unwind – hands up if you think all G&T’s should be served in glasses this big?
Whilst we perused the menu we snacked on some Tempura Koong – deep fired King Prawns in Tempura Batter. The batter was light with a pleasant flavour to it…
Not wanting to miss out – or it was just the usual greed kicking in – we opted for the Thai Silk Hors D’oeuvre which was a selection of chicken stay, spicy Thai fish cakes, stuffed chicken sings, veggie spring rolls, butterfly wanton and crispy noodles. All were decent, with some good tastes and textures going on.
The chicken wings weren’t our favourite and felt a bit greasy, whilst the spicy Thai fish cakes offered the most authentic flavours and packed a pleasant punch but again quite greasy… napkins at the ready.
To ensure that the food at Thai Silk is authentic, around 80% of the native Thai ingredients are shipped directly from Thailand. However where possible the restaurant uses locally sourced ingredients in order to save on food miles.
We decided to share the main dishes, family-style…
Phad Cee-Eaw is a FAVOURITE of ours – for us it beats the famous Phad Thai. Stir-friend thick Rice Noodles with Egg, Chicken and dark Soy Sauce – what’s not to like…
The noodles were slippery little suckers and we slurped away happily – have to say they were chowed down at a worrying speed.
Regular readers of The Burp will know that Aubergine is our Achilles heel, so the Phad Makeur Yeow was a no-brainer. Stir-fried Aubergine with fresh chillies and sweet basil – if we were to be horribly critical they were a bit on the oily-side but the taste was there…
Breaking from the food we should comment on the service – the staff could not have been nicer or friendlier, it optimised service with a smile however at times they seemed slightly erratic. There didn’t seem a clear system with several servers offering to take our order for both food and drinks even when we had already ordered, plus when the bill came we were bought the incorrect one. Anyway this might be teething problems and I’m sure as time goes on everything will naturally fall into place. Despite these comments everyone was LOVELY.
Back to the food – for our final choice for main we wanted to order something we had never tried before and were instantly drawn to Thai Silk’s Signature Dishes.
One Panaeng Gae please….
Braised Lamb Shank topped with a rich panang curry with coconut milk and garnished with sweet basil leaves. This dish was a show stopper if we ever saw one – and the meat fell from the bone like butter. Amazing flavours, we were chuffed we’d ordered this…you will be too!
The vibe of the restaurant is a confusing one as you’ve got the lovely restaurant however it is joined to a bar with a dj and dance floor (which was empty) plus there is also a state-of-the-art karaoke system with over 100,000 songs. I’m not sure if Thai Silk knows yet what it is trying to be?
Overall we had an incredibly enjoyable evening, the mains were definitely better than the starters – when returning I’d probably skip them. Some of the dishes could definitely be altered slightly to be on the lighter side plus the authentic Thai flavours were lost slightly – but I’m sure over time and with a bit of titivating Thai Silk will be on the same level as its esteemed sibling, Royal China.
The Burp’s Verdict: Two out of Five Forks
Price: We dined as guests
Top Tip: Check out their signature dishes! Thats where its at…