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Friday, December 7, 2012
»The building now occupied by Thai restaurant XOXO used to be a drinking den – part of Upper Street’s bustling party scene.
This shows in the new venue’s decor – all sleek lines and neon lights – and the fact that folk can pop in just for a drink and stay until the early hours.
Our incredibly friendly waitress positioned us in a comfy window seat where we supped an excellent lychee martini and passion-fruit infused boozy number while watching the Saturday night chaos outside.
For me, Thai food encourages the sharing of many small portions, so we chose a few excellent ones and picked at them heartily.
74 Upper Street
Tel; 020 7226 6799
Mains: from £7.560
Wine: from £17
Disabled access: Yes
Children welcome: Yes
The calamari were exceptionally good, tender and peppery, and the scallops were also pleasingly succulent and large, although there were only three of the blighters.
The tom yam soup came up trumps as well – thin but thick in the flavour department and filled with big, satisfying prawns and chunks of mushroom.
Two of our party were self- declared dumpling haters, so it’s a testament to the dim sum, tasty little vol-au-vent-looking things, that they were a hit with the whole table.
So far so good with the starters and the mains continued in the same vein – our tamarind duck was a cracker, composed of tender slices of fowl in a rich, slightly sweet sauce.
The prawn chui-chui tasted like a red curry, with subtle, spicy undertones, and our massaman curry was fantastic, with plenty of zesty spices and a hint of chilli.
The lamb meat itself wasn’t great through – odd, slightly processed sausage-like parcel.
The puddings were a mixed bag. The lime cheesecake was a bit dry and stodgy, but the salted caramel ice cream and mango sorbet were just the job.
In the main, portion sizes were on the conservative side, but the prices are fairly low, so you can afford to sample a few dishes.
And thanks to the attentions of the lovely staff, eating at XOXO is as comfortable as eating in your own house – assuming your home is a slick venue that does a good line in Siamese sustenance.