Bangkok Lounge, East Finchley, food review

Bangkok Lounge. Picture: Polly Hancock

Bangkok Lounge. Picture: Polly Hancock - Credit: Archant

This welcoming and high quality Thai should help bring food lovers back to the High Road, says Alex Bellotti.

Bangkok Lounge's Ped Makarm, stirfried roasted duck on a bed of vegetables with tamarind sauce. Pict

Bangkok Lounge's Ped Makarm, stirfried roasted duck on a bed of vegetables with tamarind sauce. Picture: Polly Hancock - Credit: Archant

The competition must be stiff among Thai restaurants in East Finchley’s High Road – I counted at least three on a five minute walk along it – but Bangkok Lounge comes with a particular goal. Offering quality, freshly cooked cuisine, its owner, Motin Miah, is hoping to stop local residents migrating across to Hampstead and Highgate for their evening meals, highlighting instead what’s available on their own doorstep.

It makes sense when you think about it. A quick and easy stroll up from East Finchley tube, Bangkok Lounge is flanked by a host of inviting pubs, while the restaurant itself is cosy, welcoming and traditionally decorated. (In the style of many Eastern eateries, it even has one of those strangely hypnotic bubble walls.)

In comparison to Chinese or Indian food, the ingredients here are noticeably of a higher grade. Opting for one of the top end set menus, my guest and I started with an array of juicy, chunky prawns, chicken satays and fishcakes. There was a genuine care to the presentation, with the waiter suggesting we attend to the prawns last so their delicate spice didn’t overpower the rest of the starter.

Perhaps the highlight of the night came next with the stunning Tom Kha Goong, a coconut soup filled with lemongrass, galangai, kaffir lime leaves and mushroom. It was the perfect way to showcase the raw ingredients – the mushrooms were thick, meaty and abundant within the light, peppery coconut cream.

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Following this was a selection of stir-fried rice and noodles, complemented by a traditional duck pad cha and red curry prawn. The duck was tender, pink and, as with much of the food here, showered with shreds of fresh red and green chillis – a delicious way to ward off a cold in these winter months.

With set menus ranging from £17.95 per person up to the one we tried at £28.95, a plethora of dishes are available to cater for all budgets, and the soup is optional with each menu too. Considering we were too full for dessert, there’s no doubt you’ll get your fill from Bangkok Lounge’s authentic kitchen; here’s hoping it helps bring back the masses to the High Road.

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