Thai Square first opened in 1996 on The Strand. We were invited to check out the refurbishment of their first ever restaurant.
The restaurant is easy to miss when walking down the Strand. A small opening takes you through a well-lit bar to a dining area with an impressive new centrepiece: a giant faux cherry blossom made of interleaved branches.
The tree is a warm source of light and gives the impression that you are, at once, secluded in a private space, but also connected to a shared experience with the rest of the people eating below it. Whilst impressed with the centrepiece, we felt that the renovation could have encompassed more thought on the lighting and currents of cold air from the air conditioner.
The meal scored highly in terms of presentation and taste of the main course as well as desserts. We also appreciated the cocktails that married well with the choice of dishes.
We were, however, less inspired by the starters. The three staple dishes – Thai dumplings, crab cakes and a Som Tum salad (a mix of long, thin slices of green papaya and tomatoes, long beans and lime) – were well presented, but failed to taste as a fresh as they could have been.
This feeling did not persist. The Spicy steamed sea bass oozed freshness, was well seasoned and accompanied by an interesting chilli sauce. We appreciated the beef Panang curry, which as you would expect from such a signature dish was aromatic, creamy and with just the right amount of heat. It felt like a treat.
However, the highlight of the meal for us was the deserts. Both the Thai sticky rice with mango (Kaoneow Mamuang) and coconut ice cream served in a half coconut (coconut delight) were deliciously sweet.
Thai Square in the Strand scores highly for presentation and friendless of the team. The restaurant provides a tranquility from the outside hustle of the Strand.
The meal got better as we moved from the starter – less impressive – through to the dessert – our favourite part. If you are looking for Thai food and are in the centre of town, this could be a good choice.
Words by Simon Day