They remembered me at Thai Classic. Not there of course; can’t be given it’s brand new, but from Malaysian Delight, where I was taken by Malaysian food champ himself, Soo Fon. They tell me in short terms how they ended-up opening. Something about them having a couple of great Thai chefs working in a Malaysian restaurant, who would be better served making Thai in their own restaurant. It’s almost too simple to be true, yet suddenly I’m looking forward it. Restaurants that play to the strengths of the kitchen are always better than the ones who try to emulate the latest in trends. I could open a very good place that sells things on chips. Don’t visit if I suddenly start putting okonomiyaki on the menu.

It’s good. Really, really good in parts. I think it will get better too, as they settle in. After the usual start of prawn crackers we settle in with fish cakes that are packed with fish in red curry paste, and chicken satay that seemingly lends the same excellent satay sauce that they serve at Malaysian Delight. Did the chefs learn the sauce there, or did they bring the recipe? It really is a chicken and peanut conundrum. There’s a pork bao with truly excellent grilled pork belly in an instantly forgettable bao. The pork appears elsewhere on the menu; I implore you to order it.

For mains we take a jungle curry and pad kra pao, covering off the north and south of Thailand in the process. The pad kra pao is good – herbal, spicy, and salty – but the jungle curry is superb. The broth has bags of depth with heat from wild ginger and chilli and soured with loads of lime. It’s curry to kill a cold, to add sweat to the brow when it’s already 80f outside. I’ll come back for this time and time again.

There is rice and a bottle of wine and a bill that won’t threaten anyone’s wallet. It’s cheap here. Maybe too cheap. But then again that’s why it is busy on a boiling hot Thursday evening. Take some chefs and let them cook the food they learnt. Do it at a price point that perceives to value throughout. And do it with service that never once feels forced. Maybe that’s the key to opening a restaurant in these present times.


Listen to The Meat and One Veg Podcast here.