Since working in the Soho area I’ve picked up my colleagues’ habit of frequenting the same tried and tested lunchtime eateries. The favourites du jour includes a mixture of Pepe – an Italian pizza, pasta takeaway place, Benito’s Hat, Young Cheng, and the occasional Nando’s and KFC when I’m particularly hung over (don’t judge me).
Every now and then I might venture somewhere new and recently I did just that with my friend Stephanie and my brother Daniel - we tried Thai, Suda in St Martin’s Courtyard.
The interior has to be mentioned – it is quirky wood everywhere, with random ornaments of animals made out of cane, quite unusual to be honest, but at least a little different from the sometimes over-the-top opulence that is so often associated with Thai restaurants in London. I have to mention the stools we sat at as these were literally teeny tiny – as a woman who enjoys her food, I can’t say these were the most comfortable, and not the best start when you’re hoping to enjoy some food, but hey-ho.
We started with the mixed starters. We each had a chicken satay on a stick (good, but not exceptional) and a fish lollipop. This wasn’t a particularly good start – the ‘lollipop’ was made up of some seriously processed fish, it reminded me a spiced crab stick, in a bad way. After this our hopes weren’t particularly high.
For the mains we chose off of their lunchtime menu, Daniel and I predictably chose the same meal; the Goong Tod Sauce Ma-Karm. This comprised of some seriously chunky king prawns, in a panko-style coating deep fried and in a sticky tamarind sauce, with a some stir-fried green vegetables and a small mound of jasmine rice. It was a triumph and after the fish lollipop disaster we were both completely won over after this. The tamarind had that wonderful sweet yet sour stickiness and made for a completely delicious sauce which was devoured by both of us. There were only three king prawns – however considering the £8.50 price I felt this was reasonable enough, as they were large ones.
Steph opted for the Yum Nua Yang, a salad of beef infused with lemongrass and chilli. Now all three of us are fans of spice, we like it hotter than your average mortal, but my word this certainly packed a fiery punch. It was G-O-O-D. The beef was thin slithers and not over-cooked, but merely seared to a nice, tender, melt-in-the-mouth consistency and it was the salad dressing itself which put one in mind of taking a bite of very tasty fire. The texture was great too, with a combination of crunch and moisture.
We were only drinking soft drinks and the entire meal came in at just over £30 which frankly I thought was completely bargainous considering the main courses were both very, very good. I would definitely re-visit Suda however I would strongly advise against the fish lollipos!