48 Frith Street
London W1D 4SF
020 7437 7444
Chiang Mai is named after the Thai city of Chiang Mai. We’ve had several experiences with Thai food in London. Unfortunately they have been mostly disappointing; as we disagreed with the way it is adapted to suit local taste – more on that later. Location wise, this restaurant definitely got it right – it’s near the main action in Soho.
However, the food was really hit and miss. We started with a sharing platter of Thai snacks – batter fried prawns, chicken on skewers, spring rolls, crab cakes, pork ribs and a mysterious crispy honeyed noodle thing sitting in the middle of the plate. The dipping sauces were really good, and everything on the plate was decent, and did enough to whet our appetites. The tom yum soup was quite nice too.
Unfortunately this is where the compliments end. For mains we had Pad Thai and Green curry. We didn’t enjoy the Pad Thai at all. It was the horribly adapted version for Westerners that we were dreading. There was a conspicuous use of ketchup in the Pad Thai which was extremely off-putting. Shame on them. The Green curry was a ridiculously small portion, and we definitely felt that we could do better with the instant green curry pastes we have in our kitchen.
Overall, just as with most Thai restaurants we’ve been to, starters are done far better than mains. The exception is of course Addie’s Thai Café, which we absolutely love. That is the place to go for very good authentic Thai food that won’t blow your budget.