Being a bookbinder I have been lucky to have worked, lived and traveled around South East Asia for the last 20 odd years. I have been fortunate enough to have had some fantastic food in great places. I remember the first time I went to Tokyo (some 2 passports ago) My friends there wanted to take me out and because they thought I was home sick took me to the "English Pub" This turned out to be a themed pub in Shinjuku Ku. Efforts had been made, there was a dart board but sadly no darts as these were deemed to dangerous. The only European beer was Guinness, and to cap it off a rather old poster of Princess Di. We had fun, I smiled and said all the right things, joked about the post cards and other gaudy trinkets of London designed to make you feel that you were in a London pub. I joined in the singing and watched base ball on the telly. The owners had tried but it was a pastiche and I suppose for those who had never been in a pub in London this was the real deal. They left happy and speaking a sort of mokney, I left realising how difficult it is to transplant something that is so special into a different culture. Since then, people travel more and what was once the far off destination/adventure has become the package holiday. In short we have become more aware of what is and what is not.
London is blessed with restaurants of many cultures. Some get near the real deal. However, many rely on withered calendars, loud music and special homely touches that are neither special or homely, staff look dejected with service and food that is perfunctory. Or, everything is over compensated for. The fixed company smile, either being ignored or asked every five minutes if everything is ok, the corporate designed interior and food that intends to beguile the eye in its modernism and sparseness whilst claiming to be authentic. Needless to say I often leave with an uneasy feeling of disappointment.
Awesome Thai is non of the above.
Awesome concentrates on what is important when going out for a meal. Food, company and value.
I feel the key to good Thai food is blending freshness of ingredients and simplicity. The chef at Awesome has the ability to make every dish seem effortless, as if it happens naturally. Nothing is overworked or overcomplicated. The taste is crisp and light, the spices work together with no one element of the food overpowering the other, there is honesty coupled with a confident balance.
The service is attentive without being overbearing, one feels that the staff enjoy working there. Indeed there is a warm, friendly buzz. You can ask for advise without being made to feel an idiot. If you want more or less spices.. ask. The wine I have no knowledge as I am a beer man.
The dishes are ample sufficiency. There are no huge surprises when the bill arrives.
As for the company you take, that is your choice.
To sum up, well worth a visit.
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