Restaurants & Bars 1

The Green Papaya

Simon Majumdar | Mar 29, 2002 03:40 AM

As there has been much Howling on this board about what makes a "good" chowhound London spot and what doesn't, I thought I would report back on my supper last night at this much vaunted place.

I went with my brother, Robin, and arriving at 7.30 the place was empty. By the time we left at 8.45, it was heaving. A good sign for a neighbourhood joint.

We ordered 4 starters

Banana Flower Salad - Excellent, fresh and with sufficient spice to stop it being too cloying.

Herb Rolls - Poor, weaker than those found in the Viet Ho whose turnover ensures they are fresh. I supect these had been left over from lunchtime and they lacked the necessary crispness of content.

Green Papaya Salad - Excellent. A fresh wonderful dish. Better than any other I have had in London.

Bahn Thai(sp?) - Sweet potato wrapped in lettuce and mint with a dipping sauce - I was not taken with this finding it bland, but Robin adored it, so maybe it is down to taste.

We ordered 3 Main courses

Hot pot of Belly Pork with Olives - tasty but lacking the unction of a good fatty peice of meat. I suspect they have to temper this for western taste. It did also lack seasoning.

Barbecued Lamb - dry and over spiced. Poor

Deep Fried Talaipa with a lime sauce - Excellent. The star of the evening. So crunchy we literally ate the whole thing. Head, tail and all.

The place is certainly good value for money. With two beers the bill came to £40 inc service.

The service was friendly and knowledgable and certainly not as hurried as the Viet Ho.

In the end a worthwhile place but showing the "hit & miss" qualities that pervade that level of eating and expenditure



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