A real treat for Putney locals, Talad Thai is a find, offering a true taste of Thailand at non-threatening prices.
Situated away from the hustle, bustle and nauseating display of fast food chains and knick-knack shops in the High Street, Talad Thai is almost hidden - its juxtaposition next to a launderette makes it barely a feature in the Upper Richmond Road. The draw to this place has most certainly got to be the food, for the venue, though pleasant, is really not what makes it special.
On walking through the plain blue door, you witness the delicate, inoffensive shade of pink that decorates the walls and placed against them are a few scattered pictures here and there. The tables are neatly aligned with a little room allowed for meandering in between each. Almost reminiscent of a small, albeit slightly prettier cafeteria, the display of flowers dotted about the place are perhaps what add a little warmth to the room, but this is about as fussy as the decor seems to get. Oh, and there are the few golden statues which stand in various corners. Here, simplicity is key, both in terms of interior design and cuisine.
Frequenting this joint are mainly those local to Putney and the surrounding areas but anyone who may have tread from further field should certainly not leave feeling they have made a wasted journey. There isn’t much of an ambiance, but it’s pretty relaxed. Providing a suitable backdrop to the chatter among the diners is the gentle clattering of pans as food is prepared in the open kitchen located at the back of the room. Service is efficient; the waiting staff are reasonably attentive, although a few more smiles from them certainly wouldn’t go amiss.
If you are one who has been lucky enough to venture to the shores of Thailand, the food here will be reminiscent of your tasting experience on your travels. You won’t receive a watered-down version of the real taste of Thai cuisine which is presented to you on a plate as a sickly-sweet mass of gloop - almost traditional in much British-influenced Asian cuisine.
The Pad Thai, at around £8, encompasses crisp bean sprouts and spring onions enmeshed in soft rice noodles, a meat of choice should you wish to add some, and a coating of Tamarind sauce. The Popia Tod, or vegetarian spring rolls, are quite a delicious feature, with crunchy vegetables and vermicelli noodles encased in a rice pancake that has been delicately fried, retaining its crispness without leaving them trailing in oodles of oil. The yellow curry is a mere delight: a mild curry sauce flavoured with coconut milk and chunks of potato and meat or other vegetables, depending on your fancy. It’s all simple and very colourful fair, prepared with efficiency and efficacy; many of the dishes are bursting with a flavour far superior to that you may find in other more top-end Thai establishments, yet here a twenty pound note should cover it all.
You’ve a choice of two types of beer, each sourced from Thailand - Singha and Chang. There is a reasonably-sized selection of wines, both red and white as well as a delectable choice of fruit juices including Guava, Coconut and Pomegranate all priced a little over a £1.
The Last Word
Talad Thai is place to come for genuine, very tasty Thai cuisine at thrifty prices, in a non-fussy setting.