Talay Thai is a beautifully presented Streatham restaurant with an Oriental theme that avoids being tacky.
Although from the outside Talay Thai doesn’t look like much to shout about, inside it’s a beautiful Pan Asian setting that really stands out for Streatham. Beautiful Oriental parasols in vibrant reds, blues and greens cover the ceiling, creating a cosy, themed space that veers away from being cheesy. Large Buddha statues cover the space in dazzling golds and dark greens, and fairy lights and foliage fill the windows at the front, adding to the feeling of escapism you get dining here. It’s the kind of place you have to visit several times just to notice all the decorative embellishments that cover the space. Mirrors and artwork on the walls finish off the look well and contrast with the simple wooden tables and chairs, decorated with candles, pretty flowers and place mats.
Talay Thai makes for a nice spot for a romantic meal and seeing as it’s based in Streatham it won’t be full-to-bursting with tourists or partygoers every Saturday night. Instead, as an in-the-know spot, this is a restaurant more popular with locals, and as such the staff care about nurturing repeat business and the service is genuinely friendly. It's the kind of restaurant that, having eaten here once, will definitely go down as one for a repeat visit.
The food at Talay Thai is good value for money with most main meals priced at under £7. The red curry with chicken is nicely spiced with a pleasant heat from shredded red chilli. Strong flavours come through from peppery basil leaves and a tang of citrus from the lime leaves. It’s just a shame that there’s not more chicken, with a few tender pieces seeming just a little bit measly. Still, with fluffy rice, it’s a filling enough dish. Even better, though, is the pad Thai. A generous helping of noodles with chicken and plump, well cooked prawns is bulked out by plenty of vegetables, egg and crunchy ground peanut. Both dishes are fine examples of the perennial favourites, but adventurous diners can also explore plenty of more exotic options too.
There’s a decent selection of old and new world wines, covering bottles of red, white and rosé. And the prices are very good, with most bottles priced at less than £15. Surprisingly, they also do a couple of cocktails, which are incredibly cheap at £3.50 and packed with enough alcohol they sound like they’d set your stomach alight. The fruit punch is a sweet mix of orange, pineapple and lemon juice with a strong hit of Grenadine for just £3 a glass. Given that’s the price of a soft drink at many restaurants, it’s incredible value for money. Otherwise, Becks and Singha represent the beers and there’s a selection of teas for after your meal.
The Last Word
Talay Thai is an above average neighbourhood restaurant that goes to show what you can do with a bit of attention to detail. Worth seeking out for people living in and around South London.