After being delighted to have ended up at Honest Burger the other night (see previous post) I still had an itch to return to Kao Sarn, the minuscule Thai restaurant we had tried in vain to get into that night. The reviews from both bloggers and critics have been fantastic and, given how hard it is to get good quality Thai food in London (there may be a lot of Thai restaurants but in my experience most of them seem to serve bland, pan Asian MSG-ified food), I just had to try this place out.
Kao Sarn is at the end of one of the rows in Brixton Village and therefore is able to open on those nights when the other restaurants in the arcade are shut. It really is tiny- inside there is an open kitchen and seating for no more than 16 with seating for a further 20 or so in the yard outside. Given how hard it is to get a table at the moment, even with all the tables outside, it is going to be nigh on impossible to get one come winter.
The Fashionista's smooth talking had managed to secure us a reservation for eight o'clock (no mean feat given that they are fully booked for the remainder of the week), but when we arrived all the tables were full and there was a quite a queue. Somehow the Fashionista's charm worked again, however, and within five minutes we were sitting down, our bellies rumbling at the smells emanating from the kitchen.
We decided to get one of the salads and two mains to share- all at the same time of course as is customary in Thailand.
|Gai yang, kow neaw|
The other dish which we ordered (the Thai name escapes me) was essentially beef fried with chillies and holy basil served on rice with a fried egg on top. I was unsure of this dish when it arrived but bite after bite I grew to appreciate the fresh Thai flavours lurking within- a mouthful of chili, holy basil, beef and a piece of the egg yolk was truly delicious.
Making Thai food outside Thailand is always going to be so hard as so much of what Thai food is about comes from the freshness of the ingredients and flavours. Kao Sarn does, however, give it a really good shot and all things considered comes up trumps (even if they could do with ramping up the flavours in their Som Tum!).