Saturday, 25 February 2012

The Heron Pub: A Thai Gem

Last night I had the best Thai food I have had outside Thailand.  That is a big statement I know, but it's true. Tucked underneath a rather shabby looking pub near Edgware Road called the Heron, is a haven of Thai cooking and karaoke! 

You walk in and the smell of Thai food physically hits you, this place is packed to the rafters with Thai's singing along to their favourite Thai hits.  There was about eight of us so we had the opportunity to order a raft of food.  Unfortunately I got so caught up with the number of dishes arriving that I forgot to take a note of what we ate and photos of all the dishes so I may have missed some things out.

The menu comprises around 100 dishes with a whole page dedicated to som tam - sometimes this can be a bad sign, leading to old ingredients cobbled together by a chef trying too much.  Not so here, everything is fresh, full of flavour and expertly created.  The drinks list is dominated by bottles of spirit in the true Thai way (a friend of mine used to live in Bangkok and kept his own bottle behind the bar and only bought soda all night to top up his 100 Pipers whisky, standard practice apparently) along with a few cocktails and the ever present Singha.

Back to the food, from what I recall we had ground pork and vermicelli salad, (spicy, sweet and salty, delicious) som tam (unripened papaya salad) with prawns, the best I have had for a very long time, catfish and mango salad (full of lemongrass and galangal, this was intense), a couple of fried rice dishes, one with pork one with crab, ho fun with beef and with seafood (Chinese, but delicious nonetheless), crispy pork salad.  Everything was incredible.

After wolfing down everything that came our way we sat back satisfied, beer in hand.  And then then singing started - on the table next to us was a group of four Thai twenty somethings.  One of them requested the microphone and began singing along with the cheesy Thai music videos being shown on the screens (there are subtitles to sing along to if your Thai is up to scratch) - her friends rolled around laughing at her attempts and so did we - great fun!

If you are looking for toned-down Western-style Thai this is not the place for you! The food at this place is a spicy, packed-full of flavour, assault on the senses! I love it!  The only disappointment is leaving to find out that you are not in fact in a basement in Bangkok but are still in London!  Still, you can't have everything...

Heron on Urbanspoon


  1. Great post. Must get to Heron Pub in a hurry.

    How would you rate the crooning here as to what you've heard in Thailand? Was it toned-down Western style or a flavour-packed assault on the senses?

  2. Thanks, you have to get there before the queues start - was reviewed on Time Out last week so only a matter of time!

    The crooning was right up there with Bangkok's finest!


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