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Monday, 18 April 2011

The Churchill Arms - Kensington

Churchill Arms on Urbanspoon

Come here if: You are catching up with friends for a drink (the beer is good), and to have quick pub meal.
Would I come again?: Maybe, but it is out of my way
Price of main: £7.50

So I have heard about this place from numerous sources; all praising the food and the quirky decor. Note, that this review is about the food, and not the Pub itself.

I find that London in general does Thai food quite well. And the Churchill Arms, being a pub, is obviously not the first pub to serve Thai food in London. But it's definitely not the best Thai food in a pub.

Saturday afternoon, the place was packed. And I have heard about their table turning approach, but its still never nice to hear a time frame put onto your meal before you even sit down, especially in a Pub: "You have the table for one hour". No one likes the feeling of being rushed, especially when there were empty tables popping up all around us! (We finished within the hour, but had to ask for our bill)

The decor of the little 'Garden Area' towards the back is definitely cosy. Although not actually outside, it still has a somewhat greenhouse feel. This is the view from where we were sitting:

Framed butterflies on the walls, and little pots and lanterns hanging down from skylights. It does set the atmosphere for a tasty, spicy meal.

Some time ago, I took a cooking class in Thailand, and we made Tom Yum soup from scratch i.e. no Tom Yum paste (which makes the soup a red colour), but just simple fresh ingredients (chili, mushrooms, prawns, lemon grass etc). From that day, I tend to form my opinion on how "authentic" a Thai restaurant is based on the Tom Yum soup that they serve.

I could not do this at the Churchill Arms, because the menu didn't offer any sort of appetisers except for prawn crackers and what tasted like shop bought spring rolls.

Spring rolls - one of the only choice for Starters
The mains, which were all priced at a flat £7.50 (with rice) included selections from curry, stir fry and noodle dishes. Most were very similar apart from the finishing sauce (red/greed peppers, ginger, onion, green beans etc). I found the prawns to be overcooked, however the curry sauce in my stir-fry was nicely spiced and well flavoured.

Overall, a cosy warm atmosphere, good drinks, but not earth shattering Thai.

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