Thai Corner Café is a low-key, relaxed Thai restaurant in the Highbury/Islington area. A pregnant friend and I went for an early dinner on a Friday night and arrived without a reservation. Fortunately, there was a table free. Being named a café, the venue is quite small and intimate as you would expect with around seven or eight tables so wouldn’t be suitable for large groups. We ended up with a table by the glass doors opening out to the garden – which is open for alfresco dining during the warmer months. Being a cold November night, we were quite happily staying inside! Unfortunately, the toilets for the café were located downstairs – meaning you had to go via the garden so it was quite chilly sitting by the door whenever anyone was en route to the WC.
The menu is extensive and it took my friend and I a long time to choose what we wanted. As we were a bit chilly, we ordered pots of Jasmine Tea to warm us up, which had a lovely subtle flavour so as not to overpower our food. To start we ordered Vegetable Tempura and Fish Cakes, which we shared. The vegetables were a bit too crunchy for my liking, I would have preferred them cooked a bit more. However, the fish cakes were delicious – not too spicy and the cod was a perfect texture.
For once, I didn’t order my usual Pad Thai (my favourite Thai dish) – although my friend did and I ended up eating some of hers anyway! I decided on the Pad Gratiam Prig Thai (stir-fried garlic, pepper and coriander with prawn). Although I was unsure after ordering it, once it arrived it was more than I hoped for. I’m not a huge fan of spicy food, but this dish was full of flavour, the three spices complimenting each other perfectly and the prawn was cooked just right. My friend ordered the Prawn Pad Thai, which was a good size. Lashings of noodles, dried shrimps, egg, turnips in tamarind sauce, bean sprouts, spring onion and crushed peanut.
While the food was tasty and authentic, the service wasn’t up to expectation. It took us ages to get the waitress’ attention when we wanted some water or the bill. The café could have been a bit warmer – but I would expect in the spring or summer, or perhaps in a different seat (not by the door), this wouldn’t be an issue. However, I enjoyed the food enough to return should I be in the area.
- Thai Corner Café, 236 St Paul’s Road, Islington, N1 2LJ. Tel: 0207 7048227. Nearest tube: Highbury & Islington. For more information, visit the Thai Corner Café website.
For a list of all Metro Girl’s bar and restaurant reviews, click here.