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Review: Thai Square Restaurant (Angel Branch)

Published 3 July 2011

The test of any good meal is simple: did the conversation stop when the food arrived then magically re-start when everyone was finished? Thai Square passed. Just about.

It is a generally accepted fact that Thai food is never bad, and when it’s good, it’s great. Thai Square fall into the former category. The food was fine, the ambience was decent (if a little cramped) but considering the relative price, I was expecting a little more.

The Gold Set Menu at £25 gets you a mixed starter, soup, main with rice and noodles as well as dessert and tea or coffee. Sounds like a bargain right? For it to be worth it though, you have to forget that normally you would only get one starter, noodles or rice and really, who gets dessert in Asian restaurants?

The mixed starter was the usual mix of deep-fried goodness: prawn toast, dumplings, chicken satay etc. You know what you are getting and despite a deficit of sauce it was great. The spicy tom yum soup also hit the spot, the right balance of delicate lemon and sharp spices with some tasty prawns stewing in the broth.

You get rice, noodles and sticky rice with your choice of main, which is either prawn green curry, stir-fried king prawns, roast duck breast, deep fried sea bass or marinated pork. The pad Thai noodles were fantastic. The rice was, well, rice, but the sticky rice had been horribly overcooked and was a stodgy ball that refused to break apart whatever you did to it. I had the stir-fried king prawns (I know, I should have had the green curry), and it was good. Everything was cooked fine, nice balance of spices, but the portions were fairly small (a problem throughout the courses) and the flavour was fairly bland compared to what you’d hope from Thai food.

The only dessert option was lychees in syrup but unless you were getting a menu I don’t see why anyone would opt for them. Fruit is not a dessert, cake is a dessert.

All in all Thai Square is good if you’re in the mood for a quick Thai fix. Prices were a tad high and the food was decent, but service wise it’s an excellent pre-going out place. All the branches are near hot spots of nightlife and you can sure to be in and out in just over an hour.

Thai Square – Islington/Angel branch
Address: 347-349 Upper Street, Islington, London N1 0PD
Booking/Enquiry Tel: 020 7704 2000
Website: www.thaisquare.net