You can almost eat your way around the world in Eltham these days, such is the renewed vibrancy of its foodie scene. And another addition to the culinary landscape has recently opened and has already become a popular destination for those seeking a dining experience with a difference, writes Nicky Sweetland…
Chang Thai opened late last year and has brought a bit of class to the culinary scene on Well Hall Road. The proprietors already run a hugely successful Thai restaurant in Shoreditch, but saw a gap in the market in Eltham and are delighted with the response they have received from both locals and fans of their acclaimed cuisine, who are willing to travel to the town to satisfy their need for excellent Thai gastronomy.
I chose a Sunday night to sample what the restaurant had to offer for the first time, for two reasons. The first is that on a Sunday, the hugely popular restaurant is a little quieter and secondly because it was my birthday.
And I couldn’t have received a warmer welcome. The interior is plush, yet not intimidatingly posh and the ambience created by the staff is extremely friendly. There even have sounds of the seaside playing as a relaxing background theme, which gave us a further chilled Sunday night vibe.
Food wise, our experience couldn’t have been better too. After a sprinkling of prawn crackers, I chose to sample Ped Aromatic to start – a quarter shredded crispy duck (beautifully succulent), served with pancakes, cucumber strips, spring onion and hoi sin sauce, which was sticky and wonderfully satisfying.
My companions had vegetable tempura – a selection of mixed vegetables deep fried in light batter served with sweet chilli sauce – which was an extremely generous serving; and Pu Nim – soft shell crabs, topped with garlic, spring onions, garlic, salted chillies, which was beautifully prepared and elegantly married the mixture of tastes.
For our mains we chose to share Pla Pow Bai Tong (deep fried sea bass fillet wrapped in Banana Leaf and served with sour and spicy chilli dip), Beef Kang Kiew Wan (green curry with fresh chilli, coconut milk and sweet basil) and Chicken Kang Phed (red curry with coconut milk infused with red chilli) served with an assortment of different rices. The wide variety of dishes on offer is what the restaurant pride themselves on and I can honestly say, all of the examples we tried were well prepared and extremely tasty.
We washed it all down with a bottle of wine and after a lovely chat with the owner – who told us that he is ecstatic about the reception he has received in Eltham – we sauntered on our way, vowing to return soon.
12 Well Hall Road
Phone: 020 8850 2270