Soho's inconsistently full to the brim of almost anything. It's particularly hard to venture away from the beaten track without being either hugely underwhelmed or massively overcharged. Naturally, everybody has their own safe-haven and thanks to many a business lunch, the Thai Cottage is mine.
Although the "pre show" board stands disheveled on the pavement outside, this little 8 table, family-run restaurant nestles hilariously far from Broadway, up on D'arblay Street. Pretty much the only 'true' Thai restaurant for a country mile; money can't (and blatantly didn't) buy this type of authenticity. Its like a family run greasy spoon, awful place-mats, wonky wall hangings, mother behind the bar, father sat peeling ginger and the kids nipping downstairs to the kitchen.
Food is good and in abundance with loaded dishes of typical cuisine. I've never been here and not had Sea Bream in 3 thai sauce and never will. Satay and Phad Thai are excellent and could rival their counterparts 8,000 miles away. Watch out for the beer, a few harmless little bottles of Phuket and Singha can too easily capsize the wallet.
I've been here when the air conditioning broke, the kitchen set on fire and in darkness when the electricity failed. I've sat in every single chair during the last four years and even stood outside with a plate when they didn't have a free table. It's virtually the only restaurant in town where I'm recognised every time and despite tough competition from the likes of Busaba and Patara, the Thai Cottage is top of my Thai list.
34 D'arblay St,
London, W1F 8EX
Tel: 0871 0757487