Unless you’re a fan of Alfred Hitchcock or live music there aren’t, to be fair, many reasons to come to Leytonstone. I don’t know what Hitch would make of the site of his dad’s old shop, which is now a completely unlovely petrol station, but he might have liked our favourite restaurant just up the road. Tony and Thelma Kularbwong took over what was then a standard East End chip shop about 11 years ago, serving up Tony’s homemade Thai dishes along with the saveloys and pies. These became so popular that they decided to bin the fryers and open up what is now the Singburi Royal Thai Cafe. Down came the pictures of trawlers and up went photos of the Grand Palace. This little gem now brings in diners from all over London.
Tony, Thelma and their staff have that rare knack of making you feel genuinely welcome. You feel as comfortable as in your own living room. Visiting friends and family invariably ask if we’re going to SIngburi the night they arrive. But what about the food? Oh, the food. It’s glorious – really and truly fresh and flavoursome and authentic. Until the decor was spruced up in january, the old chipshop formica interior was unintentionally authentic too, and very reminiscent of streetside caffs found all over Bangkok. I’m working my way through the entire menu – last night was the turn of Chu Chi Pla, fried fish in a chilli paste. Just stunning – an explosion of aroma and light fire, washed down with cut-price Zywiec from the nearby offy. I’ve never had a dish I haven’t liked. Just thinking about their Massaman curry is making my mouth water.
I was in two minds about writing up the Singburi. It’s such a fantastic place that I want to tell everyone about it. But then, it’s already impossible to get in at the weekend if you don’t book. Mind you – according to Wikio this blog is 11,628th most popular on the intergram, so if it does become overrun it won’t be on my say so.