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Bedlington Cafe

24 Fauconberg Road, Chiswick, London, England, W4 3JY, United Kingdom

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  • 020 8994 1965
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This café was established in 1985, serving fry ups for breakfast and Thai food in the evenings. At one time there was a spin-off restaurant called Topsy Tasty, but that didn’t last. The original café was a family run affair, serving standard Thai dishes and a few Laotian ones. Prawns crackers with sweet chilli sauce appeared as you read the menu, but the crackers were tasteless; the ones I can buy at a local Thai supermarket in a packet were much better (10/20).

Tom yum goong (£5.25) was disappointing, rather watery and over-sour, though the prawns in it were cooked OK (10/20). Much better was som tam (£4.20), a spicy salad made with green papaya, carrot, tomato, green chilli and a spicy sauce, in this case served on a bed of lettuce; this is an easy enough dish to make at home, but at least the papaya was good and the spicing authentic (12/20).

Less good was chilli fish (£6), deep fried coley, which was cooked through but is an uninteresting fish, cooked for not long enough, or at least at too low a temperature, for the batter to be good (10/20). Pad Thai noodles (£5.95) were not pretty to look at, a grey/brown in colour, and more to the point were entirely bland, which was odd given the robust chilli kick to the som tam (10/20). A red curry with vegetables was harmless enough, but lacked much flavour (10/20). Fried rice with prawns was respectable (11/20).

Beer is Chiang, or you could bring your own wine for nominal £1 corkage. Service was friendly enough. Clearly a restaurant that has lasted over 25 years is doing something right, and there was a steady stream of local customers. Moreover it was not expensive, at £24 per person including a couple of beers each. Nonetheless, the som tam aside, the standard of the food was fairly low. Locally, you can do better at Yupa's Thai Kitchen, which is actually barely more expensive.

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