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Fitou

1 Dalgamo Gardens, London, England, W10 6AB, United Kingdom

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The restaurant formerly known as Number One Café (a rebranding was done when they switched in 2009 to being a limited company, and could not register as Number One Cafe) is optimistically noted as being in "north Kensington" on the menu.  It is at the end of a parade of shops in a street off Scrubs Lane, just by the entrance to a park where the locals walk their rottweilers (no, not some gratuitous comment - the first dog I saw, just by the entrance, was the largest rottweiler I have ever seen). The café itself is quite large and has been running for fifteen years, so must be doing something right.  It was busy and turning tables on the night of my visit. There was no alcohol license, but you could bring your own booze with no corkage charge.

On my second visit here I had some dishes that overlapped the previous meal, and some different ones. Prawns fried in a rice pancake were pleasant, served with a sweet chilli dipping sauce (12/20). The sea bass with chillies was better tonight for some reason, the fish cooked carefully, the dressing having plenty of citrus to give a pleasing refreshing acidity (14/20). Similarly red curry with prawns here was vastly better than the one I tried last time, with a rich red curry sauce that had a good blend of spices and no problems with sweetness this time (13/20). Mee goreng was also enjoyable, even if the noodles were a littel clumpy in texture (still 12/20). The bill for a large meal came to just £18 a head, which is almost absurdly cheap for what we ate.  A hidden gem. 

The notes below are from a visit in May 2011.

The menu has all the usual Thai favourites, plus a few Malaysian dishes. Tom yum goong soup looked watery, but the broth itself had a good blend of Thai spices, and its prawns were not overcooked (12/20).   Som tam had its papaya strands cut a little clumsily thick, but the dressing had plenty of chilli kick (11/20). The best dish was a whole sea bass, served with a light chilli sauce and fresh coriander; the fish was carefully cooked and there was enough lime in the dressing to provide freshness (13/20). Nasi goreng was quite good, with nicely cooked rice (12/20), though pad Thai noodles had rather hard texture (11/20). Red curry with prawns again had decent prawns, though the sauce was a little too sweet (11/20). Service was pleasant, and the bill (no booze, remember) came to a very fair £20 a head before optional service. Overall I found this a very pleasant experience, the spicing authentic and the food excellent value.

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    Glad to hear you liked it, it's really very good. Their tom yum is the best I've had outside Thailand and I agree re. the sea bass being excellent. Other dishes particulalry worth trying are the panang curry, the grilled giant king prawns, the scallops and the pad see yew (simple noodles but always done well).

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