Editor's note: in February 2019 Janetira was refurbished and rebranded as "Wild Rice".
Janetira is an unassuming Thai restaurant in Soho that opened in 2012, but became more interesting in July 2013 when it switched menus. Previously serving familiar dishes like som tam and tom yum goong, the kitchen started to offer more dishes local to the Bangkok area that are rarely served in London. The dining room is simple and quite brightly lit, with bare wood tables and somewhat uncomfortable stools that are not designed for lingering.
Pork and offal noodle in five-spice soup is the kind of dish that is unlikely to appear at your local Thai restaurant any time soon. However it worked well, the rich and pungent, slightly sweet, broth having assorted pieces of pork including the liver, which had plenty of flavour (12/20).
Mackerel curry with pickled bamboo shoots was a dish that even my Thai companion reckoned was spicy. It is the kind of dish that I can recall from Thailand, mind-blowingly spicy, and the extreme chilli heat dominates any other flavour. I would say that this dish left me cold, but it was more a feeling of being slightly singed (11/20).
Fried chicken was served on the bone cooked with chilli oil, the spicing quite lively but balancing out the sweetness of its sauce, the chicken itself not of any great quality though (12/20). Pad Thai was a more familiar dish, and was executed well, the noodles having good texture, and a useful foil to the spiciness of some of the other dishes (12/20).
Fermented beans, garlic and chill stir fry was something of an acquired taste, as the overall texture was a little slimy, the fermented beans adding a quite distinct flavour that I suspect is more welcoming to a Thai palate than a western one (11/20).
Service was friendly, the bill coming to £25 a head with just water to drink, though this was for more food than we could actually get through. If you are looking for an authentic Thai meal then this certainly offers it, though I rather preferred The Heron in such a category.