Old Pack Horse

434 Chiswick High Road, London, England, W4 5TF, United Kingdom

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This Thai dining room at the back of a slightly tatty Chiswick pub is under the same ownership as Addies Thai, where I had very good meal recently, so I thought it worth a try. The dining room itself has a skylight bringing in plenty of natural light, quite a lot of greenery in evidence, and attractive tables with inlaid wood carvings covered with glass tops.

There was a two page wine list with a rather odd mix of some wines with vintages listed and others without. Example wines were Curio Bay Sauvignon Blanc 2010 at £14.95 for a wine that retails at £6 and Clos de la Chapelle Fleurie 2009 at £19.95 compared to a shop price of around £10, while Moet and Chandon NV was a quite fair £45 for champagne that you can pick up in the high street for around £31. We drank Singha beer at £3.80 a bottle.

The menu was conventional and lengthy. Scallops with black pepper sauce (£4.95) seemed suspiciously cheap for something involving scallops, and so it proved. There were three tiny scallops resting in a sauce bulked out with chopped vegetables, and apart from not being very good quality scallops they were distinctly overcooked (10/20). A tom yum goong soup (£4.75) was better, as at least its prawns and mushrooms were cooked properly, but the stock itself was a crude approximation of the complex blend of spices that good versions possess (maybe 11/20).

Things perked up somewhat with the main course. Whole steamed sea bass (£14.50) rested in a spicy broth of chilli, garlic and lemongrass. The fish itself was competently cooked, the sauce simple but punchy (comfortably 11/20).   Green curry with prawns was the best dish, the prawns not very good quality but cooked fine, and the curry sauce having a nice blend of spices (12/20). Pad Thai noodles (£7.50) also had pleasant texture (11/20).

Service was a little stretched in the evening of our visit, but was perfectly friendly. The bill came to £33 per person for two courses with a couple of beers each. This is not somewhere to journey to, but if you are in the area and want some decent Thai food you could do worse (as I frequently have done nearby).

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