The Thai Terrace
14 Wrights Lane, Kensington, W8 6TF
Open: 12 noon – 12 midnight
High Street Kensington isn’t exactly renowned for intimate, affordable eateries that aren’t just links on a nationwide chain. However the Thai Terrace, tucked away on Wright’s Lane just behind the station like a duck in a pancake, is thankfully an exception to this rule. From the outside it admittedly looks rather characterless, but having been dragged to enough romantic comedies over the years I’m au fait with the fact that true beauty lies within and Thai Terrace’s interior is pleasingly lavish. Floor to ceiling windows presumably lend themselves to light and airy lunches, but by the time we arrived High Street Kensington was already beginning to darken into night. This lends the restaurant, which is equipped with suitably dim lighting and plush dark curtains, a notably intimate atmosphere. Sadly I wasn’t on a date, so can’t testify if said atmosphere would have truly proved irresistible, but as was it left my friend and I feeling happily conspiratorial whilst we gossiped about our respective absent partners.
After a glass of a very reasonably priced Merlot, we settled to our food. For starters we opted to share a signature Terrace Platter for an equally reasonable 17.50. The platter consists of a large swathe of available starters, so recommended if you are one of those diners tormented by the culinary path not travelled. The platter includes satay, fishcakes, the intriguingly named ‘lady in love’ [actually prawns wrapped in pastry with a sweet chilli sauce] spring rolls and charcoal grilled king prawns [sadly no information on their relationship status] alongside chicken wings served with a mixture of dips. You get a Noah’s ark style pair of each item on the list, which helps to avoid arguments, and each item has its own particular twist to add to the meal. Whilst they were each notably savoury the prawns were a particular highlight, tart and tangy, they really came alive with the aid of the intimidating dip selection.
Whilst the Terrace Platter has the potential to finish off the unwary, my friend and I had brought significant appetites so we steamed onto the main course. I sprang for the Nean Sap Pad Prik Kaprao: [whilst admittedly massacring the pronunciation] Minced chicken, pork or beef fried with sliced chillies, onions and fresh mint for 9.55. This isn’t the largest dish in the world, but it’s fiery enough to make up for it. I picked the pork derivation and the chili and mint provided an exotic flare to the tenderness of the meat. However I will add that in the spirit of full disclosure it also occasionally overwhelmed my defences in regards to spices so maybe not a first date meal. My friend took a more familiar path with a Green Curry [also 9.55] which seemed perfectly adequate but didn’t seem to set her world, or her mouth on fire. Both of us also tucked into the obligatory egg fried rice [no complaints] before we finished off with a platter of melon. The Thai Terrace is a decently-priced and deeply comfortable restaurant serving up hearty fare; in High Street Kensington that’s worth it’s weight in gold.