‘What time are you leaving?’ was the greeting on arrival at Addie’s. This Earl’s Court institution, highly popular with the youth of Thailand’s high society in London, has become so busy that table-turning is commonplace. The ground-floor booth seating is packed most evenings, though on our visit the basement room – sometimes used as a karaoke bar – was empty.
It’s the food, not the service or slightly gloomy decor, that’s the draw. The dishes are good versions of what you find in Bangkok: spicy noodle soups, stir-fries, noodle dishes, street food from the north-east. We were delighted to find unusual crab dishes on the menu; the long arms of raw blue swimming crab marinated in lemon juice and fish sauce was a highlight (fingers and napkins required). Surprises litter the menu, such as Shanghai noodles, which turned out to be a salad of translucent sheets of mung bean mixed with vegetables from the East (cloud-ear mushroom) and West (lettuce). There was delicacy in some details, such as the egg lace enveloping the pad thai.
No such delicacy with the service, though: with five minutes of our 90 still to go, we were told to leave the table.