An eye-catching summer street-food cart fronts the tall, sleek glass exterior of Suda, creating some character in what is an otherwise generic shopping-centre/café space. There’s also a pretty display of victoria sponge cakes and British tea-time classics, helping to lure in footsore Covent Garden shoppers and sightseers.
Navigate carefully through the menu (dried shrimps and oyster sauce are both found in the ‘vegetarian’ section) and you’ll discover some interesting Thai dishes. To start, braised duck wrapped in steamed rice sheets arrived as bite-sized portions sitting in a sweet chilli dip. Mains include various types of som tam (green papaya salad) with a choice of grilled meat.
The classic street-food dish gai yang (barbecued chicken) worked well with the shreds of well-pounded green papaya soaking up the tangy lime and chilli dressing. But other dishes were as westernised and contemporary as the venue itself. Beef penang, for instance, turned out to be a slab of overcooked beef fillet in a shallow dish of albeit rich and fragrant curry drizzled with coconut milk. Service was kindly yet not the most attentive.