True story: I moved to Leytonstone just to be nearer to Singburi, my favourite restaurant in London. During the pandemic, this tiny family-run Thai restaurant closed its dine-in area and focused on doing takeaways instead. Like so many others, it had to change the way it operated. But chef-patron Sirichai Kularbwong never stopped cooking – and his mum Thelma never stopped picking up the phone to take orders.
What I love about this place is that it has no PR and no website. Its only online presence is an Instagram account to showcase a blackboard menu of daily specials, which keeps things fresh and interesting. Whether I’m trying new dishes or returning to old favourites such as the moo krob (crispy fried pork belly), eating here always feels like an education.
This year, I hit the ripe old age of 30 and was lucky enough to be able to celebrate with 15 of my nearest and dearest. We sat in my narrow garden on a picnic bench, moved the dining table outside and we were still short of chairs. We ordered more than £300 worth of food and ate it off mismatched crockery on one of the hottest days of the year. It was hectic, glorious, sweaty and the best low-key birthday I could have wished for. I’m counting down the days until I can eat in at the restaurant again.
Singburi, 593 High Rd Leytonstone, E11 4PA
Singburi won Best Restaurant in our Best of the City Awards. Read about the other winners here.