A veteran Thai café in Leytonstone.
We all love being in on a secret, like those neighbourhood restaurants that look unassuming from the outside, but inside dish up city-class food. The thing is, secrets can be hard to keep – especially those that have had a couple of decades to spread. That’s why Singburi, a tiny family-run Thai café on a nondescript stretch of Leytonstone High Road, is constantly packed to the rafters with a discipleship of canny locals.
The BYO policy is definitely central to its appeal. The shop-bought wine and beer that litters Singburi’s tabletops give the place a boozy buzz. Dishes are staunchly trad and served with little ceremony from the tiny kitchen. You’ll find many gems among its starters: fish cakes lifted by the clean taste of holy basil; fiery grilled pork ‘sai ua’ sausage that comes with a hideous-looking (but actually delicious) chunky sauce.
Staples like pad thai and massaman are fantastic, but I suggest taking a look at the chalked-up specials board. A dish of squid practically melted into its tangy dressing; the sauce of a soft-shell crab curry, rich and silky like a South East Asian lobster bisque, had us lapping gracelessly from the bowl once we’d finished cracking and prising.
But Singburi’s charm isn’t so much the food as its refusal to acknowledge its own excellence. Prices are fair; service matter-of-fact. The only problems, really, are its rampant popularity and what you might politely call the management’s laidback attitude to opening times. (It took three phone calls to book a table; when I did, it was followed by a terse ‘Don’t forget, yeah?’) Believe me when I say it’s worth the hassle. Just as we paid the bill, a man – clearly a regular – got up, put his arm around co-owner Thelma, and instructed us all to sing ‘Happy Birthday’ to her. An entire restaurant of half-cut, fanatical patrons obliged.
593 Leytonstone High Road
|Transport:||Leytonstone High Rd Overground|
|Price:||Dinner for two with service (no drinks): £40.|
|Do you own this business?|
Average User Rating
4.8 / 5
- 5 star:33
- 4 star:3
- 3 star:0
- 2 star:0
- 1 star:1
My husband and I have been going to this great Thai Cafe since we were in our early 20s. We love the food and Thelma is a star. We have never had any problems with her and have always had a feeling of visiting an aunt's house when we eat there. I have introduced many friends who didn't even know the Cafe existed and who now love it as much as we do! Well worth a visit.
My wife and I are regulars at the Singburi, the food is fab and you can bring your own booze. What more can you ask for? Regarding Thelma being a bit moody....well we all have off days.
long standing family run Thai establishment serving quality authentic food - Moo Krab is the best, All great value and its BYO - Phone to book a table on a Friday and Saturday to avoid being turned away
This is such a hidden gem and almost too good to share as it can be a struggle to get a table. The food is excellent, with a changing seasonal menu and such delicious flavour sensations. I think one of the best Thai restaurants in the capital! and its BYO which means you can afford to sample even more dishes! Monette and Thelma always look after us...
Great local restaurant run by genuinely lovely people. The food is as authentic as you will taste outside of Thailand. Don't be put off by the basic interior...just turn up with your own booze and an empty stomach.
It's not just the food that's delicious, it's the amazing family who are dedicated to this place. They have been doing it for years and we can't stop visiting them. When I can't go to mums for the weekend, I'm here.
Toiling away on Leytonstone High Road for at least the 10 years I've lived in the area. Here long before most of the others on the list. Most importantly, the best Thai food I've even had outside Thailand. Bargain prices and friendly service.
Excellent Thai food in this family-run cafe. Tony and Richard cook and Thelma runs front of house. Totally unpretentious and friendly. Take your own wine. Great food, great value, great atmosphere.
Family-run Thai restaurant, no frills but loads of character - and their delicious robustly-flavoured food keeps the locals coming back for more. Be sure to book ahead at weekends!
You really can't fault this place. As soon as you step inside, there's a feeling of homeliness, reflected in a satisfyingly small menu of astonishingly taste food. (The fish dishes that appear on the specials menu should not be passed over; the tilapia I had was phenomenal.) The staff are cheeky and good-humoured; and in a quirky touch, you have to go through the kitchen to get to the toilets. Which is incentive for them to keep it clean and hygienic, I guess. The crowd in there are loyal regulars; whilst there are no other Thai places in the area, I don't think it's this but the quality of the food that brings them back.
Just remember, never judge a bood by its cover. Singburi offers the best Thai food for miles around!
The best Thai I've ever had, best in Leytonstone, best in London & UK!! Amazing food from family-run business.
Been going here for 12 year now. Thelma and gang always serve top quality tasty Thai food....best food in Leytonstone!
Took my dad, he was sceptical to say the least, and now can't stop raving about it, and it's easy to understand why.
We love Singburi! Thelma, Tony and Richie are fabulous hosts and have always made my family feel welcome. The food is amazing and it's close to home. Brilliant!
Best Thai in London. BYOB and as welcoming as being in your own front room. The food is incredibly fresh and delicious and the service impeccable.
Love this place, read my blogpost on it here: http://www.memyselfand-pie.blogspot.co.uk/2014/07/the-leytonstone-singburi-experience.html
This place is my favourite Thai in East London (and I've lived all over). Every time me and my friends decide to meet up Singburi is the first place suggested. The food is absolutely delicious and the staff very accommodating (not sure what the Safia woman is moaning about as we've never had anything but a lovely time). Can't recommend enough.
We were regulars at this lovely little family run BYO Thai. I've been going here for years and have introduced so many people to this place. The only issue I have is Thelma (the mother) and her mood swings. We mostly laugh it off but this time she was out of order. We simply asked for vegetables to be put in the veg pad Thai (there were none) - talk about the end of the world. Instead of 'is everything OK?', 'did we get it wrong' just anything in a polite and smiley manner - she came charging out of the kitchen, visibly angry and started questioning us. I ended up explaining 3 times 'just vegetables please' because she was so busy being angry and telling us off like we are little children. It just didn't occur to her that the waiter may have made a mistake by excluding the veg. He also got one of the main dishes wrong - we ordered green chicken curry but we got some kind of beef stir fry instead - we were too scared to say something by then. We remained polite until the end of our meal, she stayed annoyed with us, ignored us the rest of the night and didn't look in our direction or thank us for our payment. For the first time we didn't leave any tip and will probably never return - not that she cares because she is just so hard-faced. What a real shame she is the way she is. A truly unhappy experience from the most unhappiest woman I've ever come across.
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