119 Kensington Church Street, Nottinghill, London, is the address of an old public house, The Churchill Arms, famed to be often frequented by Mr. Winston Churchill and now stocked with other well knowns. Dressed with overflowing baskets of blooming flowers, inside and out, this quaint little corner serves ‘Thai Pub Food.’ Difficult to find parking outside and reservation inside this popular joint boasts of no-nonsense food and service.
The days that Mr. A would free himself from number crunching we would often head out to this place, deftly reverse park the car, jacket up and head off to a hot, (in all senses) fulfilling, tongue numbing Thai meal. Famished and impatient we would arrive at the entrance only to be met by even more hollow, agitated and unceremonious staff.
It is without exaggeration that I confess that one fair, stout, scruffy looking Thai attendant was more than unceremonious the moment he would lay his eyes on Mr. A. Scrupulous and a complete gastronome, Mr. A tends not to spare anyone who has come between him and his food; hence often enough, this particular attendant was often under the guillotine.
Battle woes aside, the pub offered neatly served basic Thai food items like fried rice, curries, and stir fries all with an option of pork, chicken, veg, prawns or beef. Of the twenty racy and piquant dishes it served, Pad Thai, somehow never made to the card. Not that I missed it much, because Number 16 (Pad Kee Mao) became my all time favorite. Which I plan to recreate at some stage and share with you all.
In the mean time I give you the recipe of Pad Thai, a highly requested dish, that combines zest, spice, sparkle and bite all in one. Piqued by tamarind paste, gently sweetened by brown sugar and salted by fish sauce this noodle dish can be made with seafood or chicken. I used some fresh pale pink prawns; firm lightly fried tofu and yellow scrambled egg – all willingly entangled with soft, slippery, transluscent rice noodles.