It’s that time of the year again, where BW and I have left our holiday planning to the last minute. And whilst he frenzies over booking our flights, hotels, and excursions, I’ve been reminiscing about our last trip to Thailand, especially the fantastic and mind-numbingly hot food. I’ve had my fair share of Thais in London; Spicy Basil, Mango Tree, Patara to name a few, but none of them have been even close to the real deal. Until that is, someone told me about Fitous.
Of course, Thai food in London is not on par with what you get out there. First of, the food out there costs a fraction of what you’ll get in London – one whole meal for two out there equates to one dish here. Secondly and most importantly, they don’t joke around with the chillies out there in Thailand. So, with that in mind, I took a trip to Fitous to see what the fuss was about.
The menu was huge, but we stuck with the classics.
Juicy chicken skewers with a thick, flavourful peanut dipping sauce.
Elongated prawns that had been dipped in batter and deep-fried to a lovely golden colour. I would have liked there to be more seasoning in the batter .
Hot and sour soup with button mushrooms, prawns, and kaffir lime leaf. Nothing out of the ordinary but a nice, warming soup.
Although these were double-jointed (ugh), the wings were deep-fried to a crisp and coated in a yummy thick black pepper and garlic sauce. These were great: sticky, sweet, and all sorts of deliciousness.
Sweetcorn fritters (bhajis according to MIL!) arrived deep-fried and filled with coriander filled with Thai basil. Each mouthful was a burst of flavour and this was perhaps the mildest dish of the evening!
A popular Thai staple, Fitou’s larb gai was made with chicken mince, coriander, shallots, and chillies. Albeit the chicken mince being a little dry, the flavours in this salad were spot on with the coriander and mint helping to balance out the spiciness of the chicken. Mind you, the chillies were absolutely deadly.
Long shreds of papaya that had been dressed in a lemon juice, palm sugar, and fish sauce, and laced with chillies (of course) and peanuts. A sweet and refreshing element to the entire meal, and I loved the textural contrast between the crunchy peanuts and the slippery papaya.
A decent size seabass topped with chopped green and red chillis (yup, they are in EVERY dish), garlic, and lemon juice. The seabass was cooked superbly and although it was incredibly hot (FIL was sweating at this point), the tartness of the lemon juice and tanginess of the garlic really added a good flavour to the fish.
I opted for the beef version of this Thai classic, and sadly, it paled in comparison to the ones out there in Thailand. The combination of the Thai basil and fiery chillies were good and not too overpowering, but the beef itself wasn’t of great quality.
To know how good a Thai restaurant really is, you have to look at their green curry. Fitou’s had a great coconut creamy flavour with the zing of the lemongrass coming in, but I would have liked it to be smoother.
The total bill amounted to approximately £80, including drinks and service, for 4 people, which works out to £20 each. For the amount of food we ordered and portion size, I would say Fitous was great value for money. Most of the dishes were really, really great and although the food was not as good as what you get in Thailand, Fitous is miles better than the more expensive halal Thai options in London.
Yes, the food was ridiculously spicy. Not slightly, or even moderately spicy, but a full blown oh my goodness, this hurts. BUT we were warned by the staff when ordering, and being proud desis, we thought we could handle it. Obviously not. If you are planning on visiting, do be sure to tell them you want it mild, or be prepared for a delightful surprise the next morning.
Fitou’s Menu: Click here
|Address||1-3 Dalgarno Gardens, North Kensington, London, W10 5LL|
|Parking||Available outside the restaurant|
|Nearest Station||Ladbroke Grove|