Around two years ago, BW and I had the pleasure of visiting Thailand. We hopped around Bangkok, Phuket, and Chiang Mai, and whilst I could go on about how beautiful it was, I’m here to tell you about the food!
From eating deep-fried fish on the roadside to incredibly hot pad ga prow at Nahm and even finding halal hotpots in a small Muslim market in Chiang Mai, we really maxed out on the good stuff.
Unfortunately, finding something similar in London has been difficult, especially a hotpot. So when I was invited down to Chalida Thai in Chinatown to check out their new halal hotpot menu, I was a little reserved.
Let’s get straight to the food today.
Food at Chalida ThaiHaving come across a fantastic and HALAL hotpot in Chiang Mai, Thailand, three years ago, I have been pining to find one since. Thankfully, Chalida Thai made a smart move and introduced halal options for all of us out there wanting to try a hotpot.
We opted for the quadruple hotpot just so we could try most of the flavours: Tom Yum, Vietnamese Pho, Vitamin C Tomato, and the Hainanese Black Pepper Chicken, plus the beef plate [£26.95], tofu [£3.95], fish balls [£4.50], shrimp wontons [£4.95], and a few vegetables [£3.50] too.
The Tom Yum was our favourite broth; warming, tangy, spicy, and filled with mushroom, coriander, and chillies. Unfortunately, the Vietnamese Pho was extremely minty and overpowered anything we dipped into it. The tomato and black pepper chicken broth were okay, and perhaps could have done with some more oomph. I am waiting for the spicy numbing broth to be halal – come on, Chalida Thai!!
The ribeye was fantastic; it was extremely tender due to the ribboned fat melting instantly when placed in the hot and bubbling broth. The marinated beef, on the other hand, was quite tough when cooked, as was the sliced beef. I suggest ordering a plate of the rib-eye and trying out the seafood or vegetable options alongside it.Tiny little fellas that had been fried and dipped in a tamarind, chilli, garlic, and lime marinade. These were decent but perhaps could have done with more heat from the chillies. A take on the famous and spicy Thai staple, made using holy basil, chillies, coriander and garlic, Chalida Thai’s was not as spicy as expected. The minced chicken packed some flavour, especially from the coriander and garlic, but missed that classic Thai heat which really makes this dish. Two fillets of seabass that had been steamed and topped with a tangy lime and green chilli sauce. Unfortunately, by the time we got over the novelty of the hotpot, the seabass had gotten cold. However, the marinade was vibrant and punchy, and was still enjoyable even when cold.
A popular Thai dessert made of sweet coconut sticky rice, mango pieces, and coconut milk to pour on top. Whilst the mango was deliciously sweet and ripe, the rice was too sweet and quite overpowering.
The total bill amounted to approximately £94, without drinks and service, so £47 each. Of course, this looks pricey just for two people BUT we really over ordered. We could have either done just the hotpot with all the trimmings or the Thai dishes, but definitely not both. Do keep this in mind when you’re visiting – it may be best to go with a bunch of people!
Whilst the food did not quite match what we had in Thailand (I mean will it ever?), I did enjoy the novelty factor of the hotpot! It would be great when out with a group of friends and I cannot wait to revisit once winter hits. Well, depending on London weather, that will probably be next week!
For Chalida Thai’s website, click here.
For other Thai restaurants in London, see below:
Disclaimer: I was invited to dine here.