In preparation for our upcoming December holiday to Thailand, I’ve been up to my ears in research of places to go, things to see, and most importantly, what to eat. You see, Thailand is known for their street food and they serve up just about anything and everything you could dream of. Fresh chicken and lamb satay barbecuing away on open fire, piping hot pad thai being tossed on a wok, sweet mango and sticky rice pudding, and even crunchy fried insects (yummy!); they have it all. Naturally, all this food gawking got me hungry for some good Asian street food and I soon found Tang.
Tang is a fairly new restaurant based in Tottenham Court Road. It’s a tiny, unassuming place that is easy to miss when walking by, but it’s so welcoming and the staff are really lovely, so you feel right at home. They have an open kitchen where you can watch them work their magic whilst you wait for your food.
Boneless chicken thigh that had been deep-fried, sandwiched in a steamed bun, and topped with spring onion, sesame seeds, and hot sauce. Although the hot sauce reminded me a lot of the Encona chilli sauce Dad thrives on, the chicken was deliciously crispy and had been coated in a well-seasoned batter. The additional condiments helped to excel the chicken bun, and that hot sauce had me reaching for several tissues.
A mouth-melting piece of beef short rib that had been braised with a dark, rich sauce and placed in a steamed bun with a generous helping of fresh coriander. Sadly the bun struggled to hold together, especially with such a big chunk of rib inside, so I ate the beef on its own instead which was really the hero of the dish. The meat had been slow-cooked so it was really soft and tender, with the fat melting away when bitten into, and the aromatic spices used really embedded into the beef.
I could not decide which was better; the soft, melting braised beef, or the crunchy friiied chicken. Both were exceptionally good in terms of flavour, but my only issue was that the bun was not as soft or squidgy as I had imagined it would be. Ah, I guess you’ll just have to get both!
The ultimate cure to ANY illness is a chicken broth soup, the noodles are optional but a must in my eyes. Tang offer a roast chicken broth soup with shredded chicken, noodles (rice, wheat, or glass), and a soft boiled egg half. A big, hearty bowl arrived with all the goodies, and I got stuck right in. The first thing that really stood out to me was the strong ginger that was heavily present in the broth, giving the dish a certain sharpness but could be quite overpowering at times. The egg was cooked to a medium-soft boil, and the yolk mixed in nicely with the broth. The poached chicken shreds, unfortunately, were not enjoyable to eat and was in dire need of some seasoning which would have really enhanced the flavour of the noodle soup. This wasn’t bad, but I feel if I was to return to Tang, I would perhaps opt for their beef dish or even a vegetarian option instead.
The total bill for ONE (ugh) came to £19 including a cup of oolong tea. Of course, this is expensive for lunch and I’m not sure I would eat all of the above either if I’m in a hurry to get back to work. For a dinner date, the above would be ideal, plus another dish, so really, it’s not that bad. If you are heading their way for lunch, an order of two (and third if you’re willing to try tofu!) buns is ideal and at £9 for both, is a good deal.
Do you have any tips for Thailand? Please do share below!