The Churchill Arms – The Best Thai Food in London.

I am addicted to Thai food and it has recently led me to trying to self teach myself Thai cooking. I’m getting pretty good but unfortunately the benchmark has been set rather high due to my discovery a number of years ago of The Churchill Arms. Located on the corner of Kensington Church Street and Bedford Gardens(nearest tube station Notting Hill) and luckily only 10 minutes away from my new flat (yes this was an essential factor when choosing where to live!) the Churchill is one of the most traditional pubs in London.

Outside (in summer) it is entirely covered by hanging baskets and window boxes (in 1997 it was voted ‘Boozer In Bloom’ at Chelsea Flower Show 2007). Inside British paraphernalia and memorabilia is hanging from every available piece of wall of ceiling. The bar staff, generally Australian are always friendly and welcoming, the beers are top notch and at the back of the restaurant is my favourite bit.

You may well have to fight your way through the bar as when something is this good people know about it, to the little gem of a Thai restaurant tucked away at the back. As you walk in you will feel like you have been transported to Thailand, no easy feat on a wet, rain miserable evening in London. Flowers and foliage fill the little restaurant of only 15 tables. The menu has about 20 dishes to choose from and you have them with either chicken/beef/prawn or vegetables. No starters are shown on the menu but if you ask for a portion of spring rolls they will be more than happy to bring you mini delicious spring rolls with sweet chilli dipping sauce. I’m afraid having been a regular there for years I have only ever had 1 dish – the kaeng penang with chicken (red thai curry with chicken). It is without double the best red curry in London – trust me I have tried it in all the top Thai restaurants and they aren’t a patch on this one. From those who have eaten with me I have been told that the pad thai and pad prik are also among the winning dishes.

There are a couple of deserts, a chocolate fudge cake is always on the menu, however I often don’t get to this part of the meal as the mains are large.

Service and presentation is no nonsence. Charm isn’t lacking but efficiency is paramount. There are always people waiting for a table and a few years ago they had to introduce a 1 hr policy on each table due to popularity. Avid this place on Friday and Saturday night or you will struggle to get served at the bar and get a table in the restaurant. On most nights it is a good idea to book a table to avoid disappointment.

Oh and did I mention that each dish is only £6.50 including rice/noodles. In the heart of Kensington, West London this is most definitely a bargain and a half!