Absence makes the heart grow fonder, but, as I found out last night, not fond enough to warrant a goosing. Well, an attempted goosing. (Don’t even go there.)
My friend Jamie (see Erotic Book Club) has returned for a week from his energy plant in France. To celebrate the homecoming of this most missed ami, we (myself and two friends Ben and Robert) treated ourselves to a supper out on the town – at Siam Central.
A small Thai restaurant hugging the corner of Windmill and Charlotte St, Siam Central is certainly popular with Goodge St workers. Even with a reservation, we had to wait 15 minutes before being led to our table. Set over two floors, for square metre space they’ve managed to squeeze in a hell of an amount of tables. But though crowded, as we followed the waiter downstairs and to our little spot, I decided that it wasn’t claustrophobic.
Two laminated menus were handed to each of us, one listing an array of starters and sharing combos, the other the mains and the wine. Ravenous from a hard day’s proofing travel articles, I ordered some prawn crackers, and then we also decided to share vegetable spring rolls, chicken satay and prawn toast. The boys had beers and I had a glass of white wine.
Despite two reminders, the prawn crackers never arrived (and were put on the bill), but fortunately the starters, and a sensational peanut butter sauce, forgave this blip. Piping hot but not dry, the chicken satay was wonderfully tender and the cocktail sticks on which it was served were gnawed at like bbq ribs – any remnants of meat were ripped off carnivorously.
Stomachs appeased but not content, we moved onto mains. I chose the chicken drunken noodles, Jamie its beef sibling, Ben – chicken drunken rice, and Robert – Thai red chicken curry.
Glutenous, thick and heart-cloggingly delicious with a chilli kick to boot, there was no chance of me getting drunk after a plateful of drunken noodles. Oh the carbs, the wonderful, wonderful carbs. Jamie too, seemed to be a fan and polished off his mountain rapidly – after which – so enthused was he – he debated on ordering the dish again!
Ben and Robert were equally pleased with their orders which, though I didn’t try, looked stomach-grumbling good. More beers and another glass of wine, tales of the continent, tales of our lost friend Flash (the one that left for Singapore, see Almond Croissants) and a lot of laughter ensued.
All was going smoothly; we’d had a great evening and when the bill arrived we were delighted to see it was a modest £70. Very smooth indeed. But then, I tried to pay. I suppose being sent to review restaurants all the time, I’d forgotten that normally this is the form, and that to pay requires money. Money which (see below) apparently I didn’t have.
It was embarrassing yes, but luckily I found a £20 at the bottom of my bag and all was well again. Except that I now have just £4.29 to get home with…
But I’d had a great meal, was drunk on carbs and laughter, and as they say- memories are priceless.
Alice and Ben
Jamie and Robert
Food: *** Drink: ** Service: *** Price: ££
14 Charlotte St London, Greater London W1T 2LX
020 7436 7460