Tag Archives: thai

Lennies Snack Bar – A very special place

My most memorable dining experience in London has nothing to do with Michelin stars, fancy wines & waiters…

Lennies Snack Bar in East London (just next to Shoreditch Church)  is like no other Thai restaurant I’ve ever been too. Its life and soul is owner Irene who is the most welcoming host anyone can imagine. Eating at her restaurant is like coming home or visiting your favourite eccentric aunt.

Irene does all the cooking herself and will often sit at her customer’s tables and chat for a while, ask you how you’ve been or tell about her jet lag, her long life in London or the next party she’s planning to attend, dressed like Dolly Parton.

There is a varied menu to choose from, but we normally let Irene decide for us. We just tell her what kind of food we’re interested in and she’ll conjure up a wonderful mix of Thai curries, noodle dishes, fish etc. A lot of the vegetables come from her own allotment.

This is a BYO place, meaning you have to bring your own drinks. You don’t even pay extra for that and you rarely end up paying more than £ 10 per person for the food.

I really can’t recommend this place enough, I just love everything about it: from the kitschy cosy interior with red checkered table cloths, string lights and paintings of naked women to the fresh and well-prepared food. Hell, I even love the dodgy toilets.

But mainly I love this place because of Irene and her knack for creating the warmest and most welcoming atmosphere in East London.

Lennies Snack Bar, 6 Calvert Avenue,  London E2 7JP.
Tel: 020 7739 3628 ‎ (it’s a good idea to book ahead)


Hot as hell – Thai Cottage in D’Arblay Street

Photo: Mette Bassett

Jeg elsker stærk mad. Den nærmest masochistisk behagelige brændende fornemmelse af chili, der langsomt bygges op i indiske retter og får sveden til at pible frem i hovedbunden. Eller endnu bedre: den hurtige eksplosion af frisk chili i Thaimad.

Local restaurant on Koh Lanta. Photo: Mette Bassett

Da vi for nylig var på Koh Lanta i Thailand bestilte vi al vores mad “thai style”og “extra spicy”. Men det kunne vi godt glemme. Vi befandt os nemlig på en turistet strand, omgivet af svenskere, og der var no way at de turde servere stærk mad, for det havde de skam prøvet før, og få minutter senere var maden blevet sendt tilbage af en kampsvedende ildrød turist.

Dagen efter gik vi op på den mindre Skandinav-befolkede hovedvej og fandt et lillebitte sted, der også servicerede de lokale. Her spiste vi så resten af ugen.

Tilbage i London har det også været svært at overbevise Thai-restauranterne om, at vi mener det, når vi siger spicy. På Thai Cottage i D’Arblay Street midt i Soho, var de skeptiske første gang, men nu har vi bestået ildprøven, og den er hurtigt blevet vores London-favorit. Biksen styres med hård hånd af ejeren Sue, som har boet rigtig mange år i England, men som stadig laver noget af det mest autentiske Thaimad, jeg har fået uden for Thailand.

Thai Cottage. Photo: Mette Bassett

Mine to absolutte favoritter er: “kylling med basilikum, hvidløg, bønner og chili”  og “rød karry med and og grøntsager”. Men alle deres karryer er fremragende, og selvfølgelig laver de ikke retterne voldstærke, med mindre du beder om det.

Priserne er lave: ca. 7 pund for en hovedret (eksklusiv ris). Her er ingen fancy indretning og overpyntede retter, men maden, den fås altså næsten ikke bedre. Skal prøves.

Thai Cottage, 34 D’Arblay Street, London, Telephone: 020 7439 7099


I love spicy food. The almost masochistic pleasure of the burning sensation that slowly builds up in your mouth when you eat an Indian curry. Or the explosion of fresh chilies in Thai food making small droplets of sweat trickle from your scalp.

Recently we travelled to Koh Lanta in Thailand (an Island mainly populated by Swedish tourists apparently, SNUS anyone?) and on our first night there we went down to one of the many beach restaurants and ordered some food, extra spicy of course. But the waiter shook his head, he just couldn’t do it and explained that every time they served up something remotely spicy the tourists would send it back, complaining. We just couldn’t convince them that we could take the heat.

The next day we found a small street kitchen that mainly catered to the locals. We ate there the rest of the week.

Back in London we’ve had the same problem. The first time we had dinner at Thai Cottage in D’Arblay Street and asked for “thai style” they almost didn’t believe us either and stayed near our table to see how we reacted to the chili’ness. But now they do, and  this small and unpretentious restaurant (they don’t care about the decor, it’s all about the food) has quickly become our favourite Thai restaurant.

The owner Sue has spent many, many years in the UK but still manages to produce some of the most authentic and best tasting dishes I’ve had outside Thailand. Try the stir-fried chicken with onion, chilis, garlic and basil or my absolute favourite, the red duck curry. Best curry I’ve ever had, and I’ve had a lot. Prices are very low, around 7 pounds for a main (excl. rice).

Thai Cottage, 34 D’Arblay Street, London, Telephone: 020 7439 7099

Thai Cottage. Photo: Mette Bassett