I could seriously get into this restaurant reviewing habit.

After my review of the London Restaurant Festival and the lovely meal we had at Sake no Hana, the lovely people from Bookatable asked me to choose a restaurant from their Festive Dining selection, and go and review that. One of my favourite assignments ever!

Even just looking through the list of restaurants on Bookatable offering a Festive Dining experience makes my mouth water. You can look at the restaurants on offer by price, by location or by cuisine (there are 30 cuisines on offer from ‘Burger’ to ‘Brazilian’)

For each restaurant, you can see its availability and what specials it is offering for Christmas, and book yourself a 2-hour slot whenever it suits you.

I spent hours just looking at all of the different options available, boggled by the choice,  then asked my husband what he would like to do for our own private Christmas lunch without the children.

After thinking about it for a while, he said that he would quite fancy a Thai meal, as we have already had more than enough turkey.  Thai food used to be our absolute favourite when we were dating, but we don’t get to eat Thai as a family as my daughter is allergic to coconut. So I thought that was a really sweet suggestion of his, and a great idea for our special bit of us time.

Thai square
Thai Square in Mansion House – photo from Bookatable

As it turned out there wasn’t a Thai restaurant near my husband’s office in the Festive Dining selection, but I looked across the whole of Bookatable’s options and we found Thai Square at Mansion House, which was offering a Christmas lunch on its own website. So we went there.

The ambience inside the restaurant is lovely – the lighting is warm and the decor really special. This photo, taken from the restaurant’s entry on Bookatable shows the really lovely altar display, with candles.

When we were there, there were lots of white orchid flowers on the altar  too.

But what I really loved were the Christmas decorations, at the entrance and also tastefully hung up around the restaurant.  They made the place look beautiful and festive without being in any way gaudy, and fitted in with the general oriental feel of the place.

We booked at 2pm on a weekday. There were quite a few office groups in having a Christmas lunch, but the service was still quick, attentive and very friendly.

We ordered the Kaprao set – £34 for three courses (we skipped the salad) and a free glass of prosecco.

They brought the free glass of prosecco over to us before I could explain that I wasn’t drinking, but when I did, they gave my glass of prosecco to my hubby and gave me a free glass of lemonade. They also brought us a cracker each – it’s a silly Christmas tradition but I love it!

We decided to skip the salad course because we were quite happy to have a light lunch, but we were glad we did, because it certainly wasn’t a light lunch – and the three courses we did have were more than enough.

The starter was a selection of finger food, including dumplings, chicken satay, vegetable spring rolls, and ‘golden sacks’, which contained minced chicken with garlic and coriander. They were beautifully prepared, came with two dipping sauces and were absolutely delicious.

This was the point at which I realised that I am probably not cut out to be a full-time restaurant critic, as I piled into the starters with gusto, and they were gone before I realised I was supposed to photograph them…..

For the main course, I chose the Chargrilled Lamb cutlets with spicy chilli sauce, and my husband chose the King Prawn red curry with Tamarind and coconut.  Each of these dishes would have been enough for a meal on its own  – we had three large cutlets each, which came with vegetables, and plenty of prawns in a vat of sauce, but we also received a substantial bowl of rice, some noodles and some more stirfried vegetables on the side.

By the time we had served ourselves first helpings of everything that was on offer, I had enough to eat.  But as you can see there was still plenty left, and we will never be defeated by Thai food.  We valiantly scoffed the lot and it was all absolutely delicious.  My favourite was definitely the lamb cutlets, but every part of the meal was cooked to perfection.

The dessert for me was a bit disappointing and it would have been nice to have a choice, but that is the only small bit of criticism I would have for the entire meal.  The dessert, “Andaman Pearls” is apparently a traditional Thai delicacy with coconut ice cream, rice balls and some traditional dried fruits. There was nothing objectively wrong with it, it just wasn’t my cup of tea, and to be honest I was already too full to do it justice.                                                                                   

So all in all we had a lovely time.  The only extra we purchased was a bottle of sparkling water, and we were fed right royally. I know that Thai Square is a chain of restaurants, but it didn’t seem that way – the food was lovingly prepared, delicately flavoured and well presented.   I hope that we will go back very soon

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