Market Thai

I am on a mission and my holy grail is a brilliant Thai restaurant. I am obsessed with Thai food. I love the subtle, delicate flavours and every now and again I crave the chilli kick. So far London has not been a happy hunting ground for me so it was with some trepidation that I decided to try Market Thai in Notting Hill a Thai restaurant that came with high recommendations.

Spring rolls

Located above a pub (the Market bar) on Portobello road the restaurant is filled with ornate wooden carved arches in a bid to create a Thai atmosphere. MTV boyfriend and I visited on a Friday night and Market Thai is fairly quiet which is not a great sign. Undeterred we order a serve of spring rolls and a couple of Singha beers to start. The spring rolls are small and crunchy, filled with tangy vermicelli noodles and vegetables.

The menu contains all the Thai classics such as Tom Yum soup, Pad Thai noodles and Massamun curry. Ignore these though the dish to order is the Pla Lad Prik which comprises crispy deep fried pieces of sea bass served with carrots, beans, mushrooms and broccoli and slathered in a spicy chilli and tamarind sauce. The texture of the sea bass provides a welcome foil to the stir fried vegetables. The Gratiem Prik Tai is just as good. This beef stir fry with garlic and pepper is served sizzling hot on an iron dish. The beef is tender and has just a hint of garlic and pepper with a mild heat.

The servings of Jasmine steamed rice are generous in size and light and fluffy. The only disappointment is the Pud Puk stir fried bean shoots and mushrooms in an oyster sauce as the vegetables have been overcooked and are a little flaccid. Service is friendly and exudes the famous Thai hospitality.

Pla Lad Prik

So is my quest over? Is Market Thai the holy grail? My verdict is good, perhaps great but not amazing Thai. The food is generally of a high standard but lacks the wow factor and the restaurant itself is slightly tired and needs a little more hustle, bustle and atmosphere in general. That said, I think I will return just for the Pla Lad Prik alone.

Details: 240 Portobello Road, Notting Hill W11 1LL (Ph 020 7460 6538)
Damage: Reasonable

If you liked this you might be interested in reading about the Thai food on offer at The Pineapple in Kentish town or you could spot a celebrity while you feast on Pad Thai at E&O.Market Thai on Urbanspoon


  1. If you work in the City, Rosa’s near Spitalfields is worth a try. It’s small, friendly and inexpensive – and it’s always packed (for that all-important buzzy atmosphere).

  2. I haven’t been, but I was told Thai Rice on Portabello Road is very good. I too find most thai places underwhelming, though I did enjoy my meal at Patara.

  3. I really like Yupa’s in Chiswick. Althogh I’ve not been in the evening yet. Chiswick has lots of thai restaurants worth trying.

    I also really like Suchard near London Bridge

  4. Have you tried Thai 101 Kitchen in between Hammersmith and Chiswick or Addies Thai Cafe on Earls Court Road?

    Thank’s bob, I want to try Yupa’s now!

  5. Ive tried 101 Thai Kitchen but the normal chefs weren’t in so it was pretty standard thai stuff that day. It was okay but nothing special. Lunch was cheap though.

  6. Hi Gourmet Chick,
    I have been consistently impressed by Patara Thai, both the Soho and Oxford Circus branches. Addies’ Thai on Earls Court Road is also pretty good, and won’t break the bank.

  7. Good luck with the research. I’ve not been to many Thai restaurants (Nahm was an interesting visit!), but have heard Rosa’s being recommended, and Addie’s.

  8. ohh i love thai food too 😀

    have you been to Addies Thai cafe in Earls court yet? I must say, I havent been to that many Thai restaurant in London, but I think Addies is pretty darn good.

    They do a fried rice with crabs, which is sweet and fragrant, the kitchen is very good with the ‘wok’ sizzling smokey taste. Also tried the pomfret in a sweet chilli like sauce which was excellent as well.

    I think their signature dish is a bbq pork neck, which is really really tasty. I know this place well, since I used to do takeaway when I was living in earls court a few years ago.

    And to top things off, its cheap 🙂 will be one to add to your quest I think, and be interested to hear your thoughts about where it stand 😀

  9. Great review, as former Sydney-siders we’re very much missing good Thai in London. (Have you found that some ‘Thai’ is actually a mix of Chinese, Vietnamese and Thai?)

    That said, have you been to Basabai in Soho? xx

  10. American in London – Rosa’s has been on my “to go” list ever since I saw your post on it – sounds good

    Lizzie – Thanks for the tip I have actually been to Thai Rice a few times (although have been slack posting about it) and it is good but still not amazing

    Bob – thanks I will add Yupas and Suchard to my list. Chiswick might be a bit of a long trip for me but should be able to get to London Bridge pretty easily.

    Su-Lin – 101 is on my list for sure as I have heard a lot about it on Chowhound. Thanks for the tip re Addies.

    Bob – thanks for the comment getting mixed reports on 101 here!

    Anon – looks like Addies has to go on the list for sure then.

    Helen – you didn’t like Nahm?

    Kang – ok another recommendation for Addies will have to head there for sure.

    Top Bird – I am ex Melbourne but I agree Sydney has the best Thai restaurants (outside of Thailand of course!) I love how they all have corny names as well like Thai-tanic and Bow Thai. Do you mean Busaba the Alan Yau Thai place?

  11. Hey glad to see that there are other girls in London who live to eat! I just tried a great new place in Soho called Busaba Eathai 🙂 See details on my blog:

  12. Have you tried Siam Central on Charlotte St? It’s definitely my favourite… in fact if you need a buddy to go with you, let me know (seriously!)! 🙂

  13. sounds good to me 🙂 I’m in NYC for the summer but for sure would like to hang out with a fellow foodie when I get back to london. my email is:


  14. Ming – I have heard mixed reviews about Busabai but good to hear that you are pretty positive

    Catty – Ok let’s do it

  15. Number One Cafe on Dalgarno Gardens in North Kensington kicks the rear of all the Thai restaurants mentioned here. It’s a *must* visit! Check out this review in the Guardian:

    It’s not wrong.

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