This was not an establishment I found on purpose. After an afternoon of failed ventures around Covent Garden trying to find the Icecreamists, myself and Sammi felt extra gluttonous and sad to find it was closed down a while back from a lack of business.
But here are the 3 reasons why I’m glad we found East Street:
1. The closest feeling to escaping the country
2. Reasonable prices
3. A long list of exotic dishes to choose from
Located just off Oxford Street/Tottenham Court Road, East Street’s philosophy was to incorporate ingredients rooted at the heart of Asian cuisine, including lemon grass, wakame and shiitake mushrooms, in their fresh dishes prepared daily on site.
The neon sign by the entrance caught my eye, and set the scene it did for the fun atmosphere of its interior – hanging from the ceiling were familiar signs of ‘Pay 2 Play Girls’ and ‘Tiger Beer’ that you’d find in any of the busy touristy streets in Bangkok. I was still undecided as to whether or not to eat in this tourist trap… that was until I saw Naruto being beamed onto the wall at the back of the restaurant. Say no more.
There’s two main menus to choose from; À la Carte and Eastern Express – serving the most popular dishes for under £10 12-6PM. I was surprised at how well the restaurant catered to the more budget conscious customers with their Eastern Express menu and daily student discounts of 20% a.k.a. eating here is hardly going to run you into your overdraft, and I say this in the most humble of my broke student ways.
A quick skim through the menu, I instantly recognised some of my favourite dishes from Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore plus many exotic names I had no idea what they were. So with a bit of help from our waiter Andy, I went for Pad Krapow with the highest heat rating.
[Top] Starters – Goi Cuon (rice rolls), Tod Man Khao Pod (corn fritters)
[Bottom] Mains – Pad Krapow (chicken and vegetables), Khao Pad (stir fried rice, the easy to remember name of cow pat)
Yes the starters did taste as bland as they looked, but if the delicate flavour is what you are looking for then I guess this is the one. The corn fritters had everything in there except taste.
Pad Krapow’s spiciness didn’t make me cry as I thought it would but it was creamy and had a fiery kick. I loved it. The portions were also very generous and could even feed two. I highly recommend to choose at least a heat rating of one pepper from the menu as you can always count on spicy foods to be packed with the most flavour.
Apart from the disappointing starters, this is a great place if you are looking to get a taste of Asia at a reasonable price. Nothing fancy, just satisfying and emotionally comforting food. With so many dishes to choose from, it’s difficult to find the menu boring or repetitive. The service was fast and friendly and Andy did a great job of making his customers feel welcomed and attended to. Thanks man.