The Orient beckons from opposite the Bus Depot

Review of Thai Nice restaurant

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Acton residents and w3 site users will already know that Acton has Indian, Chinese, New European/English and American/Cajun restaurants which are all worth investigating. Thai cuisine is my personal favourite and so it was only a matter of time before I would drag a couple of fussy companions out West towards Bus Depot land and Thai Nice.

The front window is full of reviews and is off-puttingly busy looking with photos and multi-coloured stickers which make it look a little tired, but don't let that put you off. The interior is pleasant with authentic Thai décor and comfortable chairs - no hint of a bloodless coup anywhere in sight. It was a Thursday night and the restaurant was pleasantly busy, though not full. Two women sitting with their backs to us gave us something to look at as they spent a lot of time kissing. I'm not sure how they managed this with so much enticing food around.

Whilst we grappled with the menu, we enjoyed Thai Singha beers served with prawn crackers. We eventually managed to choose Popia Tord (Thai spring roll), always a good test as it's about the most common of starters. This was nice and crispy with a good filling and dipping sauce. Khanom Pang Na Goong (prawn toasts) were fine, too - though I've never understood the point of them, and the Sateh (Chicken skewers with peanut sauce) was succulent and full of flavour, though the peanut sauce was a little too oily.

We then enjoyed Kai Phad Mamuang Himapam which is chicken with cashew nuts but cooked in a Thai style with spring onions, pineapple and dried red chilli; Gaeng Peh Ped Yang - roast duck in red curry paste with tomatoes, pineapple coconut milk and basil leaves was less successful; Neua Phad Namman Hoi (stir-fried beef with mushrooms, greens, spring onions and oyster sauce) was more of a hit. We really wanted to order "Pla Meuk Phad Prik" (stir fried squid) but after arguing about how to pronounce it we chickened out, and ordered Goong Kratiem (king prawns with garlic, pepper and coriander) which was my personal favourite. Unusually, the prawns were fresh tasting and not at all tired and chewy as they sometimes can be. By the way, if you like seafood and don't want to share your dish with your companions I can recommend getting them to discuss bad experiences after consumption of shellfish or similar. You will then be left alone to enjoy your king prawns without interruption.

All this was accompanied by a fine Phad Thai - Thai noodles with lots of other things to give them a Thai taste - and steamed rice, which despite the fact that it wasn't the usual sticky Thai rice still tasted similar.

If you go into the ante-room at the back of the restaurant - or visit its website ( you will see lots of photographic evidence of interesting events at this venue. I'd rather be left alone with my king prawns, thanks. If you are unsure about Thai cuisine, I would urge you to try it and Thai Nice is a good place to find your Thai feet. You could have a good feast here plus beer for around £38 for two which is great value and it's on your doorstep.

Clare Gittins

September 23, 2006