Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Naamyaa Cafe, Angel

Alan Yau’s restaurants have definitely played a role in growing the popularity of Asian food in the UK.  The budget friendly Wagamama has brought noodles to many a high street since the first site opened 20 years ago, with Hakkasan and Yauatcha at the other of the scale with their Michelin stars.  His chain Busaba Eathai now has 10 sites, and the new addition in Angel, Naamyaa, is also Thai, billed as an all-day Bangkok café.


In contrast to Busaba’s dark interiors and shared tables, Naamyaa is a light room with an open kitchen, pink patterned tiles, green leather seating, and a lot of gold Buddhas.  The menu is supposed to reflect the eclectic mix of East and West you would find in a tourist-friendly Bangkok café, with Thai dishes alongside burgers, sandwiches and salads.


The Po pia jay (spring-rolls) were crispy and grease-free, with a crunchy filling of shitake, carrot and cabbage, and a sweet chilli sauce with a proper kick (instead of the overly sweet red gloop you often get).  


The namesake dish of Naamyaa is made up of jin noodles served with a saucy curry (I chose the chicken and wild ginger), and a plate of pickled morning glory, star fruit, Thai basil, beansprouts, star fruit and a boiled egg to add.  It comes with a green melon soup on the side to offset the spiciness – although they warned me the curry was hot, the heat was not too intense and I really liked the dish (the egg was definitely hard rather than soft-boiled as promised on the menu though).


The Khao man gai, or Thai Style Hainan chicken with yellow bean, is a subtle and comfortingly simple dish of rice, poached chicken and the tangy yellow bean sauce.


The pricing is similar to Wagamama or Busaba (around the £8-£10 mark for main courses), but whereas they have always left me a little underwhelmed, I liked Naamyaa.  I wouldn’t go for a burger or even the cakes on the counter that go with the all-day café vibe, but would return to try some more of the spicy, fresh Thai dishes.

www.naamyaa.com/

Naamyaa Cafe on Urbanspoon

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