Reun Thai

LardButty returns to Hammersmith with a vegetarian friend, to join The Last Leg studio audience (series 2, episode 4 with Gaby Logan) after narrowly missing out last time, and to experience more of W6’s culinary treats.


Last night (Wednesday), before heading to Hammersmith Studios, our food requirements were:
~ something cheap and cheerful
~ not too heavy/ filling, for sitting through the studio recording afterwards
~ vegetarian choices
~ preferably Thai

Having looked online, Reun Thai seemed to fit the bill. They don’t (currently) have a website but the menu on HungryHouse seemed to meet our needs, and it’s close to Hammersmith Studios too. The rest was pot luck.


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Reun Thai – looks inviting even on grubby Fulham Palace Road, Hammersmith


A couple of other parties were eating in this small, smart restaurant at 7pm and they were doing a fairly steady take-away service too.

For starters we shared Tod Mun Pla fishcakes (my usual benchmark) which were distinctly above average – spicy, squidgy fish with a sweet chilli dipping sauce and crushed peanuts. Seriously good.

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Tod mun pla – four spicy fishcakes @ £5.95

J chose pad Thai jay – rice noodles fried with fresh, crunchy vegetables, peanuts, soya bean sauce and egg, while I had gang kiew wan or vegetable green curry which was really impressive (beautifully presented with coconut cream drizzled on top, and great depth of flavours particularly anise from the sweet Thai basil).

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Pad Thai jay @ £6.30


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Gang kiew wan – green curry using fresh green chilli and cooked in coconut milk with aubergines, lime leaves, sweet basil leaves and bamboo shoots @ £6.95 with steamed Jasmine rice @ £2.50

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Gang kiew wan – crunchy vegetables in an anise flavoured spicy green curry sauce

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Inside Reun Thai – dark varnished wood gives it a ski/ alpine lodge look

I asked a couple of questions about the menu while here but neither of the staff who served us could speak English. But that didn’t matter at all, as we were waited on with efficiency, politeness and smiles and were made to feel welcome. If anything, it just added to the authentic Thai experience.

Portions were generous and very reasonable value, given that our total bill came to £37.00. This included four bottles of Singha beer (@ £3.80 each) but excluded service. There’s currently a lunchtime deal: two courses for £9.95, so watch out for special offers.

All in all, this was a fortuitous find and I’d certainly go back.


Restaurant info:
~ Lardbutty rating: 3.5 / 5
~ Type: Thai
~ Address: 100 Fulham Palace Road, Hammersmith, London
~ Postcode: W6 9PL
~ Tel: 020 8748 4881
~ Nearest station: Hammersmith
~ Facebook page: Reun Thai on FB
~ Menu on HungryHouse Main menu
~ Reun Thai photos on flickr
~ Location: Reun Thai map


RELATED LINKS
More Hammersmith dining:
~ Fez – Hammersmith
~ Azou – Stamford Brook


Reun Thai on Urbanspoon

Square Meal

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The First Fez

An evening out in Hammersmith doesn’t end as planned but a mezza meal at Fez more than makes up for it.


I’d got tickets to be part of the audience for last Wednesday’s recording of The Last Leg at Hammersmith Studios (the episode featuring Russell Brand). To make an evening of it, I wanted a good restaurant that was handy for the studios, that served middle-eastern food and so would have lots of vegetarian options.

Fez on Fulham Palace Road scores well enough on community review sites like TripAdvisor, is convenient for the recording studios, has a varied menu and is reasonably priced. My only concern was that, from photos on the web, it looks like a very basic cafe – and a bit of a dump – from outside. I took a gamble and booked a table a couple of hours before we needed to start queuing (as with all TV recordings, audience tickets are over-allocated to ensure the studio gets filled and you’re not guaranteed entry).


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Vegetarian mezza at Fez includes moussaka, moutabbel, falafel, fatayer


It’s fair to say that Fulham Palace Road (the A219) is a traffic-heavy road, right next to the seriously busy Hammersmith Flyover. Any grubby shop fronts can be excused to some extent, as it must be a real challenge keeping buildings pristine here.

And immediately inside Fez, we get a warm welcome from the waiter and are seated at a table for two in the middle-eastern styled room with cushioned seating skirting the walls, ornate light decorations and candles. On ordering a mezza to share, he quickly moves us to a larger table that can accommodate all of the plates.

There’s a good food menu (typical Middle-eastern fayre) and wine list (for example, a good dry white like a Lebanese Cave Kouroum or a French Picpoul de Pinet are less than £20 a bottle) and G and I home in on the vegetarian mezza at £21.95 for two.

The vegetarian mezza comprises:
~ Kallaj – halloumi cheese in pitta
~ Hoummus – dip made from chick-peas, tahini + lemon juice
~ Moutabbal – aubergine dip aka baba ghanoush
~ Tabouleh – salad of bulger, tomatoes, cucumber, parsley, mint, etc
~ Moussaka – baked aubergine cooked with tomato + chick-peas
~ Moujadara – lentil + onion mix
~ Falafel – deep fried chick-pea patties
~ Fatayer – small spinach + cheese pastries aka börek

I’m not sure why we think that eight dishes may not be enough (ok, two are ‘just dips’) but we also order a Fattoush Salad (lettuce strips, tomato + cucumber chunks, peppers, sprinkled with fried pitta bread ‘croutons’ and lemon juice) @ £4.50.


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Mixed salad and desserts – chocolate cake and baklawa


This is a very satisfying banquet (each dish is carefully cooked and presented and nothing disappoints). Even so, G can’t resist a chocolate cake for dessert @ £4 (it’s slightly frozen in the middle and I wonder if it’s a Sara Lee frozen cake) and I do the decent thing and keep her company with baklawa @ £4 (it’s slightly dry, there’s no honey in sight).

The total bill for two, including food, drinks and a 10% tip, comes to £64.00.

It’s worth noting that Fez is currently in the Tastecard scheme (offering a 50% discount off food to Tastecard members; some restrictions apply).

With happy hearts and bellies, G and I leave Fez to queue for The Last Leg recording at Hammersmith Studios. Our good luck runs out and we’re turned away.

Ah well. I guess I’ll just have to try more of Fez’s menu when I do get into the studios next time…

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Fez – doesn’t look like much from outside


Restaurant info:
~ Lardbutty rating: 3 / 5
~ Type: Lebanese, Moroccan
~ Address: 32 Fulham Palace Road, Hammersmith, London
~ Postcode: W6 9PH
~ Tel: 020 8563 7176
~ Nearest station: Hammersmith
~ Menu: Fez take-away menu
~ Fez photos on flickr
~ Location: Fez in Hamersmith map


RELATED LINKS

More Middle-Eastern restaurants in London:
~ Azou – North African restaurant in Hammersmith
~ Meza – Lebanese restaurant in Tooting
~ Yalla Yalla – Lebanese restaurants in central London


Fez on Urbanspoon


Azou – Hammersmith

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Never-ending banquet

Azou – with its Bedouin-style decor – is a cosy, little restaurant on King Street, Hammersmith, serving fabulous North African food.

W6 residents were probably trying to keep this little piece of perfection to themselves. However, it’s particularly popular since Gordon Ramsay’s Best Restaurants TV series when it topped the ‘best North African restaurant’ category in 2010. It’s also won a shed-load of other awards – with good reason – and you do need to book in advance.

My visit last night was for a friend’s birthday and we had the Azou feast set menu – an amazing banquet that seemed to be never-ending!

It included all five of these ‘starters’:
~ olives marinated in chermoula and a piquant sauce
~ king prawns in a spicy coriander sauce
~ calamari
~ falafel – patties of minced chickpeas, fava beans, spices + sesame with tahini
~ bourek – crisp pastry filled with marinated minced lamb, herbs + spices

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king prawn

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calamari

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falafel

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bourek

And a choice of main course, from:
~ mechoui – lamb shank, marinated in chermoula and slowly roasted
~ fish tajine – fish of the day with king prawn, mixed seafood + potatoes in a ‘gently sour’ sauce of preserved lemon, spices + herbs
~ tajine constantine – tender lamb in a hot and spicy chilli sauce with potatoes
~ tajine romanne – chicken breast in a sweet/tangy fresh pomegranate sauce, garnished with almonds, raisins + caramelised onion
~ berber tajine – fresh vegetables, artichoke hearts and chickpeas

I had the slow-roasted lamb shank – it was absolutely divine and so tender and flavorsome being slow cooked in spices, but I was too full to eat it after the previous five courses. Shame – must go back and try harder next time.

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my melt-in-your-mouth slow-roasted lamb shank

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H’s tajine constantine – tender lamb in chilli sauce with potatoes

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K’s tajine romanne – chicken breast in a tangy sauce, garnished with almonds

And finally…

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baclava

Oh. And I have enjoyed clarifying to people this week that my friend hired out ‘Azou’ not ‘a zoo’ for her celebrations…

Restaurant info:
~ Lardbutty rating: 4 / 5
~ Type: Moroccan
~ Address: 375 King Street, Hammersmith, London
~ Postcode: W6 9NJ
~ Tel: 020 8563 7266
~ Nearest tube station: Stamford Brook, Ravenscourt Park
~ Website: Azou website
~ Menus: Azou menus
~ Location: Azou restaurant map

Azou on Urbanspoon