Spice and Rice is about a ten minute walk from Chalk Farm tube station, but don’t let that put you off. This restaurant is nicely decorated, clean and has friendly staff. There are a couple of cosy seats by the entrance as well as the regular dining area.
Both the starters of spring rolls and corn cakes came as a portion of two, with some salad, a few prawn crackers and a dipping sauce. The spring rolls were served piping hot and were generously filled with vegetables and noodles. They were real tasty and went well with the sweet chilli dip.
The corn cakes were slightly dry but still tasted good. These came with sweet chilli sauce and ground peanuts.
On the menu at Spice and Rice, the Keaw Wan Curry was described as a creamy green curry with eggplant. This green curry did have lots of vegetables which was great. The more vegetables, the better in my opinion. There were plenty of carrots, bamboo shoots, green beans, red and yellow peppers and broccoli but unfortunately there was no eggplant. It also had good sized chucks of tofu as I had the vegetarian option.
The Keaw Wan curry was lovely and creamy due to the coconut milk. It was slightly spicier than I thought it would be, as I had asked for it to be made mild. But it was still delicious.
The Kang Ped red curry that my friend had was exactly the same as the green curry in terms of the vegetables, portion size and presentation. But as expected, the red curry was spicier as it was made with red curry paste. Both curries came in a separate bowl with a dome of rice on the side.
There was room for some dessert and some fruit was in order. We chose the banana in coconut cream. After we ordered this, our waitress went out of the restaurant. I jokingly said to my friend, “Do you think the waitress has gone out to buy the bananas for our dessert”. This actually turned out to be true; the waitress came back with the bananas. It was good to know that the fruit was fresh.
There were big pieces of banana in warm coconut cream. It went perfectly together and made a change to ice cream. Looking at the menu later, it stated that this dessert could have been served with ice cream but the waitress did not give us this option. The whole dish could have been even nicer with the ice cream, with the contrast of the hot and cold.
All in all, Spice and Rice is a great Thai restaurant. The staff are lovely and do give service with a smile. One thing to note is that if you try to make a reservation, then it is best to call them in the evening as the restaurant is closed during the day. I had tried several times to call in the daytime but couldn’t get through. I’m glad that we were able to get a table that evening without a reservation.
Spice and Rice was quiet when we first arrived but that was due to it being early evening. The place did get a lot busier as the evening went on. Again, we were the last diners to leave, even though we had been the first to arrive. The staff did not rush us at any point and a nice touch was when we were given mint chocolates at the end of our evening.
Spice and Rice, 20 Malden Road, Chalk Farm, London, NW5 3HNRating: