Mai Thai have been doing their thing with gusto since 1985 on Wimbledon Broadway, a not so blissful part of Wimbledon full to the brim with unavoidable chains that would hardly give you a ground breaking meal but fill a hole. Alas, it’s just how a high street can flex sometimes – you can’t have it all in life. Mai Thai is a two-floored effortlessly Anglo-Thai decorated venue full of dark and chestnut brown wood panelling and more of the same in furniture. The smell of Thai lemon grass incense tickles the nostrils as does the sweet stench of fish sauce. It’s very date-nighty if you’re with your gran or mother if you know what I mean. We came for an evening feed.
Ever since trying larb at the likes of the Grubstance coveted Smoking Goat and Kiln for the first time, I became a zealous fan. It’s a Northern Thai style dice of protein – in this case chicken with the crunch of toasted ground rice, lime leaves, chilli, spring and red onions with a twist of lime. I was devoid of zealousness with this one though as the chicken was parched and chalky. The texture after a few bites reminded my of the rubbers I used to chew on the top of my pencils at school – tough. I felt hard-done by for a dish that costs a shade under double digits at £9.95.
Sum tum salad of green papaya £8.95 was marginally better, but it was less than passable for all it’s sugariness – your dentist wouldn’t have been impressed.
The same fate came with the ga prow prawns £11.95, a stir fry of holy basil, green beans, chilli and a fistful of sugar.
Morning glory £8.50 for all it’s salty oyster sauce and fermented bean punch provided a temporary reprieve from the sugary ordeal.
Pad thai with prawns £12.50, albeit it fashionably sweet, the noodles had a really satisfying tension in the bite – I could really get a long pull on them unlike the overcooked ones I’ve had in the past where the noodles become a mess of broken parts.
The lift is the test of a good cook – overdone noodles would have crumbled.
When did I go? Oct 2018
The damage: Expect to pay £35/40 per head without booze
The good: Come here for the morning glory and pad thai if you must.
The bad: If you’re one not to enjoy overtly sweet food then this place isn’t for you, the same goes for chalky chicken – avoid it if you can.
Would I go again? Probably not
Address: 75 The Broadway, Wimbledon, London SW19 1QE