Why We Love: #6, Singburi

With the news that the owners are retiring, Miranda Eason salutes an in-the-know secret she hopes to keep returning to

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‘I’m unadventurous when it comes to Thai food.’ Fishcakes at Singburi. Photo: Miranda Eason
With its unassuming shop front and location close to the Overground station for which even estate agents would struggle to come up with a fancy name (Leytonstone Forest Gate Borders?), it would be easy to walk past Singburi or never even discover it at all. Surely it’s one of the best kind of local restaurants, an in-the-know-secret that, once discovered, is sure to become a regular haunt.

A takeaway from Singburi. Photo: ME
A takeaway from Singburi. Photo: ME
Inside you’ll find a basic-but-cosy caff-style interior, with walls covered in retro advertisements for Thai fruits (yes, really) and photographs of beaming former customers, pot plants that only add to the #throwbackthursday vibe, and shelves of Thai knick knacks that must be a bugger to dust. You’ll also enjoy a friendly welcome, a menu of Thai classics (soups, curries and stir fries) and, if you’re lucky, a spare table – it’s usually packed from soon after it opens of an evening.

I’m unadventurous when it comes to Thai food, and at Singburi I’m no different, usually sticking to the same order, a starter of Thai fishcakes (£5), a main of green curry chicken (£7.95) and a side of rice (£2).

By day. Photo: Yell.com
By day. Photo: Yell.com
When the food arrives (swiftly, which is good if, like me, you suffer from hangriness – crossness that only increases the hungrier you become) you’ll realise why Singburi is so popular.

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Portions are generous and the food is big on flavour; for the price it’s up there with the best I’ve had outside of Thailand. I prefer not to share my four always perfectly-cooked fishcakes, but the serving is big enough that you could, if pushed. The green curry is spicy and has an excellent sauce to meat and veg ratio (they’re not shy of using chilli here, so if you like things more on the subtle side either ask them to dial it down or go for a less spicy option).

Green Thai Curry. Photo: ME
Green Thai Curry. Photo: ME
It’s BYO so go armed with your favourite tipple and, be warned it’s cash only. The one time I didn’t have enough on me I had to dash to Tesco’s, wait in a seemingly endless queue and receive a lecture on the rules of contactless when I attempted to get £10 cash back by tapping my card on the thingimibob.

And if they can’t squeeze you into the restaurant (a very real possibility on a Friday or Saturday night) or you just fancy a night in and a Netflix marathon, it’s worth knowing that they do takeaway.

So with the mildly alarming news this week that the owners are retiring, let’s hope whoever takes it over keeps the same level of quality and general all-round charm.

You’ll find Singburi at 593 High Road Leytonstone. Open 6pm to 10.30pm Tuesday to Saturday. 6pm – 10pm Sunday. Closed Mondays. Telephone 0208 281 4801.

This article was updated on 21st April 2017

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  • jubileepond

    Leytonstoner I’ve been in Thailand and still fancied getting back for Tony’s cooking.
    Best, most authentic Thai in london