5 things you should try at Krapow, Heathcote & Star

The destination boozer’s latest streetfood kitchen kitchen is a fiery addition to the postcode

The Heathcote & Star is – as we all know – one of E11’s gems, its capacious, almost rural garden making socially distanced boozing and dining pretty stress-free.

That’s not to say it doesn’t get pretty busy: on our Tuesday visit during the first week of Eat Out To Help Out, it was “like a Saturday night”, said the friendly manager Mark.

If you’re not familiar with its Clapton flagship, new residency Krapow’s aim is simply to “bring proper Thai Street food to London.”

Flavours have a strong influence from Northern Thailand, which are entirely different, punchier and much more complex, with international notes from neighbouring countries Laos, Myanmar (Burma) and China.

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Their meat is all UK-sourced and comes from Hixson of Smithfield, with vegetables and herbs from Gardner’s Fresh produce and Asian ingredients from Thai Tana.

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5 dishes to try

Squid and the KraPow. Photo: SE

Roasted cauliflower larb
Larb – a meat salad – is regarded as the unofficial national dish of Laos. Here it’s a vegan twist all the way, with cauliflower rice giving an earthy backdrop to the intensity – and, be warned – heat of sliced red chillies, coriander, kaffir lime and shallots. Mint and cucumbers cool things down, at least a little.

KraPow
This is the kitchen’s signature dish, so if it’s your first visit, you simply have to try it. Get one plate to share, as we did: it’s an intensely rich stir fry of minced pork with chilli and basil, offset by the creamy yolk of a fried egg and calming jasmine rice. Gone in seconds.

Thai Fried Squid
It’s an easy win when it’s good, but so often squid can be a disappointing starter. Here the rings proved melt-in-the-mouth, with crisp buttermilk coating, a squirt of lime and a birds-eye chilli (the small Thai ones) dip that’s as hot as it sounds.

*TOP TIP* Gai Yang
Boneless chicken thighs are one of life’s epicurean pleasures, and so easy to bring flavour to, whatever the marinade before chucking them on the BBQ. Here it’s chilli and lemongrass, the flesh blackened and browned in all the right places, as tender and juicy as you’d hope when sliced, and served with crunchy slaw and heap of coriander. A tamarind dipping sauce adds sweet-sour citrus notes to cut through the griddled meat.

Sides
A huge bowl of Thai Prawn Crackers will have you chomping while you wait; incidentally, service wasn’t bad at all, considering how busy it was. And Thai fries are loaded with sricacha mayo, coriander, lime and chili flakes, a perfect accompaniment to the chicken. Our only complaint? We live so near the pub that we couldn’t even walk it off on the stroll home.

344 Grove Green Road E11, open 4pm-10 weekdays, all day weekends. Eat Out To Help Out 50% off offer also includes soft drinks until 31st August. Book your table now (Mon-Wed only) at Heathcote & Star.

Leytonstoner ate as guests of the Heathcote & Star

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