Dish of the Day: The Noodle House’s Pad Thai
The Noodle House opened on Shaftebusry Avenue in April. Ambitious head chef Dariusz Dziadkiewicz aims to give customers a taster of the diverse food of South East Asia, from curries, to noodles to spicy broths. The restaurant serves seven different types of noodle and 17 blends of herbal tea.
I joined The Noodle House ready for the opening this year. I’m a huge fan of Southeast Asian cuisine and, having previously worked with Asian food, I felt that I could share my experience as well as learn and develop further. It was also very exciting to be part of a London restaurant launch – I felt thrilled to be given the chance.
We have an open plan kitchen with chefs preparing and vigorously cooking food in full view of customers, showcasing the way food would be served on the streets of Malaysia or Singapore. It’s the hiss, steam, buzz and fresh aromas of busy street food and the theatre of chefs cooking a variety of dishes that makes the restaurant really exciting. In contrast, there’s an oasis of calm in our downstairs mee bar with different blends of tea displayed in jars, soft lighting and sleek, stylish décor.
We’re hoping The Noodle House’s lively atmosphere will make it stand out from the restaurants in nearby Chinatown and Soho. It’s somewhere to socialise with friends. We also have a really interesting choice of cocktails which our mixology masters have brewed with our beautiful teas, exotic fruits and spices to create bespoke syrups and spirits.
There are number of cuisines represented on our menu, from Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam, and Thailand, to name but a few. I am finding it quite easy to move from one to the other – all that’s needed is to forget political borders and start thinking in terms of flavour borders. All of the South East Asian region shares similar ingredients, spices and herbs. The fresh aroma of lime leaf, a taste of lemongrass, the velvetiness of coconut milk and a slight kick of chilli; these connect nations, stretching far beyond political or geographical lines.
It was important for us to have the correct noodles and showcase them in the best possible way. I couldn’t choose a favourite but our bestsellers are the rice noodles in our Pad Thai and the ho fun noodles in Beef Char Kway Teow.
Our menu has been evolving since we opened and we’ve added a few dishes created by myself and my senior chefs such as our Laksa soup ,where instead of the very shrimp-focused Katong version we’ve opted for a curry version. We have also come up with a range of salads that we feel are very suited to the UK market.
A common mistake people make when cooking this kind of food is sticking too much to a recipe. Don’t get me wrong, it’s good to have rough guidance, but then just follow your senses, experiment, make mistakes and learn from them. Taste, don’t rush, be patient, understand how different flavours and textures blend together. Find your truly perfect combination of sweet and sour and sweet and spicy.
- 30ml oil
- 1 egg (beaten)
- 80g boiled prawns
- 40g fried tofu strips
- 50g Beansprouts
- 20g Chinese chives
- 2g dried shrimp
- 1g dried chilli flakes
- 150g Pad Thai noodles
- 1 lime wedge
- 3g fried banana shallots
- 3g green spring onion
- 2g shredded omelette
- 10g ground peanuts
For Pad Thai sauce:
- 1 tbsp palm sugar
- 1 tbsp fish sauce
- 2 tbsp lime juice
- 1/2 tsp chopped garlic
- 1/2 tsp dried chilli flakes
- 1 tbsp ketchup
(add all ingredients to a pan and reduce over a moderate heat for 10 minutes)
- Heat a clean wok over a high heat then add oil
- Add the beaten egg and lightly scramble to cook
- Add the boiled prawns, fried tofu strips, beansprouts, chinese chives, dried shrimp, dried chilli flakes and pad thai noodles and wok fry to heat and mix ingredients.
- Add some water to soften the noodles then your pad thai sauce and toss through to heat.
- Place ingredients centrally onto a clean warm large round plate then add lime
- Serve immediately garnished with fried banana shallots, omelette and spring onion
The Noodle House, 117 Shaftesbury Avenue, WC2H 8AD. Tel: 0203 725 5777, or visit tnhlondon.com