Isarn, London: When Affordability Meets Authentic Thai Food
Contemporary Thai Restaurant in London's Islington.
Where flavour, spice and style collide. Enjoy a high-end dining experience for a reasonable price. Traditional Thai cuisine served in a comfortable, modern setting.
When it comes to Thai food, there are two factors that I always consider: the quality of the dishes and their authenticity. I have a particular fondness for good quality Thai food, so when I came across Isarn in Islington, I had to see for myself what the rave reviews was all about.
Isarn is a contemporary style, traditional thai food restaurant. The premises is located in an old high street block on the ever busy main road: Upper Street, only 10 minutes walk away from Angel tube station. The appearance on the outside is nothing special, you could quite easily miss it if you aren't looking at the sign or inside the restaurant. Once you step inside however, it becomes a very different story.
The decor is highly effective at creating the intended atmosphere, with it's simple, contemporary yet almost industrial design and modern mix of furnishings. The low hanging lights, black wooden half wall panels and glass ceiling helps to create a cosy yet sultry ambience. The premises is pretty small, or rather very narrow. However, the lack of space doesn't encroach too much on the overall experience. To get a true sense of the environment, I recommend dining in the evening.
Now for the most important aspect, the food itself! The dishes we ordered were absolutely delicious; full of flavour, freshly cooked and in perfect sized proportions. You could taste the purposefully chosen ingredients and yet they melded together exactly how they should to create the texture and taste that is synonymous with the traditional dish. Just a word of caution, we found that the dishes were pretty spicy. It's best to inform the service staff beforehand if you prefer your meals to have very little to no spice. Other than the chilli-hot factor, I really enjoyed the meal. I opted for the Roasted Duck Red Curry and my partner had the Chicken and Green Eggplant Stir Fry. For dessert, (which was in my opinion, heavenly), I had the Coconut Ice cream, my partner the Lemon Cheesecake with Strawberry Ice cream. Seriously yummy!
Gallery Photo credits: Isarn Thai Restaurant.
In the way of drinks, I believe we opted for the Lychee Ice Tea and a Watermelon Juice. Both were as refreshing as you would expect. Isarn have a list of various teas and juices as well as a fairly decent wine list.
From the moment we arrived to the moment we left, the service was excellent. Our waiter was very professional and friendly. He topped up our water without the need for request, ensured we had everything we needed and that we were satisfied with the food. I am always impressed to see such attentive customer service even when the establishment was busy with customers and food deliveries. It was evident that Isarn is a popular food option in Islington, so if you are intending to dine with a group of 3 or more, it may be worth booking a reservation.
For a contemporary restaurant in the heart of London, I really couldn't fault the price. It was very reasonable for the service and dishes that we received. For three courses and a drink, you could easily pay around £25 per person.
Overall, we were very happy with the Isarn experience. It's a restaurant that I am certain to visit again when I am next in the area and in need of good quality food.
So in the end, how did it weigh up?
Great, Contemporary Decor
Narrow, small premises.
Dishes can be too Spicy.
Overall Slay Rating
4.5 / 5
If you love authentic Thai cuisine that is accessible, high in quality and very reasonable in price, I would recommend dining in Isarn. It ticks all the right boxes without compromise.
Thumb photo credit: Isarn Thai Restaurant.