- The Dish: Grilled pork khao jee
- The Place: Greyhound Café, 37 Berners St, London W1T 3LZ
- The Chef: Founder Bhanu Inkawat
What? Those who hail from Bangkok and are homesick will recognise this dish.
Grilled pork khao jee is a breakfast staple for everyone from market traders to office workers and is a combination of marinated pork on skewers, served alongside sticky rice balls that are dipped in egg and deep fried. It’s certainly a different way to have your eggs in the morning.
They would also recognise a childhood favourite called moo yong toast, which is made up of thick, crispy toast spread with sweet roasted chilli jam and topped generously with pork floss – described as the perfect combination of sweet and savoury. Then there’s khao tom mun goong, a traditional rice porridge finished with prawns and aromatic prawn head oil.
French influence sneaks onto the menu in the form of khai krata, a popular egg dish from the north-east of Thailand said to have been influenced by French colonialists. It is garnished with a stir-fried holy basil chilli bomb featuring minced pork and comes with peppery Thai-style sausage, sweet Chinese sausage, tomatoes and beans.
If you just fancy toast, Greyhound Café has you covered, but with a Thai twist. Its ‘Happy Toast’ is dished up with mini squeeze bottles of Thai tea custard, coffee custard, sea salt caramel and condensed milk, so guests can mix and match the flavours themselves. There are also a choice of jams made in house from tropical fruit like lychee and pineapple, as well as sweet roasted chilli.
Where? As Food Spark reported back in February, Greyhound Café is a spin-off from a fashion house and is the latest to offer modern Thai.
But unlike its counterparts – places like Begging Bowl, Som Saa and Kiln – it is one of the first to offer a Thai brunch menu. Smoking Goat does have a limited breakfast menu, but has focused on curries, roti and noodles for its offering.
Greyhound Café dabbles in tongue-in-cheek twists on brunch favourites such as avocado toast and croissants – but let’s face it, you really can get that anywhere in London these days. It’s the Thai dishes that are the most interesting things on the menu.
Why? It feels like we have been banging on about this for a while now – the fact that consumers are looking for international flavours and offerings at all times of the day.
Yes, there are Asian brunches already on the scene – just head over to Soho and you can get a Korean one at Jinjuu, which serves up classics with a Seoul twist, along with the Tea Room that offers a Hong Kong-style brunch with a Cantonese spin. You can also pop over to Shoreditch and feast on a Japanese breakfast at Nobu.
But Greyhound Cade appears to be leading the way when it comes to introducing Thai traditions to a brunch menu.