Wednesday, 21 October 2009
Thai food in pubs; not exactly revolutionary is it? It seemed like the most exotic gastronomy when the concept first appeared a few years ago. Now, it seems that most pubs will serve you up simple, slightly greasy set menus of noodles and some form of meat. The Churchill Arms, however, is different. For a start, the pub and restaurant are separate entities in the same building. The pub being packed to the ceiling with Churchill- and WWII-related memorabilia, and serving a lovely selection of ales; the restaurant at the back is full of plantlife and tropical fauna. This separation, and the dedicated, attentive staff starts things off well. Having to wait for an hour for a table is a good indication of the popularity of this place; it's always packed. And when the food arrives, it's worth the wait - succulent prawns with a massive plate of noodles and crisp veg; extra-spicy meat dishes and prawn crackers from heaven, the Churchill's one place where simple food is kept simple, but still tastes delicious. And for a flat charge of £6.50 per dish, it's a steal at twice the price. A couple of weeks ago, during another visit to this very pub, an interesting question was posed: "Churchill or Icco?" Once I realised that the Churchill had attained that status of being as much of a London essential as Icco's, I knew it was time to make it one of my Staples.