Hormok Talay 05

Where to celebrate Songkran (Thai NYE) in London

From Wednesday, 13 to Friday, 15 April, Thailand will celebrate Songkran (also known as NYE). The word “Songkran” comes from the Sanskrit word saṃkrānti, which literally translates to “astrological passage”, meaning transformation or change.

It seems that unlike others, Thailand does not stick to one night and actually celebrates its New Year’s Day a whole two days (some cultures really do know how to throw a party).

When someone says celebration, we hear food and what better way to celebrate Songkran than with some arroy (delicious) food.

Here are our top recommendations:

Mango Tree
46 Grosvenor Pl,
London SW1X 7EQ

Last week, we had the pleasure of trying Mango Tree Belgravia’s special Songkran menu.

The menu, which will be available throughout the month of April costs £40 per person, and includes a welcome cocktail, a starter, a main and a dessert.

Mango Tree Belgravia has been open for over 10 years and we have to admit that although we’d seen it from outside countless times, we had never actually been in. We felt like Songkran was the perfect time to change that. The spacious restaurant and friendly staff (shout-out to the wonderful General Manager, called Pop) instantly welcomed us.

We began our premature celebration with a Thai lychee martini, which was incredibly spicy. If you like spicy food, you will absolutely love this drink. If you don’t, stay away!

Our favourite dishes from the menu were the Hormok Talay (mixed seafood in mild curry sauce served in a traditional steamer), which had a mousse-like texture and a creamy taste, the Suer Rong Hai (rib-eye steak marinated with lime and Thai herbs served with som tam salad) and the homemade mango ice cream served with pandan sticky rice and Thai toppings, which was incredible.

Interested? We hear the big celebration will actually be on Wednesday, 13 April, when guests will be able to enjoy the Thai New Year menu, a complimentary welcome cocktail, cooking demonstrations, opportunities to experience a Thai massage, a symbolic water ceremony and traditional dance, as well as Muay Thai boxing performances. Now that sounds like an interesting evening

Other recommendations:

Bleu Elephant

This place is a classic that has been around for decades. Be it for kid parties or first dates, every true Londoner has been to Bleu Elephant at least once. Its fantastic decor takes you to a dreamy place in Thailand and its food is divine. Bonus point: the beautiful hostesses will give you a little orchid flower as a take-home present.

Smoking Goat

This newish spot in Soho offers exquisite Thaï food. What’s great about it is that nothing comes drenched in a sweet sauce, nor are dishes overly-battered. What’s not so good is that long queue. But good things come to those who wait.

Rosa’s Café

Saiphin, Rosa’s founder, has a total of five cafés throughout the city. Service is quick and cheerful, and their Northern-Thai food is fresh and healthy – especially the stirfried Aubergine (£8) – which is our favourite !

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