The New Soho Spot Reinventing Thai Restaurant Classics

Wild Rice ★★★★★

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The New Soho Spot Reinventing Thai Restaurant Classics Wild Rice 5

Punchy, chilli-heavy bar snacks, big, vibrant curries and a bar with a late licence downstairs: they're saying all the right things at this new Brewer Street spot. And good as it sounds on paper, it's better still in practice.

They aren't sticking to tradition at Wild Rice. The menu casts plenty of your standard Thai-pub orthodoxies to the wind, nearer in spirit to the newish wave of fiery Thai grills and restaurants focusing on regional specialities and modern twists.

Unusual sightings on a Thai menu crop up: Thai-influenced Scotch eggs; Thai-influenced ceviche; salads dressed in hot vinaigrette; splashes of dairy via herb butters. Everything dictated, we're told, by what the two founders (their first foray into the restaurant business) reckon works best — the result being a list of joyful mash-ups rather than a rigid stab at authenticity.

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Tinpot baked vermicelli noodles with prawns.🦐 My favourite from the weekend lunch at @wildricelondon, a newly opened Thai restaurant in Soho that I was invited to try. #invite 💥 The vermicelli noodles were really moreish... they are not spicy but very flavoursome. I also had the Meat ‘ped ped’ which was pork in a dry sauce with a nice spicy kick to it. The grilled prawns were from the small plates were nice and juicy , but with the Thai sirloin salad I felt that it could’ve done with more of a 🌶👊, at least for me!😁 I’ll ask for it to be extra spicy next time. (See my stories for more photos) 💥 Will visit again as there are a few dishes on the menu I still want to try - especially the crispy Thai omelette. Also looking forward to visiting their basement bar which is opening soon! . . . . . . . . #asianfood #foodstagram #lovefood #foodgasm #tasty #yum #instafood #londonfoodie #foodie #foodpics #spicy #eeeeeats #foodlover #delicious #thaifood #asianfoodstory #foodphoto #foodphotography

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Vermicelli baked in a tinpot come as a gluey, steaming heap (the good sort of gluey; the great sort of steaming) with two fist-sized butterflied prawns buried in the sticky depths. Show-stopping size of those prawns aside, mushrooms are the real star of the dish, every bite deeply earthy and umami-heavy. The Massaman curry is dense with lamb and vivid with star anise, and even the simplest dish we order — an avocado salad plated up hefty and bright with radish, pomegranate and lime — turns out to be bigger on portion size and flavour than you expect at the under £10 mark.

If that's not bounty enough, a bar's due to open downstairs in weeks to come with a late licence, making it a hot ticket in Soho's increasingly last-orders-at-11pm landscape.

Alright, this isn't the place to come for a plunge into Thai cooking orthodoxy. But Wild Rice is something better than traditional: it's delicious.

Wild Rice, 28 Brewer Street, W1F 0SR.

Last Updated 28 February 2019