When I’m feeling particularly tired or lazy to cook (and yes, I’m writing about somewhere local as I just haven’t had time to go out further to eat!), we do turn to one of our local restaurants (we’re quite lucky to have a number of excellent little places near us) which almost always guarantees a great meal at a reasonable price – so convenient. One of our local gems that we’ve often turned to recently is Pinto Thai Kitchen in Acton on the Uxbridge Road. Pinto is the name of Thai stacking lunchboxes – imagine an Indian tiffin and you’re not far off – as well as slang for a mother and wife who provides the good eating. And there’s certainly good eating to be had there. We’ve visited quite often now so this post will be made up of dishes we’ve had over a number of dinners (I’ve been sitting on this post for a while as you can see!).
On our most recent visit, we pushed the boat out and ordered starters, something we rarely do at Thai restaurants, usually just aiming straight for the main event. Their fish cakes and fried calamari are both gorgeous: the former are lovely little fishy spicy pucks while the calamari is tender and well fried. Both don’t exhibit that over-rubberiness that’s common in inferior versions. We’ve had their steamed pork and prawn dumplings for takeaway too and its generous topping of fried garlic and the accompanying dipping sauce of sweet thick soy have combined together with the meaty homemade dumpling to one of the tastiest I’ve ever encountered.
We both adore Thai salads and Pinto’s som tam almost always finds its way to our table. There’s lots of chili in their tangy spicy dressing and hooray for green papaya! I quite like their pork larb too but we haven’t had it in a while – not sure why.
Their curries come in a generous portions too – here’s their roast duck in red curry with fresh pineapple below. The curry sauce was just luscious with plenty of coconut milk and it went well with lots of sticky rice. Strangely, I’ve not ordered a lot of their stirfries – I’ve got to correct this.
When it comes to the one dish meals, my favourites are their Thai fried rice and their pad see ew (or if you’re up for a bit of heat – their pad kee mao). I saw a number of noodle soups on their blackboard of specials earlier this year but that gave way to a couple of different specials a month later; I’m keen for those to return as they sounded so delicious!
Blai’s more of a pad Thai guy though and theirs isn’t too bad. We usually order it with pork. We like pork.
What I love about this Thai restaurant is that desserts don’t take a back seat. There are a number of bought-in chocolate thingamajigs and ice cream thingamabobs but we always stick to the more traditional offerings. Banana fritters are warm chunks of the fruit in a light, crispy batter, served with vanilla ice cream – and one portion is just enough for two to share, I reckon. A more recent special of a Thai custard turned out to be delicious baked heart-shaped cakes with a very familiar flavour that I just couldn’t put my finger on – was it mung bean?
I’ve always felt that London really has its share of excellent Thai restaurants and Pinto Thai Kitchen is one of them. Perhaps it’s a little far out of the centre to appeal to anyone but if you’re nearby in West London, it’s definitely worth the trip. It’s quite popular and is BYO too. The waitresses are friendly and more often than not, there’s a group or two of Thai diners inside – always a good sign, I reckon. As to the cost, it’ll be anywhere from a ten to twenty pounds a head – it just depends on how greedy you are!
All the photos I’ve ever taken at Pinto Thai Kitchen can be seen here on Flickr.
Pinto Thai Kitchen
46 High Street
London W3 6LG