We stumbled across Farang during a weekend walk from Finsbury Park to Highbury, and after drooling over the menu we booked a table for Sunday lunch. This was a good move – they’re currently serving some of the best Thai food in London and it’s close to Walthamstow.
Farang has been cooking modern Thai food at pop-ups, supper clubs and street food markets across London since 2015. Now they have taken a 6 month residency at the former Italian restaurant San Daniele in Highbury with a view to opening a permanent restaurant in the future. Founder and head chef Seb Holmes has worked at modern Thai restaurants The Begging Bowl, Smoking Goat and Som Saa. At Farang he’s delivering a menu of small plates and curries to share, using fresh, seasonal ingredients.
There’s no pretending that this is traditional Thai cuisine – ‘Farang’ is a common Thai word for white westerner. This is modern Thai cooking with passion and creativity. The fiery chilli, salty fishy sauces and sweet relishes blow your taste expectations – there’s no Pad Thai or prawn crackers on the menu here.
We decided on the Sunday lunch Tasting Menu at £35 pp with the chance to try every dish on the menu – 3 small plates, 5 large plates and dessert. The first dish out was a bowl of Cornish mussels in a fiery green curry sauce, swiftly followed by Prawn and pomegranate ‘Miang Bite’ wraps, Yellow bean & vegetable crispy wontons, Grilled onglet steak with a sweet chilli jaew relish, and the ‘Nham Prik Ong’ minced pork belly served with dipping vegetables. We instantly ran out of table space!
The pork was our favourite dish, but not one that we would have probably ordered. The flavours were amazing. It’s a minced pork and tomato dish, like a Thai ragu, with coriander, garlic, ‘tau noa’ (fermented soya bean) and a homemade red curry paste, slow-cooked until sweet and rich. The vegetables and herbs are used to dunk and scoop the relish.