Sunday 27 January 2008

Sema Thai Restaurant, Lordship Lane, East Dulwich, London

Bustling and utilitarian Thai restaurant with mostly bare white walls, plain brown tables and a glass front often misted over by condensation. The black-shirted, sometimes sullen, staff serve stock Thai dishes, which are, by comparison, colourful and imaginatively-presented. To start, the fishcakes (just over £4) are five small, solid spicy discs, accompanied by a peanut dressing and pieces of carrot carved into crown shapes. Among the many main courses is a rich beef massaman stew containing juicy and delicious chunks of meats and a great hunk of potato (about £7). In the precisely-cooked, sumptuous seafood curries, the succulent king prawns have shells thin enough to eat easily. Pad it out with steamed rice (about £2) and wash it down with a couple of bottles of Singha beer for a good value and tasty Thai meal in a rather dour room. 7/10