Thai provides perfect match of food and wine

Melissa Cole visits, Thai Pad, the new restaurant in Jim Thompson's

  Where is Thai Pad?

Thai Pad @ Jim Thonpson's
408 Upper Richmond Road, Putney, London SW16 6JP – 020 8788 3737

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Thai Pad, the a-la-carte restaurant within the Jim Thompson’s on the Upper Richmond Road has launched a new food and wine menu where the options are literally made for each other.

It’s always fascinating to attend an event where it’s the very first of its kind. Whether it’s something new for the company, new to the country or just plain innovative people’s nervousness is always so sweet and, as in this case, often unfounded.

I last went to a Jim Thompson’s, not the Putney one I hasten to add, quite some time ago and, to be honest, a little inebriated but the overwhelming impression was of terrifyingly hot food – and I like hot - served by glorified grunts with little regard for customer service.

But Thai Pad is a whole different kettle of fish. There’s the option to be as raucous or restrained as you like and the food was well-prepared and well-presented plus, in the main, the wines chosen to accompany it on perfect.

A series of different feasts await even the most gluttonous of dining guests and they are good value too. The most popular major dinner you can order is the JT Feast at £26.95 which offers five starters, crispy duck, five mains and jasmine rice, which is recommended with the Chilean Central Valley Sauvignon Blanc at £15.50, which is a really crisp citrus number and the Australian monster red Stump Jump for £16.95.

The Stump Jump is the standout wine for me on the whole list, and not just because it’s a red that stands up to spicy food.

We were served it with the braised osso bucco thai-style and to say it was the ideal red meat wine is to make the understatement of the century – if you don’t enjoy this beauty at a mere £16.75 then I have to say I think there’s something very wrong!

There are other smaller feasts offered with a fascinating variety of wines, including a good dry, flinty Riesling from Germany and a South African Chenin Blanc from Bolland Cellar, the only big disappointment from my point of view was the Organic Chardonnay from Chilcas in Chile. For a country that has been producing some truly stunning wines over the past few years this was a tasteless and vapid let-down.

What really impressed me, however, was the atmosphere the staff are warm and welcoming and the manageress keeps a tight eye on the whole operation and I also like the company’s dedication to keeping it a pub at the front and a restaurant at the back,.

I’ll be going back, hope to see you there enjoying yourself.

Melissa Cole

June 9, 2006