Ka Pao extends stay at Acid Bar, SWG3
Ka Pao is back for its second residency at Acid Bar, SWG3’s newly unveiled bar and restaurant space and we visited for lunch at the weekend.
Head Chef Sandy Browning has put together a menu influenced by the flavours of Southeast Asia with dishes such as messy prawns with tamarind and palm sugar, and salt n pepper oyster mushrooms with pickled mooli.
Mark your choices with the provided pencil.
We ordered the two recommended cocktails:
Karma before the storm (£8). Not quite a dark n stormy, this was a sweet spiced rum, topped with pickled ginger shavings! Don’t know which rum was used but it was very refreshing.
White aromatic negroni (£8). Gin, kaffir lime, lemongrass & vermouth. Not as full on a regular negroni and lightly citric so more…cleansing. Use your imagination and this cocktail might even be good for you!
First, a little appetiser – crispy chicken skins, sriracha (£2.50) just like pork crackling sitting in a spicy sriracha dip. Crunchy and very moreish!
Messy prawns, tamarind, palm sugar (£8.50 )
Absolutely massive, plump prawns with sweet sticky tamarind. Fragrant taste, not overly spicy but rather warming and very tasty!
Monkfish, coconut, cashew, green chilli & water chestnuts (N) (£8.50). Plate looked great – earthy and Autumnal. This was the creamiest dish with delicious fish, herby dill, and some crunch provided by the water chestnuts and cashews.
5p salad (N) (£8.00)
Not a reflection on how much it costs to assemble, how much it’s worth or how many pieces you get per bowl! The 5p instead relates to the 5 main ingredients, each beginning with the letter p, and these are: Pork, prawn, papaya, pomelo and peanut.
It had quite an acidic taste, from the pomelo and something else, reminiscent of ceviche, it also had flavours of fresh lemongrass and coriander.
Fried chicken, green chilli dip (£5.50)
Expertly fried crunchy chicken with a mild green chilli dip and thin mooli strips, which has quite a light neutral taste, like a cross between a cucumber and a radish.
Sea trout, coconut, finger root (£8.50) the other main ingredient was aubergine, while not being something I would normally associate with fish dishes it went together nicely. There was also lots of fresh dill and you may notice a few slices of chilli too – it sneaks up on you!
Mango and shaved ice (V) (£4). Another slight tweak here as the menu listed chilli and lime ice but it tasted of coriander. You know the way that strawberry and basil works? Well, that fruit-herb combo was in action here. Tropical and refreshing!
We were highly impressed, in fact this was the best meal we’ve had in the last few months (and we eat out a lot!), surpassing a recent visit to a Michelin-starred restaurant! We love Thai and Malay cuisine and here the food not only looked great but importantly it tasted great too, the ingredients were fresh and the flavours aromatic and authentic. Service was great with dishes coming out when ready (with the exception of dessert of course).
Toilets – plenty of individual cubicles with sinks but the hand dryer for most of the them is outside. There’s free WiFi and the music was music to our ears: Zero 7, Nile Rogers, Fleetwood Mac and the like. Total cost of this meal = £64.
+ Excellent food
+ Best meal we’ve had in months!
+ Cool location
+ Good tunes!
– Hand dryer for most of the toilets is outside the actual cubicle
– Only open Friday to Sunday
Saturday: 12-3pm, 6-9pm
To book please visit kapaogla.com
Disclaimer: we received a complimentary meal for review but Fred says we didn’t receive preferential treatment because staff tried to charge us to the end!