Champor Champor

I’m going to apologise from now… I know I’m going to say this a lot, but “when I was a meat eater” my favourite Thai restaurant was Champor Champor in London Bridge.

It’s a quaint little place, with a narrow entrance that looks like the doorway to a hobbit’s house. Once you weave through the red curtains that create an “entrance hall” you then have to navigate your way though the tightly packed tables to even get to the waiter who’s likely to meet you halfway through your pilgrimage to take your reservation details.

Table tip: Champor Champor is the kind of restaurant you’ll want to book for. Turning up spontaneously, even on a week night could leave you a little disappointed.

My visit this month was my first as a vegetarian and I have to admit I had an initial pang of sadness at the thought of not having their chicken green curry with coconut rice. But after a fresh look at the veg/vegan section of the menu, I knew I had nothing to worry about.

Spicy yellow turmeric curry with young banana; grilled tofu and butternut squash green curry; roasted squash laksa with crunchy chickpea… just to name a few.

My friend and I were the two veggies in the group and because we were tempted by more than on thing on the menu, we ordered the first two to share.

Yellow curry (front); green curry (back)

Let’s take a moment to appreciate the yellow curry! One thing I learnt on a cookery course in thailand was how all their dishes aim to include the following flavours in varying amounts: sweet, spice, sour, salt. Sweet and spicy were definitely the top notes of the yellow curry.

The green curry didn’t stand a chance. The large block of tofu wasn’t appealing. It’s already bland flavour, but was paired with some equally bland veg… red, green and yellow peppers and aubergine. If it wasn’t for the curry sauce it would have been a boring dish. If anything, the tofu should have been cooked in the sauce to give it time to absorb some of the flavour.

Anyway, it didn’t matter because we had another curry. And paired with a bowl of Jasmine rice each, we struggled to finish the food. I took one for the team and ate the rest of the yellow curry. After the first mouthful I knew it was going to be too good to share.

I can honestly say I was that at no point did I have food envy – I actually don’t even know what the other meat dishes looked like as I was so focused on our conversations (obviously!) and the food in front of me.

Don’t just take my word for it, try it for yourself… http://www.champor-champor.com

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