You have a choice. The hot bitchy sixth form who only wants to be your prom date because of your Armani Exchange suit. Or the nerdy sweetheart you sit next to in biology who just can’t get enough of your photosynthesis puns. Your grandma will tell you not to be so shallow and that the choice is clear. And even though you know she’s probably right, that snorting laugh is really hard to get over. So how can we convince you that your grandma is talking sense and that actually, in the long run, it’s what’s inside that truly matters? Look no further than Spicy Basil - the restaurant with a face like a broken spade and the heart of a Christian who hands out buttered toast to drunk people.
Spicy Basil looks like a terrible place to spend even a small amount of time. It’s one of the most uninviting restaurants we’ve ever eaten at and is as likely to win an award for its architecture as a tent from Halfords. We’re telling you this because we know that, having braved the putrid red exterior, you could be seated at one of their tables right now, watching spring onions fly across the frenzied kitchen and wondering to yourself whether we actually have your back like we promised.
We’ve pre-empted your pessimism and can assure you that despite the chaos, there’s a delicious reason we’ve sent you here. Because although the seating area is cramped and loud and even on a good day the service is pants, the people are coming back for more. Spicy Basil is packed quite literally all the time. We’re all here out of choice because pound-for-pound this is some of the best Thai food you’ll get in London. So forget looks - because who gives a fuck if there’s no fancy cloakroom or soft mood lighting when you’ve got the best pad thai in London under your chin and less than a tenner to settle up with?
Just don’t drag your grandma here and tell her it’s what’s inside that counts, because this really isn’t a place for the elderly.
Aromatic and rich. The chicken is a little dry but if you’re craving one of these it does the job and more.
The chicken is seasoned perfectly and it’s a generous portion. The chunky peanut sauce is buttery and very nutty. We’re fans, join the team.
Everything you need in a spring roll.
Spicy Basil do spice very well (unsure about the basil) and this is one of the best examples. It’s a delicious mix of vegetables, chili, and chicken.
Spicy and sweet but also packed with freshness. This is how a pad thai should be done.