A few months ago, I wrote a nostalgic piece about lost, favourite restaurants, those places you drift back to from time to time. They may not have the best food (though they may) but something about them suits you. Oishii and the others have gone but the stock can be replenished. One such is Kaosarn, a small, Thai place in Brixton Village. It is a typical Brixton Village place and feels a bit like being in a shack.


In the previous article, I confessed to sometimes being a creature of restaurant habit. This is especially so in the case of Kaosarn. The menu is fine and things delivered to neighbouring tables look good but I always order kuay tiew tom yum, the Bangkok noodle soup. It’s gorgeous; with noodles (natch), bean sprouts, fish balls, minced pork and best of all, two battered king prawns for dipping. Now those king prawns are ever so good but really, it’s all in the stock. It’s packed with flavour, spicy enough to make my nose run and gently sour.

When she can, my partner comes too and guess what, she has the soup too. That’s a nice lead in to the second great thing about Kaosarn; the staff. They are kind, calm and friendly and when I am on my own, they always ask after my partner. That's a nice touch.

Back to the food, I don’t think I have ever ordered anything else, other than the odd starter. Somehow, that soup promises to hit the spot and does. There was a brief period a couple of years ago, when the restaurant was between settled chefs. In those dark days, the soup didn’t live up to the promise but fortunately, that time passed. For some months afterwards, the staff would check whether the soup was how we liked it. It was and still is. That’s where I had my lunch today. It's £9.50 a bowl, so reasonably priced too.

Going alone, I took my battered old copy of Jane Eyre (I reread Emily’s Wuthering Heights a couple of months ago and Anne’s Agnes Grey for the first time, over Christmas, so decided it was Charlotte’s turn) until the food came. As I ate, I gazed out of the window at passers by; one of Brixton’s more established street preachers, a couple of middle aged women with a guide book and a man with a big fur collar who just might have been Harry Lime’s friend Kurtz in the Third Man. That’s him in the picture below.


the third man

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