Lauren heads over to Liverpool Street to check out Southeast Asian eatery Ekachai’s new look and try the latest menu additions. Tucked away in a covered walkway just a stone’s throw from Liverpool Street station is the Southeast Asian eatery Ekachai, set up by two friends from Hong Kong to bring authentic Asian street food to London. Now, you can find the restaurants in Liverpool Street and Oxford Street Selfridges, with a new edition in Wandsworth. The reason for my visit is to take a look at the Liverpool Street restaurant’s recently refurbished interior and to try out their new menu items. At the centre of Ekachai’s Liverpool Street venue is a bamboo spiral staircase, with bamboo pillars, distressed-wood tables and old school chairs all set within the contemporary interior. As I arrive early evening the restaurant is already buzzing. To start the meal off, my dining companion and I are recommended the Prawn Sesame Rolls. But I’m even more intrigued to try them when the waiter explains that they’re made according to the Hong Kong-born chef’s grandmother’s recipe. I know I’ll be getting the real deal. And we’re not disappointed. Succulent prawn meat and bamboo shoot is neatly wrapped in crisp golden pastry that’s speckled with sesame seeds, with a sweet chilli sauce to dip them in. For something a little lighter, we pair the rolls with a Thai prawn and mango salad, which comes liberally dressed in a sweet, chilli-infused dressing, marrying with the sweetness of the fresh mango. The main dishes on offer cover culinary specialties from Hong Kong, Thailand and Malaysia, with a number of noodle and rice dishes, curries and salads to choose from. A new addition to the menu is Kai Krapow, so of course it’s one I feel I have to try. This traditional Thai dish combines tender ground chicken with a fragrant sauce in which the chopped red chillies, lime leaves and holy basil really give it the distinctive taste of Thai cuisine. The Malaysian Chicken Kapitan is also recommended, which along with Beef Rendang are the eatery’s most popular curries. Tender chunks of chicken absorb the flavours of the sweet coconut milk, fragrant lemongrass and kafir lime leaves, with heat from the aromatic spices and fiery chillies, perfectly balancing each other out and pairing well with the plump coconut rice it came with. While each dish authentically represents its origin, they are prepared to suit western tastes, with a little less chilli than in Asia. But, if you do like more heat in your food, chilli sauces – one smoky and hot, the other sweet – fresh chillies in a sweet Thai vinegar and chilli flakes are all at hand. The service throughout the evening is relaxed, friendly and full of positivity. And it’s an affordable night out too, with small plates costing around £5 and main dishes at around £8.50. Ekachai is undoubtedly one to try for a casual dinner with friends, in a warm and inviting setting.
Our meal at Ekachai was complimentary as part of this review, however all views in this post are our own.