Review: Blue Lagoon
Blue Lagoon, located on fashionable Kensington High Street, offers delicious Thai cuisine without a lofty price tag.
Lebanese owner Elchannaa opened the restaurant 11 years ago. Affable and exuberant, it’s his mission to make his customers feel welcome. He personally greets visitors with a smile and an embrace, pulls out chairs, takes coats, and lays napkins on laps. Blue Lagoon was borne of his desire to offer high quality Thai cuisine at affordable prices, and to give customers a better dining experience than London’s more expensive restaurants. He says: “Our philosophy is to provide good value, really nice tasting food with a personal touch.”
A blast of warm, fragrant air engulfs you as you step inside Blue Lagoon. Stationed in front of the entrance is a rock garden, complete with artificial palm trees and water cascading down stone boulders. Looking around, the restaurant’s interior is spacious yet intimate; the atmosphere is lively and there’s a pleasant hum of conversation, but the tables are spaced far enough apart to allow privacy. The lighting is soft and understated, with candles on the tables, recessed lights in the ceiling, and miniature lanterns hanging along the windows. The Asian decorations, including statues of praying monks and chessboard-sized golden mosaics of elephants, give the restaurant some sense of identity. The staff conform to the theme, garbed in blue silk kimonos with golden trim.
The service is fast and efficient; we are immediately seated and presented with menus, and all our orders arrive swiftly and without mistake. On offer is a wide array of Thai dishes such as seafood, curries, and stir-fries. Specialties include crab claws and jewels of marinated chicken.
Our first course is a selection of starters laid out on a bed of lettuce leaves. In front of us are fish cakes, vegetable spring rolls, king tod (prawn tempura), chicken satay, grilled jumbo prawns and prawns on toast. As a vegetarian I was severely limited, but my companion very much enjoyed the tantalising treats.
The main courses do not disappoint. The panaeng curry, an aromatic medley of seasoned vegetables served in a peanut sauce, is a delight to taste. The dish is perfectly cooked, and its components complement each other well: the soft and chewy broccoli, the rich, piquant peanut sauce, and the crunchy pak choi. My companion thoroughly enjoyed her duck in black bean sauce, served on a bed of onions and accompanied by peppers, lettuce, coriander and cashew.
As side dishes we choose kao meaw, sticky rice from Northern Thailand, and a colourful serving of Thai vegetables, which includes pak choi, red peppers, tofu and bean sprouts, served in a succulent garlic chili and soya sauce. The spiciness of the dish had me coughing and spluttering; it packed quite a punch.
At Elchannaa’s insistence, dessert was banana fritters. These came lathered in sweet honey, with a side of coconut ice cream. The smell of barbecued fruit was slightly off-putting, but the taste more than made up for it. I enjoyed the pleasant warmth of the fritter on my tongue, the saccharine taste of the honey, and the startling contrast with the cool, creamy coconut.
Overall, the meal was delicious, distinctive and memorable. Blue Lagoon takes pride in every aspect of its dining experience, from its tasteful décor and able service, to the quality and presentation of its dishes. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it.
284 Kensington High Street
London, W14 8NZ
0203 157 7027
London SW1Y 4DG
0203 157 7027
Opening Hours: 12pm – 11.30pm every day.