Thai Square, Islington: The Home of Vegan Thai Food

I would need my hands and yours, probably, to count the amount of useless stuff I was taught in school. One thing that did come in handy though: keys for maps and graphs.

I know, I’m as surprised as you are.

For me, the worst thing about being vegan is talking about being vegan. However, as you might have guessed, whenever I go out with friends it quickly becomes the topic of conversation. Honestly, you’d think my lifestyle choices were as interesting as Cheryl Cole’s dirty laundry.

So why do I hate talking about it so much? Well, I don’t want to get into a debate about it, I don’t want to make anyone feel bad and I don’t want to sound as preachy as a vicar in church on a Sunday.

As hard as I try, it’s never long before my cover is blown and the questions are fired towards me. Especially when I’m asking them to skip the eggs, avoid the butter and swap out the milk. When a key is involved though, I’m jumping for joy harder than a kangaroo on a trampoline.

I’ve come across a menu key or two in my time but the menu key to beat all menu keys has to be Thai Square’s menu key, which is more coded than an orienteering map at an outdoor activity centre; It covers every kind of food intolerance, preference and allergy you could imagine.

The dishes have layers of spice and depth of flavour. There are beautifully cooked vegetables with the perfect amount of crunch, there is soft yet crisp tofu dressed in a sweet, rich, creamy satay sauce. It’s got the kind of flavour that’ll make you go nuts. There is a fresh Som Tum Jay salad with a drinkable, punchy, zesty Thai sauce drizzled over green papaya, bright red tomatoes and peanuts.

Spotting Thai Square on the high street is like spotting Gwyneth Paltrow in a crowded room (not that I’ve been in a crowded or a non-crowded room with her). They sit tall, smart and proud on the high street, the big letters marking the building. No maps or keys needed her lads and lasses.

The green curry was like Frankenstein’s better looking and smarter cousin: neon in colour with a creamy broth of coconut, spices and vegetables. There was a fantastic vegetable Pad Thai with a mountain of sweet and sticky noodles, spongy tofu, crisp beansprouts and smashed peanuts.

I’ve been lucky enough to dine at a Thai Square before, but the Islington branch is pretty spectacular looking. The glass ceiling, the wall of green leaves and the artwork are a thing of beauty. It’s modern, it’s beautiful and it’s as smart as your Grandad at a family wedding.

Thai square deserves its place (or should I say places?) on the map. It’s vegan-friendly, it looks great and the prices aren’t pricey. I’m definitely not Thai Squared out, I could go for round two but I’ll have the vegetarian menu, I’m vegan don’t you know.

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