There are not many central places where you have to call up and make a reservation, because there is no electronic system. And it is rare that you see orders being taken on the the old school waiters pad. It is a re-assuring thing at Mudmee, because it means that the concept has not been tainted by the cool and the now. Mudmee is a cute little Thai restaurant just off a lane by Bishopsgate. On Artillery Passage, you discover cute pubs, hairdressers and other surprises which are quaintly hidden away from the busy access area to Liverpool Street station and this is home to Mudmee.
We were greeted by a confident tiny woman who was obviously in charge. She knew the flow of the room, timings on tables and availability. We settled on a corner table and were given the menus to study. We ordered a bottle of wine to share and due to our hunger, knew that we were in for a two courser. All the Thai favourites are here and with the kitchen within our eye line, we could see the Chefs busying themselves freshly creating each dish.
To start, it was steamed dumplings of minced chicken, crab sticks, prawn, bamboo shoots, mushroom, water chestnut wrapped with a delicate wonton skin with taramind dipping sauce. We also ordered king prawns marinated in garlic and coriander root wrapped with rice pastry served with sweet chilli sauce. Whilst this particular prawn dish may sound like it has a soft shell (well I thought anyway), the wrapping is crunchy, so be aware. The dumplings in particular were gorgeous. I always struggle to find the right descriptive words without sounding poncey or re-using the same all of the time, but to be honest, I prefer to use my own interpretation of how I felt and if it seems samey, then too bad.
For Main course it was the obligatory pad Thai. Having been to Bangkok and Ko Samui, I know this as being a popular street food and casual dish at eateries. It is made up of stir fried rice stick noodles with king prawns, egg, beansprouts, dried shrimps, sping onions and ground peanuts. It has a sweetness to it which I like. Sometimes you can have it with a bit of a kick with chilli, but here it was quite mild. Eleanor, who introduced me to Mudmee, had the green Thai curry with chicken, another staple dish of Thai cuisine. Smothered over sticky rice, she was a happy camper.
Mudmee is a welcome South Eastern Asian surprise in an area which just down the road, is heavily populated with Vietnamese restaurants. Furthermore, it is not a chain, it is independent, ran by a Thai team with non nonsense decor or service, just good food at an affordable price.
Mudmee Thai Restaurant
12 Artillery Passage
London E1 7LJ
T. 020 7381 8821