I’d been meaning to visit Celadon for a wee while, but it’s just a little beyond the reach of my usual lunchtime rambles. Finding myself on the southside and in need of a feed, I took the opportunity to cross their threshold.
The place was quite quiet, as it was a warm evening and people had taken the chance to linger in the warm sunshine. Arriving shortly before 8, it never occurred to me that they’d still have their “pre-theatre” menu available, but I was pleasantly surprised to see that they did.
From that menu, I started with soup, of the tom yum variety, followed by prawn pad Thai. I’d have been hard pressed to choose a more classic pair of Thai dishes.
While my dishes were prepared, I took a moment to consider my surroundings. Aside from some very understated touches, the place could have been any type of restaurant, with classic wooden tables and stone walls.
Service was on-point and friendly, throughout. There was a little of the characteristic bowing of Thai service, but this was very nicely handled so it never became overly obsequious.
My soup soon arrived complete with wonderfully fragrant aroma. It proved to be beautifully judged and very tasty. It wasn’t quite as good as the sensational soup at Time 4 Thai, but it ran it a close second.
Rather disappointingly, the main course was nowhere near as good. I get that for a pre-theatre menu, portions are going to be a little smaller, commensurate with the lower cost, but only three prawns in a main course portion is just plain mean.
Pad Thai is a very simple noodle dish, and each element needs to be executed accurately for the overall effect to be satisfying. This version was really lacking in flavour, even when I’d applied the entire chilli and ground peanut accompaniments.
I often find that Thai starters are much better than the main courses. This was the case with a recent visits to Bluerapa and Passorn. I think I’m now going to opt for two starters on future Thai restaurant visits, as I really enjoy their soups and salads, in particular.
So overall, I suspect that Celadon is a better place than it showed on today’s visit. With more judicious ordering (see the helpful advice in the comments, below, from Celadon regular, Keith), I think I would have been more impressed with things. At the same time, there has to be a question mark over a Thai restaurant that doesn’t make particularly good pad Thai. I’d recommend that you pay it a visit, but be sure to make careful choices.
Blythe scores Celadon
3/5 for food
3.5/5 for presentation
3.5/5 for setting
3.5/5 for service
giving an overall 13.5/20
Today’s quester was: Blythe
I ate: tom yum, pad Thai prawns
I drank: viognier, water, espresso
I wore: Turnbull & Asser tie
Total bill: £18.69