London sees ‘Thai-tanic’ restaurant rise

Eastern cuisine is Capital's favourite of last 10 years

The Capital is in the midst of a Far East invasion, a new report suggests.

An analysis of listings from 130 London postcodes between 1995 and 2005 has found that Thai food is the Capital’s fastest growing cuisine.

The research from Yell, publisher of the Yellow Pages, shows a remarkable 4,325% increase in Thai restaurant startups in London over the last 10 years, nearly double that of the next closest cuisine.

Japanese food came a distant second, but still showing a extraordinary 2,260% increase in new listings since 1995. English, Indian and Chinese rounded out the top five.

Traditional fish and chip shops, which decreased in number by a third, were one of the few culinary tastes to experience declines.

The comprehensive study also tried to pinpoint London’s top culinary hotspots. While the West End still reigns, with Covent Garden clinging to the number one position ahead of Westminster, up-and-coming regions like E1, home to the curry houses of Brick Lane, made its debut in the top 10 at number eight.

London’s famed gastropubs of the Barbican and Shoreditch areas of EC1 came to the table at number three. Camden Town, meanwhile, emerged as the central dining spot of choice for vegetarians.

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“From pizza to Pad Thai, fish and chips to frogs legs, the study highlights the sheer diversity of cuisine to be found in the capital and its unexpected culinary hotspots,” said Richard Duggleby, head of external relations at Yell.

“The changes in Yellow Pages restaurant classifications over the last 10 years reveal how Londoners’ tastes have altered, with more exotic cuisines now on the menu across the Capital.”

London was recently named the world’s best city to eat in right now by the editor of New York-based Gourmet magazine.


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