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Satisfying a craving for Thai in São Paulo is no easy task, with fewer Thai restaurants than you can count on one hand. So naturally when we heard about Namga, the progeny of the much-loved takeaway Tele-Thai, we were in there quicker than you can say ‘pad thai’.
Glimpsed through the carved teak doors of the recently-opened Perdizes restaurant, the trickling fountains, candles and ambient music might make you think for a second of ordering a massage rather than a meal. But it’s all about the food here; and while it’s neither wholly authentic nor generously proportioned, it is, we are happy to report, delicious.
Thai classics like fragrant green curry, light and crunchy pad thai and khao soy kai – a mild curry noodle soup – are on the menu alongside more inventive dishes like the succulent pork-filled squid and the bolinhos de peixe – a marriage of the zingy flavour of Thai fishcakes with the soft texture of Brazilian bolinhos de bacalhau – served with a fiery chilli dipping sauce. For a sensory overload, order the miang kham – build-your-own bundles of Japanese spinach filled with lemon, chillies, coconut and nuts.
Round things off with the chef’s dessert, khanom kluay, whose black rice and coconut ice-cream combo is a sensation in both taste and texture. Or if you’d rather just stay at home, the good news is that Tele-Thai is still running its delivery service from the restaurant.