The Brown Bear - Outside Shot

The Brown Bear, E1: Old School Thai

By Lynn Reynolds, writer: longtime EastEnder, sometime Bermondseyite.

The Brown Bear has way more highly-buffed brass than any pub I’ve seen for years, and it’s also blessed with some classy original architectural features.

It’s a low-key, peaceful place with friendly staff and a decent selection of beers, including craft beer in bottles and cans.

But I’m more interested in what goes on in the kitchen, because the distinguishing feature of The Brown Bear is that it does a very fine line in Thai food.

Beef Massaman curry was rich without being cloying, and expertly spiced. Duck stir fry with bamboo shoots was a delight, with a good chilli kick and nicely-textured vegetables. Both came with generous portions of fragrant jasmine rice.

Prices are decent, too, at £6.50 for the beef dish and £7.50 for the duck. So you can have an enjoyable lunch without breaking the bank, or having to shout over loud music.

The only slightly cautionary note I’d strike is that when they say a dish is hot, the chefs at The Brown Bear really mean it!

But heed the chilli symbols in the menu and you’ll be just fine. Heck, you’ll be better than fine – you’ll be extremely well fed.

The Brown Bear – 139 Leman Street, London, E1 8EY

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