The best Thai place in London has its own unicorn
I know what you're thinking. The simple fact of having a unicorn at all ipso facto makes this the best Thai place ever. And yes, there is merit to that line of thinking, but at Poppy's the food is also seriously excellent, so the unicorn's not the only reason to go.
It's hard to find a restaurant anywhere that comes this close to being perfect. As someone who spends most of their working life in the middle of soho, I'm often spoilt for choice, but I'll take a low key neighbourhood cafe over a studiedly quirky hipster chip shop with too-loud music any day, and Poppy's is one of West London's best kept secrets. It's been running for over 10 years, quietly serving up the dreamiest massaman and the fieriest jungle curries in the capital to a loyal band of locals, and now they've expanded their tiny 10-seater Hammersmith restaurant into a second very slightly bigger branch just down the road in Fulham. (Adorably, they called it 'Poppy's 2').
There's nothing I love more than seeing a brilliant independent business do well, and thriving in the London restaurant scene for this long is a testament to how charming Poppy's is. The decor is endearingly unhinged - like eating your dinner in a long abandoned palace at Versaille after tropical plants and animals have taken over. Everywhere you look their's a giraffe in a top hat or a badger with a magic wand, and little details of the meal - spring rolls in a mini shopping trolley(!), coconut rice served in a coconut shell - make a dinner here a slightly magical experience.
Despite the crazy interior though, an evening at Poppy's makes for very chilled out experience. It's very affordable. It's BYOB. Like I said, West London's best kept secret.