Bun vietnamese noodle salad

Papaya – a hidden gem in the heart of Mayfair!

I started working in Mayfair last year and it was then that I noticed the lack of asian food in Mayfair. I know that Piccadilly Circus and Chinatown are walkable distances but not really convenient enough to grab a ‘quick lunch’. Amidst the stuffy posh restaurants, lebanese and usual chains, I stumbled upon this restaurant while walking along Lansdowne Row where there are a few restaurants and take out joints. There is no clear signage so its easy to miss since its also a small place. What caught my eye was the queue that was spilling out so I went in and have been going there ever since.

There is some stool seating available against the window, good for people watching, but its predominately a takeaway place. My advice would be to go in early, preferably before 1pm, to have more choices and/or to grab a seat.

The staff are very efficient with serving food and taking payment that long queues are handled in a couple of minutes. Being cash only also quickens the paying process. I’ve made a friend in the Vietnamese chef named Simon, who makes my favourite dishes. He is so friendly and always adds extra chilli and for me which can be quite lethal but so so great!

The wide range and generous proportions, value for money makes this place a hotspot and I can see why. They have a great range of freshly pre-prepared Thai, Vietnamese and Japanese meals. I think, from reading their menu on the window, they can also make up some dishes to order like Tom Yum noodles. My favourites are the vietnamese dishes such as the Bun noodle salad with beef and Banh mi with lemongrass beef which sell like hotcakes!

Bun vietnamese noodle salad
Bun vietnamese noodle salad

I’ve also tried other dishes like the Thai red curry beef, Prawn pad thai, Teriyaki chicken skewers, stir fries and sushi which were all good. Even though they are pre-prepared, they are fresh and tasty, because of the constant flood of customers. The Thai dishes in the bain-marie can be coupled with rice or noodles for a bargain price of 5 pounds. You can also mix it up and have two choices plus rice or noodles which cost a bit more I think. They are very generous with their proportions and fill the box to a brim which end up weighing about a kilogram! No joke 🙂

Prawn pad thai
Prawn pad thai

If you are in Mayfair and are in need of a decent asian meal that won’t break the bank, I highly recommend this place.
You won’t be disappointed but just remember to bring cash. Its located next to Subway and across from an Italian cafe.

Address: 21 Lansdowne Row | Mayfair, London,England

Tripadvisor: http://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Restaurant_Review-g186338-d2327341-Reviews-Papaya-London_England.html
(look out for my review 🙂 )


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