The White Horse in Forest Hill is a shining example of how to take over a failing village pub, where karaoke and lager reigned supreme, and transform it into a magical place where you actually want to eat.

The menu is Thai: but not pub Thai or gastro Thai, just good, honest, fresh Thai food - made by Thais. And instead of identikit Asian refit, the walls have been whitewashed, the tatty curtains and seating replaced and an air of calm prevails where chip fat and parrot droppings had triumphed.

And the food is fabulous. Not only this, but the lunchtime £5 for two courses defies belief.

If I lived there, I'd eat there every day. And my friend, who does, went on Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday during one week. So there!

As a result the locals are totally besotted and the menu is simple but satisfying.


The freshness of the food was demonstrated when I asked if my favourite tom kha soup was on the lunch menu, the manager smiled and said: "No, but don't worry, we'll make it up for you instead."

And the creamy coconut soup he served was as delicious as ever. The spring rolls with chilli sauce were piping hot and you could see them being rolled in the kitchen - delicious.

The green curry that followed was served with the rice in a little bowl and was also sensational.


They don't do dessert, which might be a disappointment for some folk, but what they do do, they do brilliantly and the residents have hit gold here.

They also do a fabulous takeaway service, and many a dinner-party hostess can be seen scurrying away in the dark outside The White Horse just before her guests arrive, her car stuffed to the brim with white take-away bags.

VERDICT: Don't complain about the loss of another local pub, because Thai just doesn't get better than this and at these prices everyone should give it a go. Call 01865 873927.