Ting Thai Caravan sprung up from a pop-up and two years on, the queues to get in are just getting longer. The battered sweet potatoes (Mun Tod) alone are worth the wait but served with a cold beer, Ting Thai might just be some of the best Thai food that Edinburgh has to offer.
Based in a vibrant, student-dominated part of Edinburgh, the restaurant is often busy and a wait should be expected. Staff are friendly and attentive but given the covers served every day, they don’t have time to chat. Nevertheless, they are happy to answer questions, explain what dishes consist of and tailor them to your tastes.
The coconut rice is sticky and is perfectly matched with a box of grilled rump steak and king prawns, finished with coriander chilli, palm sugar and Thai spicy talay (Nua Yam Talay). The shallow fried king sized ‘bubble prawns’ in grated coconut beer batter (Goong Frong Beer) served with mango salsa are an absolute must, and ideally, not to be shared. However, our personal favourite has to be the Pad See-Ew Gai, a wok fried flat noodle dish with chicken, kale, broccoli, pak choi, egg and chilli salsa. Packed with flavour, nutrients and just enough salty soy sauce for you to feel naughty, Ting Thai is an ideal choice for those craving a thairiffic meal made with fresh ingredients in a lively environment. With undertones of fish sauce, garlic and soy running through most dishes, this take of Thai street food is a welcome addition to the Edinburgh food scene and is certainly here to say.
Tables are communal, first come first served and the trendy, canteen style eatery provides a welcome change from more formal alternatives. Once seated, we have never experienced more than a 10-15 minute wait before the food starts to be served out by chef, Ting. Meals are served in street food style boxes, perfect for taking away if you don’t manage to finish your meal, although we have never actually experienced this.
Chef Ting and wife Ae have courted the attention of Scottish foodies, and Ting Thai is certainly getting the recognition it deserves. We have visited many times since it’s opening in 2013 and we are delighted to see that as well as ensuring standards stay high, the restaurant continues to flourish.
Who’s it for?: A relaxed place for a date, casual catch up or a quick bite, be prepared for a wait for a table. During festival time, it’s packed, and during lunch, it’s rammed with students so pick your arrival time carefully!
The specifics: A small, unpretentious restaurant serving Thai street food in a lively part of Edinburgh. Without a website, it can be a little tricky to find the menu online (so we, of course, have uploaded it). No reservations are accepted but takeaway orders can be placed over the phone at 0131 225 9801.
At first Glance: The queue may catch your eye, as might the smell of Thai spices and marinade that coat the fish and seafood. Put a coat on and join the line…it’s worth it.
Bill of Fare: Thai Street Food
The Frontrunners: Goong Frong Beer (bubble prawns), Pad See-Ew Gai (noodles and vegetables with a choice of meat) and Mun Tod (battered sweet potatoes).
The Feeling: Fast paced and lively, Ting Thai Caravan is welcoming and to the point – there is one thing that matters here, and that’s big flavours using fresh ingredients.
The Team: Owned by the team behind The Apartment and The Outsider, it’s chef Ting and wife Ae that run the show.
Doubtful: The restaurant doesn’t take reservations and a queue should be expected but, like the street food it serves, things here move quickly. The food takes centre stage and there’s nothing to be doubtful about there.
The Bottom Line: Large boxes vary between £7-9, while smaller boxes sit at around £3-4 and sides are around £2. The portions are generous and extremely reasonably priced, particularly when considering the quality you receive.
Find them: 8-9 Teviot Place, Edinburgh