Speedboat Bar will be the second Thai restaurant for chef Luke Farrell and JKS Restaurants launching in September on Soho’s Rupert Street.
At Speedboat guests can expect the fast and furious wok cookery with roasted meats and zingy seafood salads. They will be encouraged to sink whisky sodas, share stir fries, pick at river prawns sticky in tamarind sauce; then go back for more whisky sodas.
The effect is an overload of the senses, a love letter to Yaowarat Road, the neon-lit street of Bangkok’s Chinatown.
Luke said, 'Speedboat Bar takes inspiration from the Thai-Chinese restaurants in Bangkok’s Chinatown and the thrilling sport of Speedboat racing along the canals (klongs) of Thailand. Speedboat racers practise in long-tailed boats, traditional in structure but fixed with supercharged engines, piloted at hundreds of miles per hour by extreme waterborne piston heads.
'The spirit will be echoed in the food at Speedboat Bar - if the tiller was swapped to a wok handle and set over a 30,000 BTU flame.'
The menu will explore the ingredients, flavours and techniques that took Luke to Bangkok and its unique foodways; Chinese in origin but now uniquely Thai. A masterclass in wok cooking, roasted meats and spicy sauces, each hinging on the specialist Thai herbs and ingredients cultivated and grown at Luke’s nursery, Ryewater, in Dorset.
Dishes will be served from lunch through to dinner, running the gamut of Bangkok’s late-night favourites. Think market staples of drunken noodle dishes, stir fries and sticky meat braises; complex curries of Lychees and roasted duck; and Soya chicken and winter melon, tempered with fresh salads of Yam Mamuang – green mango, crispy fish, chillies and pork floss; and the restaurant’s signature dish, creamy Tom Yam Mama soup.
Only one dessert appears on the Speedboat menu – a Candied pineapple and butter pie is a Luke Farrell twist on a Thai treat and an ode to the innumerable 7-11 shops that cover the country.
Alongside a selection of infused Thai spirits and rice wines, drinks focus on sharing Singha beer towers, slushies and chasers; the signature Speedboat cocktails - Snakesblood Negroni; Shop Window Old Fashioned; and Jelly Bia made with frozen Leo Lager; as well as softs such as a Snakefruit soda.
The restaurant will be a homage to a Thai-Chinese shophouse with its utilitarian, stainless steel finish; whilst the upstairs clubhouse bar will be decorated with signed portraits of the racers. A feature bar and pool table will get the clubhouse atmosphere going whilst Thai pop, turbo folk and mor lam blast through the speakers.
Luke concluded, “Speedboat Bar will be inspired by my friends, the speedboat racers, whizzing down the klongs in Samut Sakhon and the neon-fuelled party of Bangkok’s Chinatown. Things I live for, a fascinating traditional Thai sport and a historic cuisine coming together.
“Speedboat will feature seafood salads hit with acid and chilli, wok flamed noodles, roasted duck curries, all manner of fermented vegetables, waxed meats and crispy omelettes on hotplates... and a tom yam recipe passed to me from my favourite racer.”