This Thai eatery has an air on the ground floor of studied functionalism: the tables are clothless and the dressed-down-trendy customers can look a bit formidable. If they are busy, you might find yourself sharing a table, which

bothers some people. They also have an upstairs, with a few more decorative touches and less of a feeling that the whole of Islington is watching you as they walk past. Their food, though, is excellent, and generally speaking the service, though far from emollient, is speedy enough to make this a good place to wolf some speedy carbohydrate-and-chilli before slouching over the road to the Screen on the Green.

Tuk Tuk, 330 Upper St, Islington N1 (071-226 0837)

Tomorrow: The Latchmere, Battersea SW11.

(Photograph omitted)