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Ting Thai Caravan, Edinburgh, restaurant review

You'll find all your Ting Thai Caravan favourites at their new Lothian Road camp, says Gaby Soutar

Published: February 5, 2020

Barbra Streisand had her dog, Samantha, cloned.

The results were Miss Violet and Miss Scarlet.

She also has a third Coton de Tulear, Miss Fanny, created in a no-petri-dish-involved style. (I just wanted to mention her because of the amusing Ru Paul’s Drag Race-esque name).

Apparently, Barbra was interested to discover that the cloned pups had different personalities to the late Samantha. It goes to show, a copy of something doesn’t always measure up to the original.

I hoped it wouldn’t be the same for the Ting Thai Caravan redux on Lothian Road. They’ve slotted in the place of sandwich shop Coletti & Co, at the lower end of the street, so perfect for pre-theatre land.

The menu and interior seem almost exactly the same as the Bristo Place venue, including that strange computer generated image of a bichon frise. Unlike the first branch, this clone is not rammed yet.

I thought about getting my usual kai look-keuy son-in-law (£3.40) – a deep fried egg elevated with crispy shallot, dry chilli and Ting chilli jam – but we shared the goong frong beer (£3.80) instead. On two skewers, these consisted of king prawns in bubbly puffas of “grated coconut beer batter”, with pencil shavings of deep fried sweet potato crisp and a mango salsa and green salad.

Our relatively mellow peng gai kao prik (£3.40) – aka Bangkok spicy chicken wings, or a ramekin of soft little flappers anointed with a dark red sweet sauce – guaranteed sticky paws, as if you were scooping jam from the jar.

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From the Sides list, we went for cap moo (£1.60) – not the head sailor on a cattle boat, but puffy crispy pork skins with more of their unctuous and opaque Ting chilli jam.

In case any taste buds were still hibernating, we also ordered the yam sam krob (£3.80), which featured two more of those cap moo, as well as prawns studded with chilli seeds, pale strips of tender squid, and a pop of lime juice. To complete the triple prawn whammy, there were a more of these critters curled up on my nua yam talay (£7.80), or grilled and sliced rump steak topped by a salty Thai spicy talay.

Also from the Other Boxes section was the ped nam pueng (£6.80), which featured slices of pan seared honey duck breast in a soupy and smoky tamarind broth, as well as bits of frilly edged carrot, pak choi, onion and other bits of vegetation.

We also got some steamy Thai jasmine rice (£1.60) to share.

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If you want carbs to be included, choose from the Rice & Noodle section. There was another pile of jasmine rice with the khao mun gai tod (£6.80), as well as shallow fried chicken and a sauce that was similar to the talay that came with the rump steak, as well as a minimally dressed ajard salad on the side.

Yep, I’d say this place is as good as the original. It doesn’t disappoint, like Miss Violet or Miss Scarlet might.

For pudding, we walked to Fountainbridge’s new plant shop and cafe, Grow Urban (92 Grove Street), where you can drink coffee amongst polka dot begonias and rattlesnake plants.

(I own a lovely prayer plant from here, which has stopped “praying” – ie drawing its leaves up at night – because it’s given up on life, thanks to my terrible botanical parenting skills).

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We hoped for loads of cakes, but there was only one – the salted caramel brownie (£3.20), which was being portioned up as we arrived. This has become our best cake of all time, and we’ve been back three times since.

It’s rich and dark, with a fudgy texture on its upper levels and a marbled swirl of salt dusted caramel. I suppose it’s lucky that my frothy Callebaut mocha (£3.50) was only gently sugary, as even I couldn’t have managed both.

Lovely, so I hope, if it ever chooses to do so, this place will also successfully propagate.

Ting Thai Caravan Edinburgh

55-57 Lothian Road, Edinburgh

(0131-466 7283,

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Gaby Soutar is a lifestyle editor at The Scotsman. She has been reviewing restaurants for The Scotsman Magazine since 2007 and edits the weekly food pages.

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