Siam Central seems to be a perennial go-to place for a lot of people I know. It's got a convenient location, and while the food isn't mind-blowing it's usually pretty reliable. The Thai tapas section is always tempting, but with most of us sticking to a budget of under a tenner, we tend to head straight for the mains. The noodle dishes won't cost you an arm and a leg and the portions are big enough that two small eaters can usually be satisfied just sharing one plate.
The decor is unobtrusive, just hinting at exoticism. The glass walls let quite a lot of sun in, which is always nice. Being seated next to the door can be quite a pain though, especially when it's cold out and you get a gust of wind in your face every time someone opens the door. When we were there an alarm kept sounding as well and someone had to scramble to the big box of wires by our heads to switch it off.
I had the thick rice noodles with tofu, which was oily and quite heavy, but tasty enough. They do give chilli if you ask, which helped keep the dish sufficiently fresh for me to plough through most of it.
With four of us around, we decided to be a bit more adventurous and order another dish to share. The pork with aubergine and chilli, stir fried with sweet basil and soy beans was a bit of a disappointment though. While the vegetables acquitted themselves quite nicely, the pork was tough and quite stringy.
Siam Central, 14 Charlotte Street London, W1T 2LX