Tired of the greasy fast food joints? Love the taste of the orient but fancy something a little different from the usual Chinese food? If the answer is yes, it might be time to try Thai! Thai food involves a variety of flavours and herbs, like basil, lime, coriander, shallots, garlic, spring onions, lemon grass, tamarind, ginger and fresh chilli. The reliance on fresh herbs rather than spices is one of the reasons Thai food is light and tasty, and rarely leaves you feeling over-fed or bloated. So here are a few places in London where you can enjoy delicious Thai cuisine without breaking the bank!Lemongrass – 243 Royal College Street, NW1, tube: Camden Town. Tel: 020 7284 1116.

Hidden away in the back streets of Camden Town, the restaurant itself is small and intimate, clean and bright – perfect for couples or small groups of people. There is an excellent selection of starters including the exquisite mango salad – chunky slices of ripe mango topped with red onion, carrot and cucumber shavings, lemon juice and coriander. The Lemongrass soup is another taste sensation. It is loosely based on the popular Thai tom yum soup and contains prawns, chunks of tomato and pineapple, mint, coriander and a chilli kick that balances the flavours marvellously. The legendary lok luk steak is an ideal main course – succulent cubes of beef in a delicious garlic sauce with black pepper. The ginger chicken with peppers, onion and tomato was also excellent, as was the sweet chilli chicken with its subtle zesty flavour and decent chilli kick. Pak choi, an oriental vegetable, dressed with a light garlic and ginger sauce is a tasty accompaniment to any of the main meals. For dessert, the banana fritters are delicious and fresh lychees or pineapple are an appetizing and healthy alternative for after the meal. The blend of subtle Thai flavours and the unique Cambodian influence make all the dishes tasty, light and thoroughly enjoyable. The winning combination of fantastic food, friendly service and bargain prices make Lemongrass a restaurant not to be missed.Taste of Siam – 45 Camden High Street, open 7 days a week. Tel: 0207 380 0665.

An intimate little restaurant near to Mornington Crescent station with excellent service, fabulous food and a relaxed atmosphere, as well as a take-away service. For starters try the Keaw Krob (deep fried pastry leaves filled with minced chicken, prawn and herbs), tempura prawns or crab claws or one of their delicious Thai soups. They have a great selection of authentic Thai curries and a wide range of seafood dishes. My personal favourite dishes are Kai Pad Med Ma Muang (chicken stir-fried with cashew nuts and red chilli) and the traditional noodle dish, Pad Thai – rice noodles stir-fried with prawns, bean sprouts, egg, ground peanuts, spring onion and salt turnip. They also have a good selection of vegetarian dishes, as well as tasty pork and beef dishes. The food is excellent with delicate flavours and ample portions, and the service is fast and attentive. A real star restaurant.Tommy Flynn’s – 55 Camden High St. Tel: 020 7387 3691.

If you fancy trying out some Thai food in a cosy Irish pub, this is the place for you! As well as reasonably-priced beer, the pub offers a great selection of normal pub grub and a fantastic Thai menu at very decent prices. They have Sky TV and if you like to have a pint and eat some of the best chicken satay you’ve ever tasted while watching the footie, this is definitely worth a visit.Thai Pot On The Strand – 148 Strand WC2R 1JA, nearest tube: Temple. Tel: 020 7497 0904.

A light and airy restaurant near Somerset House, ideal for quick lunches or relaxed evening meals and great value for money. Portions are generous and they do excellent set-menus starting from just £12.00 per head. To start, the perfect choice is Toong Tong – minced prawn and chicken with garlic wrapped and deep-fried in a rice paper sack until crispy golden brown, and then served with sweet plum sauce. Their specials are wonderful, including crispy fried rainbow trout and Goong Pao – chargrilled king prawns in their special chilli sauce. There is also a wide variety of sorbets to cleanse the palette after your meal. The restaurant is part of a chain, with successful venues in Covent Garden and Hanover.

Thai Garden Café – 32 Museum Street, Bloomsbury, London, WC1A 1LH. Tel: 020 7323 1494.

For an informal quick bite to eat, this cosy café is ideal. Two minutes from the British Museum, it is ideal for a light lunch after a cultured morning! The service is prompt and friendly and the food is very good, with most meals coming to no more than £20 a head. The menu is useful for beginners with chili ratings alongside the spicier menu options. The green curry was fantastic, and not too hot, and the traditional Pad Thai was delicately flavoured with plump juicy prawns. This place is perfect for diners seeking an unpretentious, relaxed atmosphere and decent homely Thai food.

Thai Metro – 38 Charlotte Street W1T 2NL, nearest tube: Tottenham Court Rd. Tel: 020 7436 4201.

Now in new and slightly larger premises, Thai Metro continues to combine good food with fast service. Some diners may not enjoy the slightly over-fast service, but for a quick meal in London, this is definitely worth a try. For starters, the tempura vegetables are excellent – crisp fresh vegetables in a delicious batter with a spicy dipping sauce. They also do a good Weeping Tiger – strips of sirloin steak marinated in Thai herbs and sauces and served on a sizzling plate. Perhaps slightly over-priced, as there are better Thai places, but still a pleasant restaurant.