Thai food has never really been my favourite type of Asian cuisine. Not sure what it is but all that Thai basil and lemongrass just doesn’t really sit well with me. The lack of depth in Thai restaurants in London probably also doesn’t help a great deal. Sure, I always enjoy meals at Busaba, but that’s not really authentic Thai food now, is it?
So when I asked my friend what she wanted to eat for dinner, I was met with abject fear when she replied “Thai please”. And to compound it all, my friend is a vegetarian (yes, I am friends with vegetarians). So off I went to the fountain of all knowledge (Twitter) and pleaded for help. A flood of replies followed. Blue Elephant, etc etc etc, who knew there were so many places that people could recommend. In the end I opted for Rosa’s on Dean Street, a new(ish) outpost of the original Rosa’s in Spitalfields.
Located in the middle of Soho, the streets were buzzing, even for a Monday night. Sat in our booth, we cast our eye over the menu and the multiple vegetarian options kept my companion pleased. We decided to start with some vegetarian summer rolls, which were perfectly alright if not a little bland. Wrapped in sticky rice wrappers, they were packed with veg (led by lettuce) and studded with peanut sauce. Dipping it in the accompanying sweet chilli gave it a bit more flavour.
My main of Nuar Kwang Pad Prig Thai Dam had my tongue in a twist when I tried to order, but had my taste buds humming when I got to taste it. Stir fried slices of venison drenched in a peppery sauce were tender and quite punchy, I rather enjoyed it.
I felt rather indulgent so instead of the standard “fragrant” rice, I opted for the Kow Pad Rosa’s, a version of fried rice made with Thai sausage, which was the food equivalent of a “swing vote”. Well fried rice studded with sweet and meaty sausage, really nice and a great accompaniment to my venison dish.
My friends vegetarian main of Pad Ka Prow with vegetables and tofu was studded with chilli and garlic, and I was informed that it was exactly what she was looking for. I didn’t have a taste, being the good friend that I am, and let her eat all her tofu on her own.
I was pleasantly surprised by Rosa’s. It’s not often I have enjoyed Thai food in London but this hit the spot and was a nice spot to have dinner deep in the heart of West End. At £40 all in, it’s pretty affordable and you get some decent food for your money. The service was amiable and as we drank our tea and chatted for a while, we weren’t hassled and were left to our own devices. A trip down to Gelupo after the meal just added a fine punctuation to a lovely evening catching up with an old friend. Good Thai + good ice cream + good company = great evening.
Rosa's Soho - 48 Dean Street London, W1D 5BF
So here is something really really really really random. so today I am sitting having a coffee in Fuel Espresso in Hong Kong and a woman comes up to me and goes "hi, I remember you from London. My name is Rosa and you used to come to my restaurant every week". Seriously.
Glad you enjoyed it. Apparently soon you can try Rosa's in HK...
@Tom - Haha! Small world, how random.
I eat at rosa's in spitalfields regularly for lunch, which offers a limited menu of basics. Their pad thai noodles are made with the wrong noodles these days (so odd - are rice sticks so costly?), but otherwise it's a reliably lovely option. I usually go for the green curry, which has a good chilli kick.
How have I not heard of Rosa's before this? I only walk by Dean Street like, every weekend. Will have to look out for it now!
What a coinkidink, I'm going to Rosa's tonight! Will see how I like it :) At least I'm not vegetarian!
Tehbus - thanks for the lovely review about our restaurant. So glad you liked the place. TomEats, my wife was really pleased to bump in to you on Monday. Love coincidences like that!
American in London is a big fan of this place as well. I would like to try it as in my experience of Thai restaurants in London hasn't been great
I have wanted to try Rosa's for a while now. And of course, any restaurant that can be followed by Gelupo is great!!
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