i recently spent a couple of days being a tourist down in london - a couple of glasses of wine by canary wharf, spending time at the tates, visiting the british museum for the first time, a cider or two at the udder belly festival, a wander around borough market, bagels on brick lane, trying not to be scared of the tube and of course... being a food tourist.
before jumping on the 10.57 from leicester to st. pancras, i asked about for recommendations on twitter, from friends that have fled down south and did a bit of research on time out. i found rosa's thai cafe on the cheap eats section - where my friend grace also found bombay cafe dishoom and japanese gem koya. reviewing both of these upon my return, they definitely didn't disappoint. and rosa's was no exception... yippee!
it was a quaint little place where we were greeted with a smile and a charming arrangement of pink flowers posing in a chili paste jar. a nice touch :) even though i'd looked at the menu online already, i couldn't make my mind up at all! i made a snap decision at fish satay char-grilled with a lemongrass marinade and peanut sauce (£7.49). drool.
my boyfriend had crispy vegetable spring rolls with a sweet chilli sauce (£6.25). i obviously had to trade a bite of my satay for a bite of one... divine and crispy! i still think the fish satay was my favourite of the two though as they were so moreish. i loved how everything came out on white and navy blue tin plates, bowls and servers.
for main i had scallops and vegetables (£11.99)... i seriously must've had at least three of my five a day here?! wow i felt healthy. when the dish came out i was a tad worried that even thought it looked so colourful it would be bland compared to the red thai and green thai curries i've tried before. however it had an almost garlic soup-like dressing which was really tasty with the sticky rice. the scallops were melt in the mouth and seemed as though they had been cooked in the sauce rather than pan fried.
this is the roast duck curry (£11.99). too spicy for me to have had a whole one to myself but very pleasingly fragrant with a real kick. (watch out for the s next to the dishes if you like a bit of spice!) in the sauce was peppers, pineapple, cherry tomatoes, sweet basil leaves and coriander.
so basically from the moment i walked in, i could see a few specials and desserts on the board and as soon as i saw green tea ice cream... green tea ice cream... green tea ice cream i just had to have it.
i always love the asian ice creams at hyper japan - namely red aduki bean - and yet here in leicester i'm yet to find anywhere that does my beloved green tea or wasabi ice cream :( so we finished the meal with a delish bowl of the stuff... :)
we actually went to rosa's quite early (around 6ish) so were seated straight way but by this time the place was full and i'm told by half 7 there would probably be a queue at the door. this kinda scares me about london restaurants but at least it's a sign of a good find :)
born in the east, raised in the east end. and it really works! there were some really modern sounding dishes with thai influences that i'd love to try next time... green thai spaghetti, venison red curry and sirloin beef to name a few.
have you ever been to rosa's thai cafe in soho or their other two venues? do you have any similar recommendations? i blogged about koya and dishoom in recent months - finally got to try a dishoom breakfast so will write about that soon too!