In the heart of London, the bustling streets of Soho offer an array of individual restaurants, serving delicious food from all over the world. When I met Milly there last week, I was delighted when she said we were going to a Thai restaurant as it’s my favourite cuisine.
Patara is a beautifully designed restaurant set in classy interiors (think dim lighting, exposed brickwork and Thai wood carvings) offering fantastic Thai food, using the highest quality ingredients. The menu was certainly extensive and it took a while for Milly and I to make decisions. A smiley Thai waiter took our drinks orders first – I went for a passionfruit caipriniha and Milly went for a regular caipriniha. In all honesty, they were not the best cocktails I’ve ever tasted but the food that came later, more than made up for the drinks.
For starters, I ordered the assorted rice paper rolls with prawns, crabmeat and five spice duck served with a lime and chilli sauce. The presentation was immaculate, complete with a lovely flower carved out of a red pepper. The taste of the dish was even better; the freshness and quality of the ingredients were especially striking and lime and chilli sauce was refreshing and a perfect complement to the rolls. Milly ordered the ordered the chicken and beef satay combination and we both feel confident in saying it was one of the best satay sauces we have ever tasted!
Although the menu had a range of original and exciting dishes (i.e. wild boar curry), we couldn’t resist ordering some classics – the beef fillet red coconut curry (with Thai eggplant and sweet basil leaves) and the free-range chicken green curry with sweet basil leaves. The curry sauces were lovely but the real highlight -of both dishes- was the meat. The quality of the chicken was superb and the beef was so tender it simply melted in your mouth. This was a refreshing change for me as I usually order vegetarian curries when I’m eating out because I don’t like eating fatty/overcooked meat which is so common in many Asian restaurants. Patara have clearly decided to provide a fine dining experience and have opted to use the best produce possible; it certainly shows.
We complemented the two curries with a side of greens – Chinese Water Spinach (morning glory) with chilli and garlic - which was really tasty and a perfect addition to the rich and creamy curries.
When it came to the dessert menu, neither of us had our hopes up; I will make a sweeping generalisation, but the desserts in many Asian restaurants are often disappointing, involving too much sticky rice and mangoes or deep fried bananas. Patara’s desserts are in a different league and I urge you to try them- however full you are after your main course!
We ordered the homemade coconut ice cream and the bitter chocolate chocolate pudding with mango sorbet. The coconut ice-cream was truly delightful; definitely homemade and full of fresh coconut. The chocolate pudding oozed rich melted chocolate and its accompanying sweet mango sorbet was also incredible! Milly rounded off the meal with some fresh mint tea in a very classy teapot.
If you love Thai food as much as me, I would definitely recommend trying Patara; its original menu and the top-notch ingredients make it stand out. This quality does come at a price though – the beef fillet red curry was an expensive £19.50 and rice is charged on top of this. This aside, as a special treat Milly and I do not think you will be disappointed … Just make sure you leave enough space for that coconut ice-cream!
Visit the Patara website here for more information.
Written by a Thoroughly Modern Miss, Sabina Morley.