Rosa’s Thai Cafe which have venues situated in; Spitalfields, Soho, Westfield Stratford, and Carnaby, recently opened their first restaurant that has a bar inside in Chelsea, which I visited recently with a friend.

The restaurant was quite busy with clientèle appearing to be well off, middle-aged socialites. The restaurant eventually reached maximum capacity which felt a little cramped at times. As much as the large novelty Christmas tree adorned with quirky cute toy stuffed crabs was a talking point, and good show, it probably didn’t help with the spatial availability.

Obviously inspired by their festive deco, my friend ordered the Soft Shell Crab – crispy crab topped with Thai herbs, shallots, and spicy fresh chilli sauce. This starter came served with a fresh salad of peppers which was a really nice cool contrast to the crispy spicy crab.

I went for the Spicy Pork Patties – lightly deep fried spiced marinated minced pork with galangal, lemongrass, garlic and chilli. These were cooked really well being uber crisp on the outside and tender, herby and well spiced on the inside. It came served with a smokey honey sauce that was so good I could have done with the double the amount served. Lovely.

In the space between courses, even with a busy restaurant, the staff were so attentive always ensuring that our water and wine were topped up as required and done so with such stealth it almost gave the impression we had magic never ending glasses.

For a main I chose the Grilled Jumbo Prawns with spicy fresh chilli sauce, and cooled steamed vegetables. Unfortunately, this dish was really underwhelming. My reason for this being that the prawns had been butterflied and cut in half and not stated to be served in that manner on the menu. I felt they were overcooked and awkward to eat picking the flesh out of the charred outer half shells. It took the fun out of jumbo prawns for me. The cooled steamed vegetables were verging on raw, however, I would much rather vegetables be overly al-dente than mush. The side I chose was Garlic Brown Rice- and considering the amount of crispy garlic it had on top of the rice, it was rather bland unfortunately.

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After then seeing and tasting my friend’s main course, however, I would be interested in going back to Rosa’s Thai and exploring the other curries they have on offer. My friend had Salmon Red Curry- deep fried salmon fillet in light batter in Thai red curry and Thai herbs. The fish was beautiful and the curry sauce it came in was superb. An array of flavours elegantly executed with nothing too overpowering which so many curries can be. The coconut rice that we paired with this was also delicious.

Lacking a dessert menu the restaurant do offer a coconut or green tea ice cream (not homemade unfortunately) of which we had and shared both. Both these flavours beautiful, my favourite being the green tea. They don’t appear on any menu so you will have to ask and I recommend that you do as it was a really lovely end to the meal.

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It’s a shame my main was not what I was expecting, but the flavours of the other dishes we tried were really good and the fact the restaurant was packed mid-week with locals shows that the Rosa’s Thai in Chelsea must be doing something good. Next time I visit a Rosa’s Thai I will most certainly be having one of their curries.

REVIEWED BY: by Jordan Lohan
VENUE PHONE: 020 3773 8384
STAR RATING: ★★★ (explained)
PRICE: ££ (explained)

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