Much to the amusement of my colleagues, when I was at uni I went to Thailand and did the whole Full Moon thing. It’s what one calls a ‘gap yah tragedy’ of sorts, and it gets brought up regularly in the office when everyone needs a good laugh.
Despite the laughter I have very fond memories about the trip, but funnily enough, bad memories about the food. I was used to anglicised Thai food, so the real thing didn’t taste right to me. The Pad Thai was too sweet, the Green Curry reminiscent of smelly socks. I was just not for me and so, I came back from the trip uninspired by what I had tried.
But, last summer I was at Taste of London and I had a rather lovely taste of Thailand in the form of some fragrant, light summer rolls from Rosa’s, a lovely little chain of Thai restaurants in London.
With humble beginnings as a street food stall on Brick Lane, Rosa’s has now put down some rather more permanent roots around London, including their latest opening on Upper Street. Owned by husband and wife team, Alex and Saiphin Moore, Rosa’s in Angel serves a seasonal menu celebrating traditional flavours and cooking techniques with a modern twist.
We tried several dishes from the menu including the Fresh Summer Rolls bursting with glass noodles and vegetables, and dipped in sweet chilli sauce; Thai Calamari in a crispy batter topped with Thai herbs and a plum sauce; Spicy Seafood Hotplate with sizzling stir fried squid, tiger prawns, mussels and scallops with mixed spices, chilli black pepper and galangal; and Stir Fried Prawn with pad Thai Sauce. The combination and balance of flavours tasted authentic and fresh, banishing my preconceptions of Koh San Road Anglo-Thai fare.
All dishes are reasonably priced with a starter averaging around £7-7.50, mains around £10-12, rice around £3-4 and the all-important Chang beer for £3.99.
Rosa’s has awakened a love of Thai food in me that I never thought would exist! They have also just released a wonderful cookbook called Rosa’s Thai Cafe: The Cookbook, making Thai cooking at home that much easier.
I must also mention the service, which was exemplary. Thank you!
Rosa’s Angel, 6 Theberton Street, London, N1 0QX