Central London

Published on June 22nd, 2016 | by Clarissa Waldron

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Nipa Thai, Lancaster London Hotel

Finding your way in to Nipa Thai in the Lancaster London hotel is quite an enchanting experience. You take the lift to the first floor from the spacious and refined lobby and then arrive into a corridor where Nipa Thai lies at the end. You enter to quietly playing traditional music and are guided to the table by pleasantly subdued, smiling staff. The experience early on can only be described as ‘delicate’ and sat surrounded by teak paneled interiors, ornate decorations crafted in Thailand and a side view of Hyde Park with no distinguishable characteristics; you really could be worlds away from central London.

To stick with the theme, the wine we chose came from the ‘Recommended with Thai dishes’ section of the list. We went with the rosé, which was quite a gamble for us, but our verdict was resounding. This we would recommend wholeheartedly, and not just for Thai food.

Struggling to decide on our starters, the chef’s platter was not a disappointment. Chicken skewers were juicy, wontons were satisfyingly crispy and the fish cakes were perfectly tangy and melt in the mouth. Served with a choice of dips, it was the peanut satay that kept us coming back for more.

Nipa Thai Platter

This is the sort of place you’d feel inadequate and underdressed in, even if you are decked out in your gladrags. But the hospitability of staff is in no way the purveyor of this. Service is astute, quick and dedicated here. Our waiter offered to take a photo of us after spotting me getting snap-happy and later brought an added Sanguan’s Pad Thai to the table for us to try with our mains, certain of its sublimity.

And sublime it was. The thick mass of noodles were generously dotted with impressive sized prawns, beansprouts and scallions dressed in a sufficient amount of sauce to let the dish breathe.

Nipa Thai Mains

Kai Phad Med Ma Muang Him Ma Parn turned out to be chicken with cashew and mushrooms sat in a light sauce allowing the freshness and flavours of the ingredients to shine though, while the seabass in the Pla Phad Char did the same, despite wrestling for the limelight with a curry infused with lemongrass, sweet basil and peppercorns.

Presentation is given plenty of thought here too and it’s a charming addition to each dish, despite not needing the distractions.

If you can’t get your head around the Ice Tim Tod, deep fried ice-cream (as we couldn’t), it transpired to be ice cream enclaved within a hot dough. So good I’m still questioning how they managed it! If looking for something lighter, the Cake Kluay Horm is a good choice. Banana pudding is dipped in rich banana syrup and joined with bananas, toffee syrup and vanilla ice cream. The dish is deliciously sweet to satisfy cravings, while the pudding is airy enough to not feel you’re going overboard. We were twice encouraged to try the Kaow Niew Ma Moung, a native sweet dish of mango sticky rice with coconut cream but we feared another portion of rice might tear the waistband!

Warm Ice Cream

With 16 years of experience Chef Sanguan Parr heads up the kitchen here at Nipa Thai, so you’re undoubtedly in safe hands for a legit Thai experience; and the restaurant has recently added two new bargainous offerings to its menu, the Thai Wine paired set menus (£49-65) and the Pre-theatre Khantok menu (£19.50pp) so you can enjoy the best of Thailand for a little less!

http://www.niparestaurant.co.uk/

Nipa Thai, Lancaster London Hotel, Lancaster Terrace, W2 2TY

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