Just Opened

Published on January 12th, 2015 | by Sophia Longhi


Rosa’s Thai Cafe, Angel

Rosa’s Thai Cafe, Angel Sophia Longhi

Summary: Great, authentic Thai food that's reasonably priced, in a place people feel comfortable and relaxed


Great Value Thai

There is a lot to be said for likeability. To risk sounding like an X Factor judge, you’ve either got it or you haven’t, and Rosa’s Thai has definitely got it in spades. It starts with a great story – a guy from the UK and a girl from Thailand get married and start a food stall on Brick Lane Market, with the idea of bringing the East to the East End. Fast forward a few years, and this humble street stall has developed into a small chain of six restaurants around London. There is undoubtedly something about it – and the secret is probably simpler than you’d think.

Rosa’s newest addition is its Angel restaurant, just off the foodie’s strip of gastro heaven, Upper Street. Decor is kept clean and simple, with light-wood walls and tables, and the atmosphere, in turn, is relaxed, with upbeat music playing in the background, smiling waiting staff and content diners enjoying their food.

Everything on the menu looks good. It is a full list with plenty of selection, without being overly extensive. We try a few classic Thai dishes: the vegetable fried spring rolls, stuffed with glass noodles and served with sweet chilli sauce, the Pandan chicken, Pad Thai with prawns and the chilli and holy basil pork stir-fry with a side of steamed coconut rice.

Pandan Chicken

The fried spring rolls, a firm favourite, are light, tasty and satisfy the craving for Thai food immediately. The mixed veg filling encased in a thin, crisp, golden pastry, tastes fresh and full of flavour. The Pandan chicken pieces marinated and deep-fried in Pandan leaves, deliver a hit of heady aromatic lemongrass once the little parcels are unwrapped, and taste delicious.

Pad Thai can sometimes be hit and miss, not resembling Pad Thai at all – either too dry, too sweet, too bland or too greasy. This one, however, is definitely Pad Thai. It comes with large, juicy king prawns and, in traditional Thai style, piles of crushed peanuts and chilli flakes and a lime wedge, so that you can modify the dish to taste. The chilli and holy basil pork stir-fry holds no punches on flavour and is served in a divine gravy, with fresh crunchy vegetables and succulent pork pieces. It goes perfectly with the delicately sweet coconut rice. The meal is light enough to take up the offer of a serving of homemade ice-cream. We try a scoop of the coconut and a scoop of the sweet milk tea – both of which are heavenly and must be tried. They have the slightly chewy texture that homemade ice-cream tends to have and are deliciously creamy, without any hint of sickly artificial flavours.

Homemade Ice Cream

So the secret? Great, authentic Thai food; reasonably priced, in a place people feel comfortable and relaxed. Simple. You could pop into Rosa’s Thai on the way home from work to meet a friend for a quick dinner. It would be great for an informal date, where the food would speak volumes. It would even be perfect for a group of friends to celebrate a birthday party on a big table, brimming with dishes and arms reaching across each other. Friendly, knowledgeable service, pleasant surroundings and above all, delicious grub, makes Rosa’s Thai Cafe a winner every time, wherever the next one pops up.


Rosa’s Thai Café, 6 Theberton St, N1 0QX

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About the Author

Lioneye Media lionesses, Sophia and Rebecca, can tweet with one hand whist sipping an espresso martini with the other. Dedicated food, wine and cocktail connoisseurs, they love nothing better than scoping out London for its best bars and restaurants. Follow their exploits and breakfast pics on Twitter @LioneyeMedia

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