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REVIEW: Rosa’s Thai Cafe, Spitalfields

REVIEW: Rosa’s Thai Cafe, Spitalfields

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It can be surprisingly hard to find a good Thai in London, and up until recently, Busaba Eathai topped our list of recommended eateries. Continued praise of a little place called Rosa’s, which started as a British husband and Thai wife team in the East End and has branched out to six spaces across the capital due to mass popularity (most recently in Angel), sent us there on a busy Saturday night in January.

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Tables are packed in tight and there’s a colossal din as people fight to be heard over clattering plates and waitresses excusing themselves as steaming dishes whiz past your head. Seated, all feels a little calmer, and the large menu is distracting enough. A handful of customer favourites are demarked in red font, one of which we go for to start – thick, crispy Thai calamari in a huge bowl with a sweet plum sauce, (£7) alongside prawn tempura – some of the largest, juiciest prawns you’ll find at £7.50.

A selection of plates to share is best for mains, so as to try as much as possible – Pad Thai (£8) is traditional and perfectly executed, while more adventurous dishes like Green Curry Spaghetti (£12) require a little courage to order (go for it – think spicy, stir-fried pasta). Grilled duck breast (£12) is soft and smoky, served with tamarind sauce and cool steamed vegetables and stir-fried aubergine (another red option – £7.50) is a standout dish with yellow bean, soya sauce and sweet basil – it’s easy to see why it’s Rosa’s favourite.

A well thought-out wine list and selection of Thai beer suit this tangy, zesty feast – we tried a fine 2013 Sauvignon Blanc from Saint Clare, New Zealand. A fine place to stop off between weekend wanderings on Brick Lane and through Spitalfields (and well-placed for dinner after drinks in the City too), affable and affordable Rosa’s comes highly recommended.

Website: Rosasthaicafe.com

Address: Restaurants in Angel, Spitalfields (where we visited), Soho, Westfield Stratford, Carnaby, Chelsea

Amy Everett is FashionBite's food and travel editor, she also writes for national newspapers and magazines including the Guardian Travel, Stylist, Shortlist, Red, Cosmopolitan and more.

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