Rosa’s Thai Cafe has now established itself as a failsafe bet for when you need a satay fix or expertly-spiced green curry and the risk of trying somewhere new proves, well, too much of a risk. Sickly sweet sauces are never a good thing but the announcement that Rosa’s is coming to Victoria is sweet and very welcome.
Husband and wife, Saiphin and Alex Moore, began Rosa’s Thai Cafe from a stall in Brick Lane in 2008, much to the delight of East Enders hungry for a taste of the Far East. 8 years and 6 sites later the couple have wisely invested their £1.8 million funding from Santander and the Victoria opening comes alongside an announcement about a future Brixton opening.
Authentic with a stylish spin, the existing Rosa’s cafes in Spitalfields, Soho, Westfield Stratford, Carnaby, Chelsea and Angel are airy and fresh with natural materials and quirky touches like old tea tins for cutlery, patterned plates on the walls and handwritten chalkboard menus. The Victoria restaurant is following suit but the architects Gundry & Ducker have played things a little safer in the slightly more corporate new surroundings. A 58-cover ground floor space will be ideal for the ‘fast, friendly and enticing’ eating style Rosa’s pride themselves on, whilst a cosier and more intimate downstairs area seating just 12 will become ‘Saiphin’s living room’ – a nod to owner Saiphin’s home town of Khao Kor in northern Thailand.
The corner site on Gillingham Street was, until February, a pop-up run by Saiphin which served food from neighbouring country Laos. The popularity of Laos Cafe makes the opening of Rosa’s all the more hotly anticipated. Clever, really. When it opens, the menu will include all the classics you can find in the other Rosa sites; crispy prawns, tom yum soup, mussaman curry and pad Thai as well as original Rosa dishes and a selection of wines, aromatic teas and Thai beers and cocktails. Authentic Thai food made from the finest British ingredients, it’s all the best bits of modern Thailand with the cool charm of local London.
Rosa’s Thai Cafe Victoria: Opens 16th May, 25 Gillingham Street, Victoria, SW1V 1HN www.rosasthaicafe.com
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Fran can be found sipping espresso martinis by night and, by day, on the hunt for London's best brunch. Bonus points for a runny yolk and the perfect flat white.