Authentic Thai Cuisine at Patara Hampstead.
One of those places that, having lived in London for the best part of my adult life, you’d think I’d have tried already, Patara is a well established group of Thai restaurants. Founded in 1990 it predates the current vogue for authentic regional Asian cuisine and, I suspect it may just have been one of the influences. The restaurant website proudly quotes its founder
`Cooking is an art that comes straight from the heart to turn a simple dish into quelque delice simply add `Love` from start to finish`
As it happens I have been to Patara’s little sister, Suda Thai and enjoyed it very much. So I was delighted to be invited along to Patara Hampstead to try the ‘fine dining’ menu.
While we browsed through the menu, I enjoyed a glass of Sauvignon Blanc while my companion picked the Passionata, a lemon, orange and passionfruit mocktail with a dash of Angostura bitter.
We ended up mixing and matching from the lunch menu and the main a la carte and thoroughly enjoyed our meal.
My companion started with Avocado Som Tum, a Thai style salad with dried shrimps, nuts and lime-chilli dressing. We both thought the advertised cashew nuts were actually peanuts – but other than that, she enjoyed the mixture of flavours. There was a generous quantity of avocado and the dressing was spicy and piquant.
For me, Chor Muang, little handmade caramelised chicken and peanut steamed dumplings that were both pretty and unusual. I loved the delicate and fragrant filling which was dominated by peanuts and would happily have eaten another round of these,
On to the main courses which both came from the a la carte menu.
Lime and chilli seabass was a dish of delicate and lightly spiced steamed seabass fillets presented in something that looked very like a tagine to me. The fish was perfectly cooked, firm and flaky and the sauce delicious
My own choice of ‘Beef black pepper’ was wok fried beef fillet with a black pepper sauce and broccoli stems. The rich peppery and gingery sauce was delicious and the broccoli had just the right amount of bite. I thought the beef fillet was rather overcooked for my own taste, but it had plenty of flavour.
Both these dishes, between £19 and £20, were generous portions and if I’m honest, we could easily have shared one main course. We also had a dish of seasonal Thai vegetables, sticky rice and riceberry rice!
It perhaps wasn’t surprising then, that neither of us really wanted a dessert. We did end up trying the Thai Mango Cheesecake, which was beautifully presented and delicious.
Coffee and mint tea followed – a comforting end to a delicious meal.
I have no hesitation in recommending lunch at Patara in Hampstead. Now I would like to go back in the evening, perhaps to one of the central London outlets to see whether the calm and thoughtful service works as well when the restaurant is busier. All in the cause of research of course…although there might just be an element of wanting to try some more of the delicious food.
82 Hampstead High Street,
London, NW3 1RE
0207 431 5902
For more Asian restaurants, we recommend the following:
The Giggling Squid Thai Restaurants in Tunbridge Wells and throughout the UK