Set in the leafy suburbs of Hampstead is the newly opened, sophisticated Thai restaurant, Patara. Elegantly mixing the classic with the modern, this establishment has a friendly, somewhat mystical aura to it. Stepping into the restaurant you leave the streets of London behind and feel as if you’ve been transported to Thailand, surrounded by bronzed Thai statues and subtle eastern decorations.
My friend and I were greeted with warmth, smiles and a cocktail of our choice. We both opted for the passion fruit Caipirinha. Deliciously fruity with a generous helping of limes, a splash of cachaca, a sprinkle of sugar and a colourful passion fruit perfectly placed on top, this cocktail went down a treat. The zesty, exotic flavours perfectly complimented each other.
The starters were equally as colourful. My friend opted for the crab and prawn rice rolls. They were so neatly presented it was as if we had been served a dish from the MasterChef finals. These seafood tasters were a winning dish. As for my starter, the chilli and sea-salt calamari, it was just what the doctor ordered. Crispy, spicy, perfectly light, it left me wanting more. Luckily mains were up next.
It’s not often you go to a restaurant where you like the look of every single option on the menu. At Patara that was pretty much the case. Luckily our friendly waitress, originally from Chiang Mai, was on hand to help us with our food-based dilemmas. She recommended the flame-seared tiger prawns for my friend. The prawns, tossed in roasted chilli, were enormous, succulent and truly delicious. I opted for the honey-roast duck curry. Drenched in a creamy sauce with pineapple, lychee and cherry tomatoes, this Thai curry was full of flavour and was truly delicious alongside a portion of sticky Thai rice. My taste buds were transported back to the streets of Bangkok.
Next up desserts. And boy were they amazing! I fell head over heels for the chocolate fondant. Warm dark chocolate lava, erupting with a gooey chocolatey goodness in the centre, with a dollop of salted caramel ice cream on the side to cool down this volcanic treat. I would happily make the journey from South London to North again for a portion of this chocolatey heaven. Enough said. My friend opted for ice cream, a scoop of coconut and vanilla. The coconut was the favourite.
All in all the service was impeccable, the staff super friendly, and the food divine! If like us, you’re torn on what to choose from the menu, you can opt for the signature or vegetarian banquet, or the ocean set menu. It was a very enjoyable experience and I recommend you visit Patara before the crowds clock onto this hidden gem.
Reviewed by Sophie Cole | Twitter: @sjcole333