I celebrated my birthday when my folks were in town by helping them enjoy some delicious Thai food and one of my more favourite Thai places, Patara. I like Patara because it although it’s not quite as fancy as Nahm yet it’s much better quality than what you’ll find at any of the Thai Square branches or Thai restaurants found in any pubs.
I love how, when you walk into Patara, it feels like you are back in Thailand. Strong scents of lemongrass waft about you and the decor changes drastically from the cold and often gray surroundings of London to brightly coloured walls.
The great thing about dining as a family, Chinese style is ordering a whole heap of dishes to share. Here’s what we ended up ordering.
Satay Trio – A selection of chicken, beef and prawns delicately seasoned with a slightly spicy peanut dipping sauce. They impressed me with the attention to presentation detail with that perfect curl of coconut cream signed into the sauce.
Betel leaf wrapped prawn – I thought we’d ordered the beef wrapped in betel nut leaves, but they brought us a seafood version instead. Not bad but I wouldn’t order it again.
Thai fish and prawn cakes with cucumber salsa – Good Thai fishcakes are often hard to come by, and Patara’s was perfectly cooked – still very juicy and that slightly chewy texture with slightly crisp edges.
Lamb shank in paneng curry – This is one of my major reasons to come to Patara and I find it really difficult to order anything differently. The curry is not overly sweet and has plenty of spicy kick and the lamb shank is so well cooked it literally falls off the bone. The rest of the family has a huge dislike of lamb, yet they all tried it and was certainly impressed by the flavours and its succulence without an excessively strong lamb flavour.
Grilled chicken skewers – This was a special off their menu and was served with a tangy tamarind sauce. The chicken had that slightly smoky flavour from the grill and stayed nicely succulent with each bite.
Deep fried sea bass fillet served with light red curry sauce – This dish looks extremely impressive on arrival with the whole fish deboned in advanced and each piece, deep fried to a crisp and then served with a deliciously spicy red curry sauce.
Stir-fried broccoli spears with shitake mushrooms – Fairly ordinary greens.
Coconut lemongrass pie – Nice to have something warm when it’s so cold outside. The lemongrass flavours comes across rather strongly with the coconut playing a much more subtle role.
Baked banana served warm with vanilla ice cream and toasted almonds – A great combo of hot and cold.
Name: Patara (Oxford Circus branch)
Found at: 7 Maddox St., London W1S 2QB