A special birthday dinner led us to Nipa Thai in Lancaster Gate.
I love Thai food and along with Vietnamese food, the freshness of the ingredients takes the dishes to another level.
Nipa Thai is the place where Thai embassy staff go to eat so trusting their knowledge and tastes I booked this place for my fathers birthday. Located in the Lancaster Hotel in west London and close to a few pubs, we had our drinks and went to enjoy the food.
A lovely restaurant with a welcoming ambience and great seats too. The table was laid out with all the right utensils ready for us. The seats too were a highlight for me, no arm rests which were strange for my brothers but very comfortable and stylish. I felt a bit like royalty.
A true test for me on the quality of a Thai restaurant and food is on their Tom Yum Koong soup. This hot and spicy soup is a true test because you don't want too much heat but enough to recognise the heat but more importantly you want the flavours to come through. The chilli, lemon grass and lime leaves need to be dominant and also a generous amount of prawns are always welcomed too. Here at Nipa they definitely supplied all that i wanted from a Tom Yum Koong soup. The heat was there, the fresh flavours clearly on display and a good amount of prawns. Hot and hearty this was a good start from Nipa.
The menu and food at Nipa appeals to the appetite. One thing that was missing was some duck on the menu. A previous favourite of the family was the Paed Makem at Blue Elephant. I know you cannot expect the same everywhere but we all did fancy some duck. Alas we had to choose other dishes. Ah well.
We ordered sharing dishes as we usually do, the starters were the soup and some rolls and for mains, these were a mix of curries, noodles and other meats too.
Above and below were the starters we had. The starters we shared were steamed rice wraps which came in different colours and were stuffed with chicken, shallots and roasted peanuts. These were light and delicate and unfortunately not enough to enjoy it enough.
This worked well with the hot soup and already I had sampled a good selection of Thailand's finest dishes. Fresh and spicy, Hot and crunchy, tasty and zingy. Good ways to describe the food here and this was just the starters.
For the main courses, we ordered the Thai favourite and classic dish of Massaman curry, fried chicken wrapped in Pandan leaves (below), spiced sliced beef and prawn noodles.
My favourites were the sliced beef, which came almost as a salad. The spiced beef had a sweetness to it that tickled the taste buds. The chicken wrapped in the Pandan leaf was fried nice and golden but kept tender and juicy inside. These small parcels were really good, but almost like the steamed rice wraps I wanted more.
I'm used to feeling quite stuffed after having oriental food, but this evening i felt more satisfied than stuffed. The portion size was adequate and tasty. At under £45 a head, with cocktails the price point was fair. Good food and good service. The setting was very delightful and if you want to impress someone this is a good place to take them. Family, friends and even for a business meal, Nipa Thai is a good place to go.
A great foodie venue and a foodie win for me this week. Nipa Thai ten minutes away from the west end and needs to be on the list for top Thai food places in London. Can you name me some more?