It is a sign of quality assurance when you visit a Thai restaurant in London and they have branches in Thailand, across the globe and now six branches in London. We visited the latest branch of Patara at Hampstead to discover their take on the delectable flavours of Thai cuisine. The explosion of flavours and varied cooking styles are matched with well-sourced local ingredients to produce Patara’s enticing menu. The restaurant is already hugely popular with the Hampstead locals, as they were already turning away walk-in guests at 19:00 on a Friday night.
The restaurant has a clean, welcoming design with Thai Royal blue being the predominant colour matched with lighter shades of blue for the seating. The minimalist wine rack acting as useful wall partition.
We tried their beautifully arranged ocean set menu. The starters were some of the very best seafood options you will find on any Thai restaurant menu. The Tom Kha soup with prawns was suitably spicy with strong flavours from the galangal and lemongrass. The prawn satay had an enticing sweet peanut sauce to accompany it, whilst the extremely fresh king scallops had an unusual addition in the form of a piquant roasted chilli dressing and mint. These are innovative flavours that you might not find in any other Thai restaurant. The Thai soft-shelled crab could have been a touch crispier, but it was still readily devoured by all.
The main course options were equally appetising, the outright favourite was the rock lobster tail in green curry. The meat was firm and the dish had a fragrant aroma from the curry and the basil sauce. The black cod dish was delicately seared so as to not overcook the fish and had a curiously sweet and refreshing taste from the shiitake mushrooms in a shredded ginger, pickled soya, and yellow bean sauce. If there was anything to complain about, it was small quantity of rice offered relative to all the delicious dishes that were crying out for rice.
We also sampled some Thai wine: the Monsoon Valley, Colombard. It did go well with most the seafood dishes and had hints of guava and passionfruit, although the flavours could have been a little stronger, as the more powerful tasting dishes sometimes made the wine appear weak tasting.
Patara is definitely a welcome addition to the Hampstead High Street. Make sure you make a booking before going along, as they are extremely busy at the moment.