Traditional Thai Cuisine at Nipa Thai, Bayswater
Restaurant Review: Nipa Thai, Lancaster London Hotel
Style Points: 4/5
Having never been too impressed by Thai restaurants in London, I was eager to try Nipa Thai which is one of a few UK restaurants to be selected for an award by the Thai government for the quality of its food.
Located within the luxurious Lancaster London Hotel, Nipa is traditionally decorated with wood panelling and beautiful Thai artefacts adorning the walls. A refined yet relaxed atmosphere, we settled into our comfy seats hopeful for some wonderful food.
What's on the menu?
After informing the staff that we were both vegetarian, we were sent an amuse bouche with spices that had my taste buds racing.
Following this, from the menu we ordered spring rolls and sweetcorn fritters. They arrived beautifully presented and very obviously freshly made. Both were delicious and the perfect way to start our meal.
For the main course we tried the stir fried asparagus with bean curd (tofu), the bean curd and vegetables in green curry and the phad thai with vegetables and bean curd along with some coconut rice. We were impressed with all the dishes. The asparagus with tofu was particularly crisp and fresh whilst the phad thai had a smoky flavour that I hadn't experienced before in that dish.
I could taste such a variety of different flavours in the curry which was why I was in for such a shock when I started overheating. I believe the chilli was cut so finely that I didn't really realise the impact until I paused for a moment. Maybe asking it for it with a medium heat was a little ambitious!
We had to try the desserts despite being so full. Often the desserts in Asian restaurants are somewhat disappointing but the desserts on the menu at Nipa didn't let us down. I opted for the deep-fried ice cream with chocolate sauce whilst my companion chose the vanilla cheesecake with mixed berry and banana sorbet. Both we scrumptious and refreshing after such flavoursome dishes.
We were also lucky enough to find our favourite wine on the wine list so were delighted to order the Kung Fu Reisling to accompany our meal.
Could I afford to dine here again?
Nipa Thai does sit on the pricey sidem although the reason for this is shown in the cooking. Starters range from £8 - £12 whilst mains can reach up to £22 although obviously costs stay down when eating vegetarian. Lastly desserts come in at a quite hefty £9 each.
I had a exceptional meal at Nipa Thai. The food tasted as though it was lovingly and expertly prepared which made such a difference from other Thai restaurants where the food can taste as though it was made without a moment's thought.
My only complaint was the spiciness of the curry but that could have been my fault in not knowing how hot a medium might be. The ambience was mellow and the service was impeccable.
I would fully recommend Nipa to anyone looking for an upmarket Thai restaurant as you will be in for a treat.