The award-winning Nipa Thai impresses
By ANTONY NEWTON and LAURA TOOGOOD
Overlooking Hyde Park and incorporated into the Lancaster London Hotel is Nipa Thai. Nipa Thai is part of an elite group of restaurants to have received the “Thai Select” award from the Thai government. Considering we are both huge fans of this cuisine, we were naturally excited to try the menu.
The restaurant is beautifully decorated with original Thai artifacts and the distinctive décor helps to separate it from the hotel. There is a very relaxed and calming atmosphere even though it was fully booked on our visit.
With the lighter evenings now upon us, the tables by the windows that overlook the park are certainly the ones to book if you want to make the most of the location. We sat slightly further back in the restaurant but were definitely rather envious of the couples who had arrived early enough to enjoy this prime position.
We started with the Chef’s selection, which included spring rolls, chicken satay and some steamed rice wraps of various joy that were packed full of classic Thai flavours but equally different textures. Accompanying this course was a Tom Yum Koong soup that certainly did not disappoint. The smell of this prawn-laced luxurious broth was instantly recognisable with coriander, lemon grass and kaffir lime leaves, leading onto a momentous chilli kick to warm up the senses.
For the main course we mixed a classic dish with something more contemporary. The vibrant chicken and aubergine green curry (Kaeng Kiew Warn Kai) was both aromatic and warming, whilst the chicken chilli stir fry (Phad Kra Prao Kai Rue Koong) was fresh, zingy and rich in Thai spices.
Aside from serving a very enticing menu, the restaurant also offers an enjoyable dining atmosphere. The service was friendly and efficient without being rushed and the tables are nicely spaced to allow for a comfortable and private dining experience.
The puddings were far too tempting to skip and having chosen the Mango Sorbet and the fried bananas with ice cream, we agreed that the award from Nipa Thai’s respective government is clearly well deserved.
Nipa Thai Restaurant is located at Lancaster Terrace London W2 2TY. Bookings can be made via telephone: 020 7551 6039 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org Opening hours: Mon-Sun: 5.00pm – 10.30pm.