As you all know, there are always one hundred and one things to take care of before you go away on holiday. For me, as the days have gone by, I have had to spend a little less time cooking up wonders in the kitchen – I hope you have been following on my Instagram page – and instead, I’ve been oh so busy co-ordinating my everyday holiday outfits and planning fun filled activities for BW and myself. Maybe I got a little carried away, but it got to our last weekend of the year in London and it occurred to me that not only had MIL’s freezer food supply had run out, but Mum was out of the country for FIVE weeks, and to top it all off, my neighbour had also left to go away – ohmygoodness! Putting my exceptional problem solving skills to work, I decided that BW should take me out on a date, and just like that, problem solved 🙂
Now, since we were going to be spending so much time together over the next few weeks I thought I’d give BW a break and fixed up a double date with friends. Completely overlooking that our Thailand trip was just around the corner, I decided to book Patara, a popular Thai chain conveniently located in various locations across London. Its okay, I consider this the warm-up to the main event!
We arrived at the Berners Street branch and got settled into the near-empty, but very pretty restaurant. Hungry, we got ordering right away.
Here’s their cute little amuse bouche; a vegetarian samosa.
Whole butterflied prawn and chicken satays that were skewered and plated up with a peanut sauce on the side. They were decent but perhaps needed more of a spicy kick and creaminess from the coconut it had been marinated in.
Cute little lilac dumplings that had been stuffed with a minced chicken and peanut mixture, and finished off with a small splodge of velvety coconut cream on top. A nice start to the meal, but nothing that really popped out at us.
Crispy spring rolls that had been stuffed with a generous amount of shredded duck, sweetcorn, and other shredded vegetables, and served with a herbed prune sauce on the side. The duck had been seasoned with a good amount of five spice to give it a kick which was nicely balanced out with the dark sweet sauce it was lying on.
Mini fried and squidgy fish cakes that had been infused with kaffir lime leaves and red curry paste to give you a milder flavour with a subtle sweetness.
Slivers of grilled beef that lay on a bed of rocket leaves, tomatoes, radish, and shallots, and dressed in a lime and chilli mixture. I felt the beef could have had some more flavour as the tangy and spicy dressing was not enough to really make it a stand out dish.
Two lamb chops arrived covered in sliced red and green chillies, spring onions, and garlic, and a dark lemongrass-infused tamarind sauce. They had been served alongside a salad and spring rolls containing sticky rice; an unnecessary addition as they did not taste of much. Considering the dish was just 5p shy of £20, I definitely expected a bigger portion than just two chops, but some sacrifices had to be made around the table and the boys ended up having them. They were cooked really well so that the meat just pulled away from the bone and packed a good amount of sticky sweetness from the tamarind with a slight spicy kick.
Large pieces of braised beef that sat in a yellow lime-coconut curry and had been sprinkled in chopped shallots, zingy flavour, but the braised beef did not fall apart easily as it should have done and did not pick up the flavours from the curry it had been cooked in.
The ever so popular Thai green chicken curry made using coconut milk, green chilies, and Thai basil. It was rich, and creamy with a great heat to it, and the boneless chicken thigh pieces were deliciously tender – easily our favourite dish of the night!
Wanting to add some green to our dinner, we opted for the water spinach which had been cooked with chilli, ginger, and mushroom sauce. It made a really good accompaniment to the other meaty items on the table.
A dessert that everyone has told me to try whilst I’m out in Thailand, I thought I would have a little taster beforehand. I’m not sure if I just wasn’t a fan of Patara’s version or the dessert overall, but I found the rice to be too salty in comparison to the sweet mango and there wasn’t a balance between the two.
Sweet, baked bananas that had been topped with two huge dollops of creamy vanilla ice cream and crispy almond shavings. Out of the two, this was miles better and the favourite of the table.
The total bill came to approximately £240 for 4, including drinks and service, so £60 each. Wow, sometimes (all the time) I’m glad I don’t have to cover BW when it comes to dinner. The food was pretty good, but I’m not sure if it was so good to justify the extortionate prices, especially as this was a high-end “chain” restaurant! It could have been the case that we had over-ordered as we usually do, but £20 for two lamb chops or £17 for a pot of green curry seems a little too much. I guess it’s something to save for a special occasion or maybe go for one of their lunch set-menus if you’re in the area/
Well, I’m in Bangkok now so time for me to say bye and have some real authentic Thai cuisine! Be sure to follow my food-filled adventure on Instagram or Snapchat (Halal.Girl) x
Anywhere worth checking out for good halal food in Thailand? Let me know below!