Patara Thai

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Lamb shanks are not something you usually find on the menu in a Thai restaurant.  Still, if you visit Patara Thai in Soho you must disregard all preconceptions and order the shanks anyway.  I did and expected a culinary train wreck.  Instead I was rewarded with tender dark meat which had been slow cooked in a green curry sauce which had a real depth to its complex spicing.  

Rice paper rolls and chicken satay
 
There were eight of us for dinner at Patara Thai.  Seven girls and lucky MTV boyfriend.   The restaurant is lively enough to cope with the shrieks and gossip that only that many girls can generate.  The Soho restaurant is one of four branches of this upmarket chain in London.  It is spread over two floors with moody lighting and comfortable banquette style seating.  There are nods to Thai decor in the intricate wooden carvings that hang on the walls but otherwise the look is fairly sleek and minimalist.  
Seafood red curry
 
We start with a palate energising tuna tartare (£16.50).  Shimmering, thinly sliced tuna is topped with red onion and fresh mint.  It’s not strictly Thai as I know it but it is tasty.  Each dish is perfectly presented and worth a photo even if you were not writing a food blog.  Eating with such a large group provides a great opportunity to work our way through a large portion of the menu.  If you go, here’s what I’d order: the rice paper rolls whose translucent skins are bursting with prawns and mint, the black cod which is so silky that it literally slips down your throat, the tuna tartare, and of course, the lamb shank.  
 
Here’s what I’d skip: the fish cakes (£19.90) which err on the greasy side and the lobster padgari (£19.95) where the luxurious lobster is not really able to shine.  These were the only misses out of around 15 different dishes that we sampled.  Patara Thai offers a sumptuous dining experience with attention seeking food and a buzzing atmosphere.  It is on the pricey side.  Our bill (which admittedly did include seven bottles of delicate Viognier) came to around £50 per head.    
 
Essentials
Details: 15 Greek St, Soho W1D 4DP (Ph 020 7437 1071) Tube: Oxford Circus
Damage: Pricey
7/10
 
Links
If you liked reading this you might be interested in my post on the Notting Hill Thai restaurant Market Thai or if you are looking for a feed in Soho try nearby Bar Shu for a hit of Sichuan cooking.
 

Patara on Urbanspoon

8 comments

  1. I really enjoyed Patara, they have some lovely cocktails. Thai beef salad was fiery and I agree with you about the black cod – delicious.

  2. Great review – I really miss good *cheap* Thai over here in London. This place looks great, but I’m not sure I could justify the expense.xx

  3. We normally go to the Thai in Greenwich, but sadly the’ve closed it down..so we’ll give this ago next month, thanks

  4. Great review – gotta trust the opinion of an Aussie when it comes to Thai food!

  5. I keep walking past Patara and not being sure about it. I’ll give it a go next time. Lamb shank is something I could eat any day!

  6. Patara Thai is one of my favourites – I love both the Soho and Oxford Circus restaurants. The massaman curry is amongst the best dishes I have had, although it is not conventional thai food. Service is impeccable, and it is a very reliable option for work dinners.

  7. this looks delicious! Another one for the hit list methinks

  8. Lizzie – I missed the thai beef salad – next time

    Top Bird – I also miss the cheap Thai places, this one is certainly not cheap but it is good.

    Lesley – I hate it when that happens

    LexEat – I think Thai in Oz is as ubiquitous as Indian in the UK, so I agree that you do become quite fussy about it

    Helen – I am also a lamb shank fan although not necessarily in a Thai setting. Worked this time though.

    Anon – thanks for your comment I agree that service is brilliant

    Gastrogeek – yes I think it is worth putting on your list

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