Rosa’s Thai Cafe Established in Spitalfields some 10 years ago, Rosa’s hit the 10 sites mark last year and will soon open its first site outside London in Liverpool. While UK Thai restaurant staples are present and correct, Rosa’s menu is less obvious than most of its branded competitors. The current selection features the likes of tofu in tamarind sauce; stir-fried aubergine; and grilled Northern-style sausages. The restaurants have a modern feel that’s described as London meets Bangkok.
One of just a handful of Burmese restaurants in the UK, Lahpet is the creation of Dan Anton and Zaw Mahesh, who are both of Burmese (now Myanmar) heritage. The business started life as a street food stall in MaltbyStreet Market but now comprises a 60-cover restaurant on Bethnal Green Road alongside a semi-permanent location in Spitalfields. Key dishes on the menu include coconut noodles with chicken; pork and mustard green curry; balachaung (spicy shrimp relish); and the eponymous lahpet thohk (tea leaf salad).
The final stop on the tour was Andy Oliver, Mark Dobbie and Tom George’s celebrated restaurant Som Saa on Commercial Street. Opened in 2016, it is now among the capital’s most highly rated restaurants. The team served up Burmese-influenced dishes including the famed kaeng hang le (a powerful pork curry flavoured with tamarind, shrimp paste and an array of spices and herbs); mild soup of seasonal greens with silken tofu and kahorn flowers; and som tam.
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