Rosa’s Thai Café Dean Street

48 Dean Street , London, W1D 5BF

4 reviews

34 Thai Soho

Rosa's

SquareMeal Review of Rosa’s Thai Café Dean Street

The various branches of this casual and affordably priced Thai café offer a warm welcome and a good mixture of the Thai top 10, plus some specialities you'd be hard-pressed to find elsewhere on the high street. Staples such as pad thai, som tam salad, stir-fries and green curries are carefully prepared and niftily spiced (for western palates, naturally), while more inventive options range from melt-in-the-mouth venison in a punchy pepper sauce to baked butternut squash filled with fragrant seafood mousse. The atmosphere is breezy and accommodating, with friendly staff, light modern furnishings and a boppy soundtrack helping to keep things upbeat. As for drinks, hot or iced teas and tropical juices have the edge over various boozy beverages. Rosa's also does a good line in lunchtime snacks, from satay wraps to hot-and-sour soup – ideal if you’re eating alone.

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5.8

Food & Drink: 6.0

Service: 5.5

Atmosphere: 5.3

Value: 5.3

Food & Drink: 3.0

Service: 3.0

Atmosphere: 3.0

Value: 2.0

Rebecca L. gold reviewer 25 April 2017

I haven't been here in a few years and maybe it was the visit to Thailand in between that's spoilt it for me but I feel Rosa's has lost it's touch. You can get better Thai curries for cheaper elsewhere - try Kaosarn in Brixton or Clapham Junction. Most disappointing was that I had the choice of only 2 starters as I have a peanut allergy and they cook the rest in groundnut oil. This isn't the norm in most Thai places in the UK and not in Thailand either.

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 3.0

Atmosphere: 3.0

Value: 3.0

Pass The Truffle bronze reviewer 17 August 2013

Longtime a hit in my book, Thai food celebrates a variety of spices and intense flavours, adding a thrilling dimension to the dining scene. If you are looking for bland, you have entered the wrong kitchen. After backpacking through Thailand a few years ago, I often crave Bangkok's street food. When dining on a budget this is the clear winner. You rarely go wrong when you go Thai. For my sister’s visit to London, I booked a table at Rosa’s in Soho. This small restaurant has more of a lunch-look than an intimate candlelit evening vibe. Has potential for a casual first date if both parties like their spice. Arguably cosy…but tables are all so close together you must be careful not to accidentally pick up a noodle off your neighbour’s plate. Somewhat worse, we were seated next to three lively women drinking wine, making their nose levels increase drastically as dinner progressed. Indoor voices ladies. Drawback of most Asian inspired restaurants, the extensively long menus! Rosa’s is no different. Two pages full of appetisers, soups, salads, noodles, char grilled, stir fries, curries, vegetables, rice dishes, sides and extras. Narrowing down to a few favourites we were surprised to see how quickly our food arrived. One of my Thai favourites is Papaya Salad and if it’s on a menu I’m ordering it. If you have not had Papaya Salad, you have not lived! This time, made the Rosa’s way with dried shrimp, chilli, long beans, cherry tomatoes & cashew nuts. Is it disrespectful to say I was glad my sister has a nut allergy and could not share this dish with me? Beautiful presentation, generous portion and fresh flavours making this a perfect appetiser or side dish. Being both a spice and seafood enthusiast, clear choice was the Spicy Seafood Hotplate – squid, tiger prawns, mussels & scallops stir-fried with mixed spices, chilli, black pepper & galangal. Great heat to this dish and the seafood was perfect, lying in a light yet fragrant marinade of the different spices. Mouth was on fire after scraping this plate clean, just the way I like it. My sister loves Thai style curries so it was no surprise she ordered Rosa’s Green Curry with beef – aubergine, bamboo shoots & sweet basil in a spiced coconut broth made the traditional way, easy on the coconut for a lighter, more fragrant curry. Side of Steamed Sticky Rice came out in a cute little steamer basket and quickly onto my hungry sister’s plate. In a hurry to finish her curry, I dove in to taste before it was all gone. There was not an overload of rich coconut milk, pleasant as it does not leave you overly stuffed. Mild hint of heat here as well and the tender aubergine paired well with the strips of beef. All in all, Rosa’s met my expectations of the Thai cuisine. Highly recommend if you are ever nearby and don’t want to spend a fortune. Great for groups as even the pickiest eaters can order a plate of Plain Noodles, but with Rosa’s flair to it of course. Unless I discover another Thai place as good as this, I will be back soon for my dose of spice.

Food & Drink: 0.0

Service: 0.0

Atmosphere: 0.0

Value: 0.0

Nicola C. 27 April 2011

Dreadful experience, having travelled extensively in Thailand this was one of the worst restaurants I've been to in the UK. Disinterested staff, wrong dishes delivered to our table and no apology. The chilli sauce was not Thai chilli sauce, it was a bottled Chinese variety – we also had to ask for fish sauce which is a Thai staple. We will not be going back. My local takeaway is far superior!

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 4.0

Atmosphere: 4.0

Value: 4.0

Mike F. 07 October 2010

The best nights out are often those that produce the unexpected. Catching up with an old friend over Thai food in the heart of Soho was always going to result in stories of surprising and often salacious gossip. What I really didn’t expect however, was to discover some of the best Thai cuisine in London from a restaurant I must have walked past a thousand times and never acknowledged was there. What’s even more surprising is that Rosa’s doesn’t exactly blend into the Dean Street brickwork. Its bright red frontage is hard to miss when you’re actually looking for it. Even on this cold and rainy evening, in-the-know diners sat outside under the awning, no doubt drinking green teas whilst watching the Old Compton Street characters and chaos unfold. On opening the bright red door, you half expect a bell overhead to ring akin to an old curiosity shop but instead, you enter a modern Thai family eatery, designed to resemble a Phuket beach hut. Wooden benches upstairs are made for sharing and the wooden wall paneling has interspersed coat hooks or rather, hooks to hang your towel on if this really was a beach hut on a Thai island. After ushering my guest onto the bench and taking my seat on the wooden stool opposite, we order a bottle of red before I head downstairs to dry myself off after getting caught in the torrential downpour outside. The basement is a darker, more mood-driven bar dining area and the toilets are communal, adding to the rustic ambience Rosa’s sets out to create. Back upstairs, and I discover we’d been moved to a more intimate wooden booth towards the back of the restaurant. These booths should be requested when booking in order to keep confidences private and to allow greater room to spread out the Thai delicacies as they arrive. For starters, we shared a mouthwatering deep fried soft shell crab topped with thai herbs, shallots and spicy fresh chilli sauce and a Som Tam papaya salad with prawns. It may have been the beach hut surroundings, but we both opted for more sea food with coconut rice as our main course. I went for grilled squid, pan fried tiger prawns and scallops stir fried with mixed spices and yellow chilli. My guest ordered a thai chilli seafood mousse, baked in half a butternut squash which, when served, looked more like a tropical cocktail than a main course but tasted divine. Thailand is known as the ‘Land of Smiles’ and our waiting staff didn’t disappoint, maintaining friendly fast service without interrupting the flow of our conversation. When we left, the rain outside no longer mattered. We could have been in a tropical monsoon as we’d just dined on Thai seafood which I was more than happy to believe had been line-caught fresh from the pier at the front of our Phuket beach hut.

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Rosa’s Thai Café Dean Street is included in the following SquareMeal lists