Nipa Thai

Pan Asian, Thai, Vegetarian·
££££
·
Silver Award
·

SquareMeal Review of Nipa Thai

Silver Award

Shining a light for London’s Thai fine dining scene is Nipa Thai, the rather serene and lovely restaurant housed in the towering Royal Lancaster London in Bayswater. You wouldn’t know it from the hotel’s old-school whitewash facade, but the first floor is home to a little Thai oasis of calm; in fact, Nipa Thai is one of a select group of London restaurants with a Thai Select Award - given out by the Thai government to restaurants that represent authentic Thai cuisine.

Polished timber, pleasantly-worn carpets and patterned upholstery give Nipa Thai a tidy, old-fashioned charm that, like the staff, feels very warm and comforting. There’s no denying the vistas either - you’re only on the first floor but if you’re near the windows, you get a lovely view out towards Hyde Park, and the comings and goings of Bayswater.

Staff are on hand to help you decipher the menu, which, given the bonanza of delicious dishes on offer, is most welcome. Appetisers cover much of what you know and love - juicy, golden satay skewers, Thai fish cakes with sticky sweet chilli dipping sauce, crisp spring rolls stuffed with glass noodles and steamed chicken dumplings with roasted peanuts and lettuce. Everything is immaculately presented and delivered, a kaleidoscope of colour and flavour that puts to shame most of the lukewarm Thai food you’ve ordered from your local takeaway over the years.

There’s a huge range of curries, soups, rice and noodle dishes, and with helpful guidance we found our way to a delicate special of tamarind prawns, grilled in the shells, and a mixed seafood green curry, rich with coconut, herbs and spices. Little pockets of bitter Thai aubergine and holy basil provide jolts of different texture and flavour. It’s a lesson in what the real version of this beloved dish should be. Meanwhile, the adaptable wine list has been carefully curated, and there are a handful of very drinkable signature cocktails too, as well as refreshing Thai teas.

We probably could have taken more heat in some of the dishes (something you could request no doubt if you’re a spice-fiend) but from front to back Nipa Thai’s menu shows balance and restraint, in a lovely setting. The prices are steep - not a surprise given the location and setting - but those in search of accessible and authentic Thai cooking won’t be disappointed here.

Good to know

Average Price
££££ - £50 - £79
Cuisines
Pan Asian, Thai, Vegetarian
Eat at Home
Supper
Ambience
Cosy, Luxury, Romantic, Traditional, Unique, Widely spaced tables
Food Occasions
Dinner
Alfresco And Views
Great views
Special Features
Vegan options, Vegetarian options, Wheelchair access
Perfect for
Celebrations, Dates, Group dining [8+], Romantic, Special occasions
Food Hygiene Rating

About

Tucked away inside the grand Royal Lancaster London you'll find Nipa Thai, an authentic Thai restaurant run by head chef Sanguan Parr and her all-female kitchen team. Nipa translates as 'shining light' in Thai, and this restaurant has certainly been a leading light when it comes to Thai food in the capital. In fact, the restaurant holds a Thai Select Award from the Thai government, awarded to restaurants that represent authentic Thai food around the world.

No expense has been spared when it comes to the interiors either - all the teak used to craft the restaurant has been sourced direct from Thailand, and it has been used to great effect in the furniture, as well as intricate decorative carvings on the walls. Combined with the patterned carpets and textured upholstery, it all gives Nipa Thai a slightly old-fashioned, comforting feel, without the restaurant feeling too stuffy. 

Meanwhile the menu reflects a similar approach to tradition and authenticity. Thai cuisine is all about balance, and the menu here shows that finesse across a wide range of starters, soups, curries, stir fries and rice and noodle dishes. The menu is pretty familiar for the most part, including the likes of crispy spring rolls with glass noodles, Thai fish cakes with sweet chilli, and deep-fried soft shell crab. There are authentic flavours seen less commonly in the UK too, such as steamed rice wraps with sauteed chicken, shallots and crisp lettuce. 

If you find the menu a little overwhelming in terms of choice, Nipa Thai offers a range of set menus as well, so you can sit back and enjoy the food without stressing about what to order. There's also a dedicated vegetarian set menu, and in general, there's plenty of choice for vegetarians here. 


FAQs

Do I need to book?

Yes, booking is advised.

Helpful? 0
Meet the team
Nipa Thai

Sanguan Parr

Head Chef

Sanguan grew up in Thailand, learning to cook through school and by watching her mother cook at home. Cooking came naturally to her and later, after lots of cooking at home and teaching, she joined the team at Nipa Thai as an Admin Chef, keeping a watchful eye over both the stoves and the office. 'I was the only one who could speak English!' she laughs. 'The head chef at the time didn't think I would last 6 months, but here I am as head chef 25 years later!' Under Sanguan's capable stewardship, Nipa Thai has held a reputation as one of London's best and most authentic Thai restaurants, and Sanguan has cooked for everyone from thousands and thousands of hotel guests to the Thai royal family. 


Nipa Thai is featured in

This venue also offers

Videos and 360 tours

Chef Sanguan's Signature Pad Thai

Location

Lancaster London, Lancaster Terrace, Bayswater, London, W2 2TY

020 7551 6039 020 7551 6039

Website

Opening Times

Lunch
Mon Closed
Tue Closed
Wed Closed
Thu Closed
Fri Closed
Sat 12:30-14:30
Sun Closed
Dinner
Mon 17:00-22:30
Tue 17:00-22:30
Wed 17:00-22:30
Thu 17:00-22:30
Fri 17:00-22:30
Sat 17:00-22:30
Sun 17:00-22:30

Reviews

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5 Reviews 
Food/Drink
Service
Atmosphere
Value

Marta L

10 July 2024   - Verified Diner
Food & Drink 5
Service 3
Atmosphere 3
Value 5

Food was amazing. Service was lacking, they seemed short staffed, plates did not arrive together so very awkward. The desserr were the only food that was disappointing. Mine was supposed to have guava and be a pannacotta but it was something else that was not good. Apps and main and coconut rice were are delicious.

Wayne O

06 November 2023   - Verified Diner
Food & Drink 5
Service 5
Atmosphere 5
Value 5

Lindsey P

27 June 2018  
Best Japanese in London in the fabulous newly renovated Royal Lancaster hotel.

Gomaa B

09 June 2016  
I think. Food there the best Thai food I had in my live. Service very good they are good in eye contact when want ask they are front of you in second very very clean restaurant decoration the best.

Jagdeep G

07 August 2015  
Food & Drink 4
Service 4
Atmosphere 3.5
Value 4
Thai style
Had dinner at the Nipa Thai as a family. The room is lovely and as it was a Friday night the restaurant was busy. The food and service didn't suffer however. Maitre-d moved us very soon after sitting to a "window with a view" table without us requesting. Very thoughtful and pretty great to be overlooking Hyde Park. Truly lovey authentic Thai food. We ordered off the A la Carte and nothing disappointed. Look forward to our next trip.
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