Hopes were high on arrival at this upscale restaurant in London’s Lancaster Hotel — according to the blurb on its website, Nipa Thai has been recognised by the Thai Government for its quality fodder. I was salivating days before my booking after staring at the menu – this ain’t no cheap-as-chips Khao San Road cafe.
It being a Saturday night, Nipa was packed but the volume was low — diners spoke in hushed voices and it was all a bit polite and considered. With the punters and atmosphere being on the stiff side, we ordered a couple of glasses of fizz to liven the place up.
Before long, Mr Blonde Almond and I were woofing down the Nipa platter, a bulging plateful of starters, from satay sticks to spring rolls. It was all delicious without being overly greasy, but pricey at £24.
My main of massaman curry with prawns was delicate and rich – the type of dish you want to linger over. Although listed with beef on the menu, the kitchen were happy to add a handful of juicy king prawns at my request. Mr Blonde Almond plumped for a curried lamb shank, and although it was beautifully cooked and tender, it could’ve done with a dollop of sauce, though he was happy to fill up on stir-fried noodles with chicken, as well as sticky rice — something I can’t get enough of.
We barely had room but ordered fried ice-cream with chocolate sauce for dessert — an indulgent reminder of chilled out days on Koh Tao. Top class.
££: Starters from £8-£24; mains from £10-£22.
More info: Lancaster London Hotel, Lancaster Terrace, W2 2TY.