I’ve had a love affair with Rosa’s [Rosa’s Thai Cafe] from the very first day I stepped into its happily crowded and steamy doors in the heart of Spitalfields on a winter evening five years ago.
I was meeting friends for a long overdue catchup after work but downtrodden with a cold, wasn’t feeling my best. As I shrugged off my coat and cast my gaze at the tables next to me dotted with fragrant delights and let the gentle hum of the busy room wash over me – transporting me to the comforting warmth of the East, I slowly began to feel revived.
Since then that day if in the vicinity of a Rosa’s – I have picked it over any other venue – never tiring of its mouthwatering sweet, spicy and sour fare.
The spicy Beef Salad with both its cooling and warming properties got me through my pregnancy cravings [see my ad-hoc Spicy and Sweet Thai Salad Dressing inspired by this from last year]. The soul-soothing Vegetarian Tom Yam soup sated me when I went off meat – and the Beef Mussaman curry with steamed sticky rice and hot gunpowder chillies [on request] filled me with goodness when I needed comfort food… not to mention the succulent summer rolls I could eat by the dozen when I am feeling healthy.
Started as a street-food stall in Brick Lane in 2008, the group was founded by husband and wife Saiphin and Alex, and now runs to six sites across London, including in Soho, Spitalfields, Chelsea, and Carnaby Street, serving plentiful bowls of home made Thai food with a modern twist.
The librarian and Martha Stewart in me loves having a cookbook hanging around the house for comfort but there is rarely one that is well thumbed. I have been waiting since that day five years ago for this cookbook and just cannot wait to dig in and make it my own.
Stunningly photographed so you can practically smell the basil and the chillies emanating from its pages, the book is as simple as it is stunning. Despite the complex flavours of Thai dishes the recipes and ingredients are to my relief surprisingly accessible with the most exotic ingredient the ‘taro root’. Everything else from the 14 ingredient exotic list like green peppercorns, pea aubergines and pandan leaves I am pretty sure you can find at your local Waitrose!