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Review

Rosa’s Carnaby

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Rosa’s Carnaby
23a Ganton Street
London
W1F 9BW
Tel: 020 7287 9617

Carnaby Street has an age old hustle and bustle about it, which gives it its own unique character. In recent years, it’s also been a spot, where if you veer just off the street itself, you’ll see next to nothing but restaurants, pubs, bars and cafes.

Rosa’s Carnaby falls into the latter category. With three sites already dotted around London, Rosa’s appears to be cornering the market in casual Thai dining with cooking standards which are a cut above the norm. That said, if surly waiting staff – and those are exactly the type we were unfortunately “greeted” by at the door and shown to our table. And sorry to say, things didn’t quite improve throughout the time we were there. So if service with a grump rather than a smile is there idea of customer relations, well, I’m slim and handsome…not!

Still, at least the food passes muster: Thai calamari was perked up by the partnership of plum sauce whilst the pandan chicken had a freshness about it. More substantial dishes on the menu appear to kow-tow to high-minded western tastes – does one really want Highland venison in a Thai café – I sure as hell wouldn’t! On the plus side, the old Thai favourite of beef massaman curry was generously portioned and well-made, ditto the house chicken green curry, with sides of a very welcome vegetarian pad Thai and stir fried aubergine with chilli, garlic, soy sauce and sweet basil, being top notch.

The off-putting service aside, the cramped seating isn’t particularly comfortable either though at least the cooking here redeems the joint.