Impact’s reviewer, Kit Sinclair, headed down to Rosa’s Thai on Thursday 19th January – a new restaurant that has opened up on King’s Street. Impact was lucky enough to be invited to their launch night. Here are Kit’s thoughts on the experience.
The warm spices and cosy lighting of Rosa’s Thai would have been inviting on any evening, but in the middle of exam season, where temperatures are reliably dipping below zero every night, it was almost irresistible.
Luckily, Impact had an invite to attend their official launch party last Thursday night, so we jumped at the chance of some respite from the biting cold. The newest outpost on King’s Street is one of 34 branches around the country for the chain, which was originally established in London in 2008.
The seating was perhaps the only downside
Inside was warm and cosy, although there was a slightly industrial feel with the exposed pipes and bright red metal stools for seating. Indeed, the seating was perhaps the only downside to the evening – whilst the stools were comfortable enough for us young and sprightly students, we both noticed that those with mobility or other health issues might find it difficult (even the booth seating around the edge of the restaurant seemed quite narrow and unforgiving). Nevertheless, my friend and I both agreed that the ambience was perfect – just the right level of buzzy.
We were welcomed in with our choice of some of Rosa’s Thai-inspired cocktails, prosecco, or – for anyone mid-Dry January – a mocktail. I started off by sampling their lychee and ginger spritz, which was tasty, refreshing, and paired well with the canapes that were soon to follow, before moving on to some very welcome prosecco.
A selection of canapes – in most cases, smaller versions of regular starters
We started off with some excellent prawn crackers, followed by pumpkin crackers, which were a novelty to both of us, but perhaps even better than their seafood sister! These were followed by a selection of canapes – in most cases, smaller versions of regular starters. My friend particularly enjoyed the sweetcorn patties, whilst I loved the vegetable and prawn mousses, which were light as a feather, and had a delicious curried flavour.
Around halfway through the event, we heard from Gavin Adair, the CEO of Rosa’s, as well as Saiphin, the chain’s founder, about the history of Rosa’s, and where they’re hoping to go next. And for those of you wondering where the eponymous Rosa is in all of this, turns out it was the name of the original old East End cafe that became the first Rosa’s Thai!
Tasty and well conceived
More canapes were to follow, as well as a larger portion of their vegetarian noodles. All of the vegetarian dishes throughout the night were tasty and well conceived – in fact, 70% of Rosa’s menu is vegetarian or vegan. Finally, to cleanse the palette, we were offered a delicious mini caramelised banana, which was the perfect way to top off our evening.
Aside from all the food and drink, the thing that stood out to me the most was the hospitality, which was impeccable throughout the night. There was barely a moment where our glasses were left empty, and the food was plentiful and arrived at our table in quick succession. Everyone we spoke to was friendly and helpful, and we were even given Rosa’s cookbooks to take away at the end – standard or vegetarian options available!
I will certainly be trying out some of their delicious recipes at home, and hopefully heading back in the future to try out a full meal.
Featured image courtesy of Alex Watkin. Permission to use granted to Impact. No changes were made to this image.
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