Rosa's Thai Dean Street Vegetarian

by Nick Harman - Thursday January 18, 2018 1:01 pm

48 Dean Street, Soho, London, W1D 5BF

Thai food (and Indian) has always been a good place for vegetarians to find their happy. So, Rosa’s going all veggie in the Dean St restaurant is good news for the many who have taken meat off their menu forever or just for the next month.

From beginnings in the East End to restaurants around London, Rosa’s Thai Restaurant has been quite a success story; affordable Thai food, authentically made.

Rosa’s Thai in Dean Street is like the other Rosa’s, which means unpretentious, simple decor and food that comes out fast and fresh.

However, the whole menu has now become vegetarian. Vegetarian versions of their green curry and pad thai, and new dishes such as Tofu Satay, Laab Mushrooms, Panang Tofu and Tom Kha Mushroom Soup.

As usual I wanted to eat everything on the menu, you really need to go with at least four people if you’re to really spread yourself out over all the choices, but we two did our best.

Papaya Salad I can never resist in any Thai restaurant, here the combination of raw papaya, long beans, tomatoes and cashews in a tamarind dressing was as refreshing and zingy as ever. And of course, the fire of the red chilli is addictive.

Sweet Corn Patties are also rather good. Sweet corn and kaffir lime leaves in red curry paste batter, served with a sweet chilli sauce. I find the sauce a bit too sweet, but then I don’t have a sweet tooth and these sweet chili sauces are very rich. Personally, I would have preferred to have seen a more astringent dipping sauce made with vinegar, seeing as how sweet corn is already, well, a bit sweet. The patties themselves are crisp and tasty and we could have eaten two portions of these easily.

Green curry holds no surprises here with its usual mix of vegetables, aubergine, bamboo shoots and basil in a green curry sauce. Tofu supplies the protein though instead of meat; squidgy squares of tofu that have soaked up the lovely sauce like a sponge and there’s nothing wrong with that in my book.

I get my extra protein kick by topping my Chilli and Basil Stir Fry with an optional fried egg, to break over the mix of onions, long beans and fried tofu. 

From Spain to Thailand, an egg always makes good things even better or ‘kicks it up a notch’ if you’re a connoisseur of food writing clichés. Plenty of chilli here too but not so heavy on the basil though, which was a bit of a shame. I do like Holy Basil, I even grow it at home.

Plenty of fluffy jasmine rice was on hand to blot up any sauce trying to escape, and because you can never have too much tofu, we had Tofu in tamarind topped with toasted sesame and coriander. I wanted a bit more out of the tamarind, I like the sourness, but once again the dish showed how useful tofu is for vegetarians.

Thai food (and Indian) has always been a good place for vegetarians to find their happy so Rosa’s going all veggie in the Dean St restaurant is good news for the many who have taken meat off their menu or forever or just for the next month.

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