Located inside Lancaster London, a luxury hotel in Kensington, Nipa Thai is a 2 AA Rosettes, fine dining restaurant on the first floor of the hotel that serves authentic and traditional Thai cuisine. Sanguan Parr, the head chef of the restaurant has been working there since 16 years and has created some of the classics from North Thailand.
Location & Parking:
The parking is available right opposite Lancaster London and is free, 6:00 pm onward. We went on a Saturday evening and easily found a spot after which we simply had to cross the road and walk towards the hotel that hardly took a minute. The train station is also nearby, in case you choose to travel by that mode. The nearest Underground Station is Lancaster Gate, and the hotel is directly above the underground. You just need to go out of the station, turn left and keep walking around the island until you reach the entrance of Lancaster London.
Seating & Interior:
Our seats had already been reserved so we didn't have to wait to get seated. On entering the restaurant, the first thing that came to my mind after smelling the aroma was that of a Thai massage salon. It was probably the candles or the air freshener that had been used to create the effect. The dim lights, comfortable Victorian chairs and a good sized table worked perfectly well for us. However, they do not have high-chairs for children.
The Dining Experience:
As usual, I had already gone through the menu before going to Nipa Thai so it didn't take long to order the food. The food ordered was from their a la carte menu. We were first served complimentary crackers that came along with a sweet chili dip. The flavour was quite strong but was enjoyable. Then followed the drinks - Virgin Colada (I had to order it as it was on the drinks menu), Red Berry Fizz, Luscious Lancaster Punch and Cucumber Cooler (£5 each).
The Red Berry Fizz was a melding of cranberry juice, peach, grenadine & bitter lemon so it wasn't sweet but tasted slightly bitter. I really liked the Cucumber cooler which was prepared using the natural and simple ingredients such as cucumber, lime, mint & lemonade but was really refreshing. The Luscious Lancaster Punch, a mocktail prepared with orange juice, pineapple and grapefruit juice was on the slight sweeter side and was enjoyable. My husband had ordered Virgin Colada and we decided we will share but I ended up finishing the whole glass so ended up ordering another one for him.
For the starters, we ordered Tom Kha Kai (£12), a Thai prawn soup for my husband and Toong Ngern Yuang (£12) for myself. The soup had a generous filling of prawns, mushrooms, lime leaf, galangal and lemongrass and was more or less like a clear coconut soup. It tasted was a bit on the sweeter side and actually reminded me of a packet soup I had purchased earlier from a store. I liked my starter, it was crisp and the fried prawn dumplings tasted irresistible with the homemade sauce that was served with it. I did not finish all of that comfort food alone but shared it with my husband and he enjoyed having them too.
For the mains, we ordered Phad Kra Prao Koong (£22), Koong Tod Kra Tiem Prig Tai (£22) and Kao Phad Koong (£14), fried rice with prawns. All the food was served together. The first dish was prawns stir-fried with chilies and basil leaves. Although it says the word 'chili' here, it did taste flavoursome but wasn't spicy at all, so don't be swayed by reading that. I paired it with fried prawn rice which was actually a taste sensation. The other dish was stir-fried prawns with pepper and coriander which were then fried to perfection.
That was a very prawn-y night for us and very pleasing to my palate but we both were extremely full so we just ended up ordering one dessert that we shared.
After we finished with the mains, we were provided hot towels, presented beautifully on the table after which our dessert arrived. Ice Tim Tod (£9), a Thai deep-fried ice cream dessert was topped with chocolate sauce. I personally love fried ice cream and the combination of warm and cold was second to none. We had a mini-celebration and sung a birthday song for BabyN' and that's the reason why you can see a candle flickering there. Oh, and because of that, I even forgot taking photos of the ice-cream while it made it's way out after we had cut this beauty. I do have a video which I might upload on my Instagram for you guys to devour, with your eyes. So don't forget to follow me on Instagram.
I would definitely recommend Nipa Thai if you're a fan of authentic Thai food and it's a really nice place to spend an evening with a loved one or for a celebration. You can check out their menu, here. Dining at Nipa Thai was a tasty vacation for us and the service was excellent.
Have you ever tried Thai food? What's your favourite dish?
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Disclaimer: I was invited to the restaurant to sample the food, but this is an honest review and all the opinions are my own.