Nipa Thai, the award-winning restaurant situated on the first floor of mid-century icon Lancaster London, offers unrivalled views across Hyde Park and is renowned as one of London’s best Thai establishments. Using authentic Thai recipes created by the all-female Thai kitchen brigade, the restaurant offers a classic and sophisticated experience.
The beautiful interiors of the newly renovated Nipa Thai have been designed in a luxurious yet traditional Thai fashion, with stunning contemporary touches. Majestic double glass doors lead into the reception, where a large vase of white orchids permeates the area, and artworks depicting Thai Buddhas adorn the walls. The fusion of modern design with traditional Thai motifs is evident with shimmering gold wallpaper, rich silk fabrics, lantern-style lighting and carved teak-wood lotus flowers embellishments on the ceiling and walls. Textured cream silk chairs, black granite tables and floor-to-ceiling windows add to the stylish ambience.
The 55-cover restaurant is famed for outstanding traditional cuisine that combines hot spices with mild and sweet flavours, offering a selection of dishes from Thailand’s central region. Each of the dishes is prepared by the dedicated team according to traditional recipes. The extensive à la carte menu at Nipa Thai has received the prestigious “Thai Select” award from the Thai Government for its authentic cuisine. This accolade is presented to Thai restaurants proven to have achieved the highest standards of quality.
We started our meal with a selection of delicious appetisers. Satay Kai was chargrilled marinated chicken served with peanut sauce and cucumber relish. Poo Nim was golden fried soft shell crab served with a sweet chilli sauce. Toong Ngern Yuang was crispy fried prawn dumplings served with a delicious homemade sauce. The chicken satay was succulent and juicy with the sauce and relish adding a subtle complexity to the dish. The soft shell crab had a light tempura which was one of the best we have tasted to date. The prawn dumplings looked pretty on the plate and had the perfect combination of ingredients in the homemade sauce. For those looking for a little more, we recommend the Ruam Mitr selection of Thai starters which includes all the above together with Kao Krieb Pak Moh which is steamed rice wraps with sauteed chicken, shallots, and roasted peanuts.
The SLOAN! Review
For mains my dining companion chose Panang Koong which was an aromatic prawn red curry with coconut and kaffir lime leaves. I went for the house special that evening which was pan fried scallops in a holy basil and red chilli sauce. We shared Kao Phad Poo, tasty fried rice with crab meat, and Kuey Tiew Lancaster noodles with fish, chicken and prawns. Desserts were delicately flavoured banana sponge with toffee syrup and the impressive deep fried ice cream. It is wonderous how they are able to keep the inside icy cold and this decadent dessert was drizzled with chocolate.
It is interesting for Westerners to note that women traditionally are responsible for hospitality and cooking in Thailand. The restaurant’s all-female kitchen brigade is headed up by new Head Chef Sanguan Parr. Born in Thailand, Sanguan moved to the UK in 1984 and has been working in Nipa for 16 years. Another interesting feature is the honey served to guests at Lancaster London. The hotel has rooftop bee hives whose population feast on the lime trees in Hyde Park to produce a very clear champagne coloured honey.
Having frequented many Thai restaurants in the past it was refreshing for my partner to deviate from the usual Thai beer accompaniment with his meal. We sampled a surprisingly good Thai rosé house wine with notes of strawberries, cherries and maybe a hint of toffee. We also tried a delicious Thai dessert wine which was delectably sweet and rivalled any Tokji late harvest 2012. Both come highly recommended and have opened our eyes to the delights of beautiful wines from Thailand.
Open for dinner from 5pm until 10.30pm, 7 days a week.
Reservations on 020 7551 6039 or visit www.niparestaurant.co.uk
Offer 1: Lancaster London would like to offer your readers a “Free glass of fizz when they have dinner at Nipa Thai”. Readers just need to quote ‘Luxe’ when booking or on arrival at the hotel to receive this special deal. Valid until 30 June 2015.
Offer 2: To celebrate its Thai heritage and welcome in the Thai New Year (13–15 April 2015), Lancaster London has launched the Nipa Thai Time package. From just £219 per night, guests can enjoy a stay in a Superior Park View room offering some of the best views in the capital. The package also includes a luxurious traditional Thai dinner for two with a complimentary glass of Prosecco each at the hotel’s award-winning Nipa Thai restaurant. For a truly authentic Thai experience, guests can indulge in a Thai breakfast the following morning with dishes such as Fried Dough Sticks (Cakoi), Thai Rice Soup, and Prawn Crackers.