Nipa Thai is not your usual Thai restaurant, it’s like stepping into a oil lamp filled cave, accented with authentic thai trinkets and chairs so deeply upholstered that they cocoon you throughout your meal, making it extremely difficult to ever leave.
The award-winning restaurant Nipa Thai is situated on the first floor of mid-century icon Lancaster London. Providing unrivalled views across Hyde Park, the restaurant is renowned as one of London’s best Thai establishments using original Thai ingredients. New Head Chef Sanguan Parr was born in Thailand and moved to the UK in 1984, the kitchen benefits from an all Thai staff who take pride in their cuisine.
We visited Nipa Thai as a mid-week treat, as we were welcomed into the restaurant by the friendly staff we felt instantly at ease. The decor makes you feel a world away from the very british decor of the Lancaster hotel, with it’s teak panelled walls and traditional Thai furnishings.
Once seated we settled down to a refreshing milky coconut camparinha, although I was a little hesitant at first to possibly tarnish one of my favourite cocktails with coconut, it somehow worked well.
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 began our meal with a Satay Kai – Char-grilled marinated chicken served with peanut sauce and cucumber relish and a Tom kah kai – Chicken and coconut soup with mushrooms, lime leaf, galangal and lemongrass. Both were absolutely delicious and tasted so fresh, especially when accompanied by cool beers.
They are fairly substantial starters, so I advise you to go with an appetite. For the mains we shared Koong Mangkorn phad prig tai dam – Stir-fried lobster with chilli, coriander, onion, and black pepper and a Panang kai – Dry and aromatic chicken red curry with coconut and lime leaf. The lobster was succulent and incredibly presented on a bed of fresh vegetables with juicy prawns, while the red curry was one of the best we’ve ever tasted.
We ended our meal with an espresso, too full yet again for pudding but feeling satisfied and very impressed with the quality of the Thai dishes. Nipa Thai provides excellent service from friendly and happy staff who are highly attentive.
Nipa Thai, 1st Floor, Lancaster London, Lancaster Terrace, London W2 2TY
Reservations on 020 7551 6039 or visit www.niparestaurant.co.uk