There are few restaurants in Knightsbridge that don’t exude some kind of classy charm. It’s that kind of area. High-end residents and visitors looking for food to match. Beauchamp Place is lined with good (and the occasional not-so-good) restaurants. It’s just around the corner from the celebrated Harrods so there are discerning diners aplenty and they have choices.
Patara offers contemporary Thai cuisine. The restaurant wafted, on the evening of our visit, a delightful perfume of lemongrass to welcome the visitors. The serving staff were traditionally dressed, there were orchids and carved wood – all the expected trappings of Thai eateries. But this is a beautifully designed restaurant that displays its Thainess in subtle ways.
It’s a deceptively large restaurant. It’s long and narrow so contrives to be cosy even when empty. The back half of the restaurant is raised, introducing architectural interest. The tables have dark toppers, adding to the muted colour palate and creating a relaxing atmosphere. A contrast to the dazzling vibrancy of the retail paradise of the Brompton Road a few yards away.
The menu is extensive and sophisticated with hints of European influences. The wine list is creditable with a good selection of vintages available by the glass. I chose Don David Reserve Malbec. Balanced tannins with plenty of the characteristic concentrated jammy fruit that I enjoy so much from this grape variety.
My guest ordered Miang Guaytiew – delicate rice paper rolls with a variety of prawn, crabmeat and five-spice duck filling. These cut-and-up-ended rolls were served with a lime and chilli sauce which was a striking foil for the sweetness of the seafood and duck. A substantial plateful, too!
I was intrigued by Kamon Bueng DIY – Do It Yourself tacos. This was a Thai take on a Mexican classic. The ‘tacos’ in this case were, I think, made from light rice flour. A bowl of finely chopped chicken and prawn, with a cucumber salsa on the side, completed the dish. This was a delicious combination and fun, although rather messy to eat. I would counsel breaking the tacos in half and topping with the filling rather than filling with the filling.
The main course for me had to be Kiew Wan Gai Ban – free-range chicken curry – which is promoted by Patara as “the best green curry in London”. That was a mighty boast. Could it be that good? Well, actually, yes! I confess that I am not a Thai food expert but this green curry was up there on the list of the best curries I have ever eaten …and that would include Indian curries as well. This is well worth ordering.
A Euro-Thai cross-over was my companion’s Phed Tod Sauce Makham – Spiced crispy duck leg confit in Patara’s piquant tamarind sauce. The duck was served in a whole piece on top of a slice of grilled pineapple. This was another triumph. The succulent and melting meat was contrasted with the crispness of the skin. The fruit was sweet and made sweeter by the roasting but the tamarind sauce brought all the elements together with its fresh sharpness and warming ginger notes.
Our dessert was Kaoneow mamuang – sweet coconut rice flavoured with pandan served in an expertly folded banana leaf, with fragrant juicy Thai mango as a garnish. Beautifully presented with Thai flair. Nothing more needed, other than a pot of ginger tea for me and a pot of lemongrass tea for him!
Patara Thai Restaurant Knightsbridge is part of an international group with several more branches in London as well as others in Switzerland, Austria, Singapore and of course Thailand. I was deliciously impressed by the food, service and ambiance. I see visits to other Patara restaurants in my near future.
Monday – Wednesday
Lunch: 12 noon – 14.30
Dinner: 6.00 – 22.30
Thursday and Friday
Lunch: 12 noon – 14.30
Dinner: 6.00 – 23.00
From 12 noon – 23.00
From 12 noon – 22.30
Patara Thai Restaurant Knightsbridge
9 Beauchamp Place
London SW3 1NQ
Phone: 020 7581 8820
Fax: 020 7581 4923
Restaurant review by Chrissie Walker © 2018