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Saiphin Moore, Rosa’s restaurant: meet the chef

We chat to Saiphin Moore, co-founder and owner of Rosa’s Thai Café, about her most-used kitchen kit, her favourite speedy supper, and her biggest guilty pleasure.

Saiphin Moore is co-founder and owner of Rosa’s Thai Café, a fast, friendly and modern restaurant serving flavoursome and authentic Thai food. 

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Right now I’m mostly eating spicy noodle soup because it’s still winter. I have noodle soup every morning for breakfast without fail, and at this time of year it’s perfect with a large helping of chilli. Chicken noodle soup is my favourite and it has to have lots of vinegar and fish sauce too. 

In my fridge there’s always lemongrass, chilli, coriander, galangal, garlic and shallots. The foundation for any good Thai dish.

My most-used kitchen kit is my wok and knife, which I brought from my local shop in Thailand. You don’t need to spend a lot of money on fancy knives, just make sure you keep them sharp. It is really important when cooking Thai food to cook with a wok, so you can really turn up the heat when cooking stir fries. 

My favourite 15-minute supper to make is papaya salad! I can do it in 5 minutes with my eyes closed. A lot of my dishes only take me about 15 minutes to cook, which is the joy of Thai food! 

I know I shouldn’t admit it but my guilty pleasure is KFC. I love KFC, deep fried chicken especially from Thailand! I feel so guilty every time I eat it, especially as I rarely eat out. But it’s just so good! 

I love eating out at Twins Korean BBQ in Portsmouth because you can cook and assemble your own dish. They provide the meat and all the extras and then you can make it just to your liking. It’s the tiniest restaurant in Portsmouth which I discovered with my daughter who has just started university down there. I went there two nights in a row because it’s just so good! It looks and feels like someone’s house, but I love it. 

A place I love that not many people know about is the fresh noodle shop in Soho tucked away in Chinatown. It’s down a little alley off Macclesfield Street and no one knows about it apart from people in the business. They make packs of amazing fresh noodles, and I love experimenting with them in my cooking.

If you gave me £10 I‘d spend it on bamboo shoots, lemongrass, chilli, coriander and galangal so I could make bamboo shoot curry Laosnian style.

Click here to read Rosa’s sweet Thai basil smash cocktail recipe