If you manage to find Nipa Thai restaurant (inside Lancaster London hotel, on the first floor, down a never-ending corridor), then it’s worth popping in for one of London’s best pad thais. Instead of dowsing their dish in sugar, like too many do, Nipa Thai uses the sweet and sour tang of tamarind to flavour their authentic ‘Sanguan’ phad thai, named after head chef Sanguan Parr who has worked there for 16 years.
If you’re feeling extravagant, upgrade to a phad thai koong mangkorn – Canadian lobster with fried rice noodles, bean sprouts, spring onions and egg. It’s a generous dish, easily shared by two light eaters, and best enjoyed with a Thai beer. Other must-orders include a simple, fiery som tam salad (green papaya, long beans, dried shrimps, cherry tomatoes and peanuts); and, if you prefer milder Thai food, a kaeng massaman with either chicken or lamb will satisfy with its warm and creamy coconut milk base.
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It’s a great spot for vegetarians, too – try sweetcorn fritters with sweet chilli sauce; deep fried spring rolls filled with cabbage, glass noodles and oriental mushrooms; or, for something totally different, Thai omelette with preserved turnips, basil and chill. Service is swift and efficient, and the manager paces the floor, ready and waiting to help diners with the menu.
Must-order: any type of pad thai. It really is good here.
Lancaster London would like to offer readers a free glass of fizz when they book and have dinner at Nipa Thai. Just quote ‘Luxe’ when booking or on arrival at the hotel.