Rosa's Thai Café

Restaurants , Thai Spitalfields
  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • 3 out of 5 stars
(29 user reviews)
7 Love It
Save it
Rosa's Thai Café
Alex Maguire

The original branch of Rosa’s (there are now three more) is located on a thoroughfare between Brick Lane and Spitalfields Market. It plays host to a vibrant young crowd of visiting tourists and local hipsters – you may even spot the odd pooch in a handbag. The dining room is clean and contemporary, with white-tiled walls, bevelled wood panelling and red stools at each of the small tables.

The usual Thai repertoire is executed well: hot and sour tom yam soup was rich with lemongrass, tangy tomato and a generous amount of seafood. Of the recommended dishes, stir-fried slices of European aubergine were coated in a sweet, salty soya and yellow bean sauce, and laced with plenty of ginger and black pepper. In contrast, a salad of chargrilled beef strips in chilli dressing was lacklustre, with celery the prominent flavour.

Rosa’s also does a roaring trade in takeaway coffee, made with Monmouth beans in a swish La Marzocco espresso machine. Service is mostly quick and efficient, but the coffee trade can hold it up on occasion. Drinks include Thai beer and whiskey, plus a handful of wines and east Asian teas.


Venue name: Rosa's Thai Café
Address: 12 Hanbury Street
E1 6QR
Opening hours: Meals served noon-10.30pm Mon-Thur, Sun; noon-11pm Fri, Sat
Transport: Tube: Liverpool Street tube/rail or Shoreditch High Street rail
Price: Main courses £7.50-£15.50
Do you own this business?

Average User Rating

3 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:8
  • 4 star:7
  • 3 star:2
  • 2 star:2
  • 1 star:10
1 person listening
Despina T

Thai food at its best! Rosa's Cafe is a must for Thai food lovers and the branch in Spitafields is the best introduction to the restaurant (there are 6 more branches in London).

It offers a variety of dishes, all at a reasonable price. The green curry is my absolute favorite. It doesn't come with rice, so you would have to order it as a side. Even though soups are not my thing, I have also been impressed with their Tom Yam soup: spicy, tasty, with herbs, tomatoes, mushrooms and chicken. If not a spice lover, you can ask for your soup to come mild. It's the best starter in the menu! Most of the dishes I have tried in Rosa's Cafe are delicious, including the Pad Thai. I wouldn't recommend the pineapple fried rice. I was intrigued by the way it was served, as it comes inside an actual pineapple. Not that it was bad, but the rice was a bit dry and the general impression of the dish was that it is nothing special.

In terms of decoration don't expect anything particular. However, the environment is relaxed and the staff are friendly .

Diana T

Rosa's is a cute little Thai restaurant tucked between some shops in between Spitalfields Market and Brick Lane. What makes it stand out from everything else?  It's painted bright red! After walking past it a few times and noticing the crazy queues outside I knew I had to eat there. Upon walking in you notice all of the beautiful wooden tables, and get seated at one of them. On the edges of the restaurants the tables are set up with one side sitting on a connected bench against the wall. The others however, do not get the chance to lean on a wall. The menu is very clear, describing the different dishes they offer for lunch and dinner and one stood out to me, the sweet and sour pork. It had been ages since I had anything that was labelled "sweet and sour" so I went with my gut, and ordered that. After taking my order the food was ready in 10 minutes, I didn't event have time to read much of the book I had brought with me. They serve most of their dishes with white and brown rice and a good mix of vegetables. I recommend that if there are a few of you, grab a few starters to share. They include service tax on their bill and the service is actually pretty good. 

Elizabeth P

Rosa's is one of my go to restaurants in the city.  It's a tiny place so you're best to just go there to focus on eating and then move on if you want drinks/to linger.  I've done a pretty good job of working my way through the menu and never had a bad meal.  The stir fried aubergine dish is unbelievable - I normally bully whoever I'm with to share one with me on the side because there are too many other delicious things.  I also love the fact they do brown rice!  Food is always fresh and quick and staff friendly.  Would definitely recommend moving past the main chains in Spitalfields and giving this place a try!

Niomi Harris

The thing I like about Rosa's it that it's deceitful. Let me explain. Nestled among the hustle and bustle of Spitafields/ Brick Lane is this red fronted, unassuming small abode, a place of which a passerby would barely bat an eye. Inside is much the same. Clean lines, simple, wooden topped tables and metal red stools. Nothing spectacular. But notice the stream of people queuing to get a spot in this little place and you'll realise that there is something spectacular about Rosa's- the food. And that's where the deceit comes in because judging by the look of this place, you'll never expect the food to be so amazing- but it was!

Fiery, flavourful, filling- all the things you'll want from a good meal. I had the chilli and basil stir fried noodles with veg and tofu, and for someone who doesn't really like tofu I was mightily impressed. The tofu was slightly salty and chewy but I liked it, the veg had a lovely crunch and the whole dish had a good kick but didn't leave me wanting to down a pint of milk. And for £9, it ain't half bad- although it would have been better if it came with rice rather than it having to be ordered separately. I left Rosa's with a list of things to come back and try.

Ok so the look of the place is uninspiring, but who cares when the food is that good!

Tara P

Rosa's Thai is a dinky little enclave of delicious smells and yummy treats. There are a fair few tables squashed within, yet you never feel like you're on top of your neighbours - due in part to the clean lines and airiness of the space which lend a feeling of more space than there actually is.

The menu is pretty extensive, with a range of starters, salads, soups and noodle dishes. I began with the vegetable rolls, which with their peanut sauce were absolutely fantastic. Fresh, crispy and oh so peanutty. The Asian chicken salad I had for the main couldn't quite live up to the strong start - slightly chewy and with far too much chicken in comparison to the meagre lettuce, but it was well seasoned. The cocktails were the biggest let-down, my blackcurrant drink tasting far too much like vanilla, and not anything else.

Despite some disappointments, it's still a strong contender for an evening out, with a good atmosphere and swift and friendly service. It will tempt me back to find other items on the menu in the hope they're of the same standard as the veggie rolls.

Rellie Loves

My favourite little haunt in in Spitalfields! Rosa's is an authentic Thai cafe amongst the hustle and bustle of Hanbury Street. You can't miss the bright red exterior and pungent smells wafting through the windows. It's (very) cosy inside and you can't book for less than 6 people, but it's worth the wait if you do stumble on a queue. Inside is clean and minimal with little red stools and wooden tables. Simple, convivial dining. If you like a good menu, the choice here is decent but not overwhelming. Service is impressively quick and the food is in my opinion, faultless. I'd recommend the Chill & Basil Noodles with Tofu - so flavourful! You can eat a good meal here for around £10 - £15 with no complaints.


This food is amazing...the prices are a little high, granted, but in my own personal experience eating out for Thai food is a bit hit and miss, sometimes it's incredible (like this!) and other times I've been left bitterly disappointed.  I opted for the thai green curry and the surface was fast and polite. The curry itself (veg + tofu) came in a small bowl with the rice on the side, I ended up over-excited by how amazing the curry was and ate it almost like soup before remembering the rice was even there! There are no words to describe how perfect the flavour of this dish was... would definitely go again. Not a five star as the people I was with didn't all have such luck with their food.

Ioanna La

Rosa's Spitafields was a nice experience. Simple interior design, pleasant atmosphere, relaxing, friendly service and authentic Thai cuisine a stone's throw from Brick Lane! Very delicious dishes! Roast duck curry is my favourite one and Salmon Red Curry is definitely worth a try. Very good quality of food, a but small portions. I believe the prices are a bit high for what you get. I would give 4 stars if it was slightly cheaper.

Amanda Jones

I ate at this restaurant last night with my husband when we were staying in Liverpool Street. I find it a shame when people write reviews because they have had a bad experience and people say they are questionable because they had a different experience. The whole point of reviews is to get the average experience, so Daryl, you can take it from my that this review is genuine (also see my reviews on Tripadvisor (wiseonelondon) I review often and I review fairly and me experience reflects the negative reviews on here. - So, to the restaurant: I will not dispute that the food is good, in some cases, very good (soup, glass noodles). - However, it is still very expensive. This aside, I will never be visiting this restaurant again due abominable service. I cannot believe that this level of service still exists with the rising competition in London, especially where there is a lot of competition. Basically we arrived at 10pm - the place closes at 10:30pm, If the guy had said it was too late, we would have said no problem, but he grudgingly seated us and despite his rudeness (he was really quite rude and unwelcoming) we sat as I am pregnant and was starting to feel sick from hunger. First we were told we had to sit on a cramped table under the coats, we asked if we could sit one table along (identical table, just more space) waiter gave us a look like we had killed his mother. - I asked whether the beef in the thai salad was rare (due to being pregnant) - reaction was like we had then also killed his grandmother. We orders, he bought tea (very hot tea) which he then spilled on my husband. Accidents happen and we'd normally laugh it off if it were not for the fact that he wasn't remotely sorry, didn't offer to replace the tea and charged us for it. - we were made to feel like we should leave as soon as we were served. At the end a few quid were added to the bill for service (for a bill of 60 quid - with no alcohol!). I said politely, 'I'm sorry but I don't want to pay the service' - waiter's response - fine, I'll charge for the take-away boxes then (which we only asked for as we felt we were being pushed out of the restaurant. I don't think I have been that irritated by anyone for quite some time (and he is brave, or stupid as it is thoroughly unwise to piss off a tired pregnant woman!) - The saving grace was that the other guy working gave us the boxes, apologised and seemed to scold the other guy with issues, but by then it our mean out in London was kind or ruined. I really hope they sort out the service so that the quality of food can shine through.


This place is great. There is also a second floor (so don't just think it's a tiny cubicle-esque restaurant). The food is extremely flavour-FULL, but if you don't like spice stay away: everything contains spice to some degree. The only main issue I had, was picking some food, there isn't an enormous selection of foods to choose from, but everything sounds amazing. Asking for a comprehensive description of ingredients or what a particular food is, isn't the best idea as you won't get very far. However, it is a very pretty place. I benefited from ordering "what the guy next to me had". (


Extremely rude staff esp. the manager, terrible service. Avoid.


excellent food, excellent service. went for lunch and had a red curry which was just delicious. I also had a thai style ice tea which I can highly recommend, it tastes just great. I can't complain I did find it really good. For sure one of the very best restaurants in the area.

Foodie Heaven

I love this place - Rosas Thai. My brother and I visited the Soho branch last week, I had the Black Pepper Venison curry which melted in my mouth while he had Prawn Pad Thai - the ultimate of Thai dishes! Washed down with a bottle of of wine, it was the perfect antidote to the horrid cold weather. Service with a smile, and a big warm welcome. Thank you for looking after us so well, you will be seeing us again for sure!

Amuse Bouche

I really like Rosa's and have visited both the Soho and Spitalfields restaurants. I've always found the staff to be friendly and the service very good. The food is great, there are some really interesting dishes on the menu and the portions are generous. It's great value and I'd definitely recommend it.


I am never disappointed by the food I actually think that the spicy soup and the pad thai are the best I ever had. But today we tried one more time (and the last time) the delivery service, which shows exactly what you also experience in the restaurant - a really poor service. The first time when we ordered online (using hungryhouse) the food came 2.5 hours late (!!!!) and they did not feel sorry about it at all and of course it was cold by then. The second time they declined the order after 1.5 hours, of course we were already waiting for the delivery and were highly disappointed that we waisted 1.5 hours waiting. Today they declined the order again after 1 hour. Seriously if Rosa is not able to deliver, they should stop doing it. It is really a shame that they cannot manage to offer at least a normal service as the food is, as I said, very good. I am quite sure that I never heard in the restaurant a "hi" , "good bye" or "how was your meal" and also no FRIENDLY "are you ready to order" - is it so difficult?


Terrible service. It's these type of people that make me believe that customer service is dead. Not to mention that the bill came to £44 each!?!?!?!?! The food was not AMAZING. It was OK. The Satay sauce was cold and the portion was only enough for one satay. I was forced to pay £2 extra to receive 2 more tiny portions of sauce. Will never go here again. Highly annoyed that I wasted a weeks shopping money on a mediocre meal and awful service.

Angharad Llewellyn

Tried Rosa's twice and was bitterly disappointed with the meal. It was incredibly expensive and poorly cooked. As a huge Thai food fan I was really let down by their cuisine which promised much and delivered little.

Dan Barnes

A lot of the negative reviews on here are highly dubious, the style of writing is very similar, for example there is one review that mentions "patchy" service and then another one following it uses the word "patchy", and loads of other example besides, the tenor of the complaints is identical in several cases, as well as the focus on this supposed bad service and not much mention of the food. I have visited Rosa's many times, always enjoyed the food which is delicious and comes in very generous portion sizes for the price, and also have always found the service to be friendly, quick and accomodating. Seems obvious to me some unscrupulous competitors are posting phony reviews to try and hurt the business which to me is a testament to how high quality and popular Rosa's is. Ignore the bad reviews and give it a try yourself


My friend and I visited Rosa's Hanbury Street, it is an undervalued to express that I was disappointed, although the food was served quite quickly when it came, it was a poor quality in comparison to the other single Thai restaurant where the food and service is much better The staff is so bad, she chew something and working at the same time, it was understandard. Overall it wasn't a good dining experience and will not be dining there again. DON'T TRY TO GO.


Do not order takeaway from Spitalfields. Our delivery took 1hr 15mins, was stodgy, cold and really expensive! Very disappointed. The rice was congealed, the meat was very over cooked and the summer rolls were chewy.

Plot point

This Thai spot is a GEM! We happily ventured in on a whim and experienced an exceptional meal in a lively setting. We cannot get back there soon enough!


I visited Rosa's a few days ago, and it was really not as bad as many of the reviews say. The food was good, and I enjoyed the famous Pad Thai dish. The service was standard but, I think that Rosa's has tough competition, who are willing to go as far as making up horrible rumours about the restaurant to get others to avoid it. But all in all I don't think Rosa's has lost its spark and I would still recommend it to my friends.


The service is an absolute joke. I was excited to come to the location at Spitalfields as I've had the food at the location at Westfield Stratford and really enjoyed it several times. I would never recommend this place regardless of the tasty food as the service was purely nonexistent and that service that did exist was incredibly rude and subpar. When we first arrived we told them that we wanted a table for two and they sat us in the same table with a table of 4 other diners. We asked if we could sit at an open table they had with 3 place settings and they rudely said that wouldn't be okay. That aside, we asked to order and when we asked for water they poured the glasses with a look of annoyance. When I asked for soya sauce they brought it with a look of annoyance.. etc. etc. Sorry to "inconvenience" you, lady.. but you do in fact WORK here. Once we ate and asked for the check we told the waitress that we wanted to pay with a card. She cut my friend off mid-sentence while asking for the card machine to say that they needed the table for a new group... as if we weren't already asking to pay and leave shortly thereafter! What a joke. There are plenty of better restaurants to get a good meal in East London. Forget Rosa's.

Coco Jamieson

I went to Rosa's yesterday and I must say I was most disappointed. As soon as we were seated, the waitress informed us that we had 1.5 hours because after that they needed the table for someone else. The table service was too quick- as soon as we sat down they asked us what we wanted to drink- without actually having looked at the menu. Then the main arrived 10 minutes apart, before the starter. The spring rolls as a starter were good, but the plate was whipped away before I'd finished. The Red Thai curry was nice, but the papaya salad was really below par- there wasn't actually any papaya in it, and the prawns were tiny- they were clearly dried. After an hour, before we'd finished our food, another group entered and the waitress asked us to hurry up so that they could have our table. Very bad service. The dinner was only saved by my delightful, hilarious friend. I wouldn't go back there and would discourage others from doing so.


I have been eating at Rosa's in Spitalfields for nearly 3 years and the standards have dropped drastically, and the prices are way higher than before. I went there just yesterday, and being a Sat, I booked on the phone. They were really rude with me like they do not like bookings and commented twice that we just had 1.5h to eat. When arrived there, we noticed the restaurant was not that full as usual. We needed to wait 15 mins for one of our friends to join us, so they were checking on us every 2 mins asking us to order. And reminding us that they needed our table by 9. Finally we had the staters (the forgot to bring us the plates, I had to ask for them!) and the main. The thai green curry I had was not bad but was average compared to the food they were serving just last year. Then the rudest waitress came and showed us the bill (without us asking for it) telling us we have been warned we needed to leave the table by 8:30. We obviously complained we had been promised the table until 9 and that we wanted a sweet rice pudding, so she left saying no puddings are served on winter and she would have checked the times with her manager. She never came back, so that we had to ask for the bill 10 mins later. A high one, £125 for 6 mains and 5 starters and 7 drinks! Like the other comments I read, it's like they are doing us a favour serving the food. And the service charge is now included in the bill so you cannot do much. It's a real shame, Rosa's used to be so good, but they really changed since they opened the new branch in Sono.


I went there with some friends las night and just like the person who wrote the previous comment, we were told that we only had 1.5h to have our dinner which really put me off (even in fine dining restaurantes the turnaround is 2h))). The waitress was very rude and acted like she was making us a big favour just being there. Once the mains arrived the question "are you done?" was popping every 5 minutes. Instead of relaxing and ejoying the food, which wasn't bad, we felt like some school kids at the head teacher's office. I haven't had such a bad experience in a very long time and definitely won't go back.


Terrible service. I went to Rosas last week and had the most unhospitable welcoming in my life - as we sat down, not even a hello - they told us right away we only had one hour and a half to eat. The rest of the meal we were rushed throughout - very patchy service. Do not go there- service is severely flawed.


I have to say I am now (after about the 3rd week of coming once a week) a regular at this certain Thai , not just because of the fact i live near but because though to an astonishment on my behalf, towards some of the comments below me, it actually is very good. I always try to vary the dishes i order , some i must say are the same thing I've tasted elsewhere; nothing special but that doesn't dwindle from the fact its a safe bet when your craving some thai food. The thing is i have to say is that the penaeng curry is outstanding, plus the green curry made traditional unlike most restaurants (In answer to the comment below the green curry on the menu state they make it traditionally and not thickened up with corn syrup) the starter are all superb especially the tom kha soup, the curries are great , the rice is well….Rice and the char grilled selection is absolutely fantastic from what i have tried; I still have a lot to go. The safe bet for most of us is the pad thai which has now officially given me cravings close to the point where i believe they have copied cokes original way of hooking customers by adding …well coke to coca cola…maybe there is a thai drug called pad? On a final note most of the dishes i have ordered (alot) are very good some are average and some blow my head of its so spicy and thats why i have given 4 stars. The service was polite and kind which makes my experience a lot more satisfactory ontop of the great food. To conclude this restaurant is unique in the fact that it doesn't go onto the 'Western' Thai food restaurants you usually get , but is in-between the traditional thai ( having lived there myself for 5 years) and 'Western' thai, i guess why its a fusional modern thai restaurant that I love.