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.