When Belpassi Bros closed in Tooting we were a little disappointed, so when we saw the signs promising that a new eatery was taking over the site, we were really pleased. Rosa’s Thai Cafe have numerous other branches across London including Brixton. Being reasonably new converts to Thai food we were really looking forward to seeing what was on offer.
We booked a table for 7pm and when we arrived, we could see that the layout has remained almost the same as when Belpassi Bros were here. There are several tables in the front area of the restaurant with a bar preparation area. Towards the back is the open kitchen and a larger communal or group table is behind that. The place has been given a lick of paint and it has a cosy and modern feel to it. We were seated at our table and left to explore the menu.
We selected a range of starters to get us going which included, spring rolls, chicken wings, prawns and prawn crackers. To wash it down we chose a beer and a gin based cocktail.
The starters all arrived on really nice green crockery. The prawn crackers, with good flavour and a nice crunch, were accompanied by a satay dip which was a nice change from the sweet chilli sauce that everything else came with.
The prawns were tasty, with a good crispy batter and were well cooked. The spring rolls were hot and not too greasy, with a decent amount of filling. The chicken wings were a let down though. They had a strange texture and lacked any meat on them. Whilst the little meat that was there came away from the bones easily, they didn’t really have any flavour which was disappointing. As we said, all of these came with a sweet chilli dip. We felt that some variation to this would have been good; perhaps a soy based one, for example.
For our main courses we had decided on a pad Thai and a Rosa’s specialty butternut squash red curry with a portion of sticky rice to go alongside it. Again, the dishes were served on very nice crockery making them look appealing and they smelt good too.
The butternut curry had flavour and a nice amount of heat to it. However, it lacked any substance. The chunks of butternut were few and far between and slightly firmer than I would have liked. The sauce was tasty but it quickly became like eating a bowl of soup. This dish was priced at £10.50, without the rice, so it felt like a very expensive bowl of soup to be honest
Sadly, the pad Thai was also lacking. Now I’m far from an expert on Thai food, in fact this is only the 2nd pad Thai that I’ve had, so I can only compare it to the other one which was at Kaosarn. This one lacked any real flavour and was quite bland in comparison. No sweet or sourness from the tamarind, I couldn’t taste any egg, even the crushed peanut lacked in flavour. Disappointing.
Every time we’ve been past Rosa’s they seem to be busy, which is good to see. For us though, the meal didn’t quite hit the mark. We left with full tummies but an emptier wallet than we would have liked.