Patara – Regent Street

Reviewed on November 2nd, 2012 by Dina

It is always nice to have family come visit. An added bonus is that it gives us a chance to explore and try new places to eat. This time, it was my cousin who had come over from LA! I was after a place near Oxford Circus as we needed to be close to the theatre, to get there in time for an evening show.

On recommendation from my brother, Patara was our restaurant for this evening. I always trust my brother’s restaurant recommendations and have never been disappointed by any of them to this day. They are always outstanding restaurants and so I was excited to try Patara!

The entrance to Patara was lit with orange and yellow panels. There was a sofa area opposite the bar. We were seated here while our table was being prepared.

Patara Bar AreaPataraPatara InteriorPatara Gang Ped NuaPatara Prawn CrackersPatara Pad Makua YaoPatara Interior 2Patara MealPatara Decor

Around the corner, it opened up into a big, light and airy dining area. The walls were decorated with ceramic artefacts. It all felt really clean and organised. There was attention to detail in everything. A nice touch were the little green topiary plants on each table. The staff were extremely friendly and polite and they made us feel really welcome.

While we were deciding on what to order, we were given some prawn crackers to munch on. They came in a little gold basket. The crackers were crispy and they had a slight spicy heat to them.

Now some may say this is a bit of an odd craving to have, but both my cousin and I were in the need of some aubergine, or as my cousin called it, “eggplant”! There were two dishes that we spotted on the menu, but both said that they were seasonal. It was our lucky day as the Thai aubergine was in season!

The Gang Ped Nua was right up our street. It was a red coconut curry with Thai eggplant and sweet basil. We chose to have it with chicken. This dish was perfect in every way. It was rich, creamy and had plenty of chicken and eggplant in it. The chicken was really tender and soft and together with the eggplant, they just melted in your mouth.

The red curry was presented in a gold dish and it had the tealight in the base, to keep the dish warm. To complement the rich curry, we had the steamed fragrant rice.  Both the rice and curry were of a good portion size, so much so that we were able to share the one main dish of Gang Ped Nua!

The side dish again had to be one that would satisfy our craving! The Pad Makua Yao was Thai long aubergines cooked in yellow bean sauce with sweet basil. The aubergine was soft and chunky and had not been overcooked. It had a great flavour to it with the sauce. All the dishes were presented well and the food was of a high standard.

There is no doubt that Patara does good quality fine Thai cuisine at its best!

Patara, 7 Maddox Street, London, W1S 2QB

Rating: ★★★★★

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Itsu – Regent Street

Reviewed on December 11th, 2010 by Dina

Itsu’s motto is health and happiness and that is exactly what it delivers, in my eyes! The calming atmosphere is created with the help of its beautiful orchids, spacious dining area, booths, and the pink and brown decor!

At Itsu, you have to go to the counter to order your meal. This is convenient if you want something quick but healthy at the same time.

The menu is not huge but has enough choice. They recently updated the menu so now it includes hot rice dishes, cupcakes, teas as well as the original noodle soups, ready boxed sushi, salads and frozen yoghurt.

On this particular visit, I chose the vegetable dumpling pot-su. Itsu calls this a complete meal in  a pot and it is a definitely that! The base is the dynamite soup with carrots, ginger, beansprouts and pumpkin seeds. It also has vermicelli glass noodles which are also known as mung bean noodles. These are lighter than udon noodles and they are also gluten free.

The vegetable dumplings are of a good size and they are steamed. They are usually served in the soup but I prefer them on the side. The pot-su is a really filling and warming soup! The soup has strong flavours and also is slightly tangy. The vegetables, dumplings, noodles and the dynamite broth is a match made in heaven!

Itsu uses low sodium soy sauce in their food. The staff were ok and were fairly helpful!

Itsu, 18-20 Lower Regent Street, London, SW1Y 4PH

Rating: ★★★★★

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Tibits – Regent Street

Reviewed on October 15th, 2008 by Dina

This vegetarian cafe had only been open for two weeks when we visited it. On entering, it was very spacious and had a nice atmosphere. Everything looked very new and clean. The staff seemed to be clearing up constantly so the cafe remained tidy.

There are a few comfy seats, as well as window seating and an additional area downstairs. The focal point to this cafe is the food boat. This is the open buffet that has cuisines to suit every taste. It’s a shame that this is buffet style. We would have preferred it if it was served from behind the counter. The food looked fresh and we saw that it was getting replenished often.

The tofu and tomato sandwich that we had was really good. It was a lot more appetising than it sounds. The tofu slices worked well with the balsamic vinegar and pesto. We asked the staff what type of bread it was and they just said that it was their house speciality bread. It had a nutty taste to it and was also a bit like ciabatta. We think that it may have been made with spelt flour!

We could tell that the cakes were also of a high quality. We had the cinnamon danish which was more of a brioche texture than flaky pastry. Definitely would go back and try out some more of their sweet treats!

Tibits have a good range of hot and cold drinks. They were very accommodating when I asked for a hot soya milk with hazelnut syrup, even though it was not on the menu. The cappuccino was also nice and creamy.

We found that the staff were really friendly and hope that this cafe stays this way even after many months of it being opened. Tibits is actually a Swiss company who pride themselves on quality ingredients and produce.

Tibits, 12-14 Heddon Street (off Regent Street), London, W1B 4DA

Rating: ★★★★☆

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