As the evenings get colder, Citizen Carl was invited to warm up at Rosa’s Thai Café in Carnaby.

Rosa’s is a café born in the East, and raised in the East End. Owner Saiphin Moore (who we interviewed recently here at Citizen Carl) started out with a humble street stall on Brick Lane several years ago. Together with her husband, she’s grown the business into a seven branch brand in London, with eateries in Spitalfields, Soho, Stratford, Chelsea, Angel, Victoria, and Carnaby, where we visited.

Each and every dish at Rosa’s packs a punch, blending authentic Thai flavours with seasonal produce, sourced locally wherever possible. On our visit, we started off with Thai calamari and chicken satay. Two classics with equally classy flavours. The calamari was perfectly crisp, the aromatic whisper of Thai herbs adding more depth to the dish. The chicken satay was succulent, with a hint of lemongrass and lashings of peanut sauce.

Starters at Rosa’s Thai Café

Photo: Starters at Rosa’s Thai Café

For the mains, we tried one of Saiphin’s favourites, the roasted duck curry with a sauce full of grapes, pineapple and cherry tomato. These fruity additions form a rich sauce and add just a hint of sweetness; it’s our new favourite curry. We supplemented our meal with the beef mussaman curry – another traditional yet triumphant dish – paired with the egg fried rice and steamed coconut rice. Note for future visits: one rice dish is large enough to share. The steamed coconut rice in particular is sweeter and smoother than any other version we’ve tried.

The food at Rosa’s Thai Café is exquisite, honest and rivals the best Thai restaurants in the city. The fact the eateries also feel low-key is another bonus in our eyes. When we visited Rosa’s Thai Café Carnaby, the restaurant was full, yet the pleasantly bustling vibe didn’t make diners feel too rushed. And while the food speaks for itself, the staff are polite and knowledgeable.

Embracing laidback London cool and Eastern flavours that awaken the tastebuds, Rosa’s Thai Café is definitely on our list of favourite London spots.

Website: Rosa’s Thai Café

Carl Goes London

Carl Goes London is the city guide for curious and creative people who want to become a citizen of London for the duration of their stay, whether it’s for three days, three weeks or three months.

Price: € 16,95
including taxes and worldwide shipping.

Go to the shop to buy this city guide!