London Vegan Food Highlight (Week 17): Rosa’s Thai Cafe

Our recent food adventure took us to an omnivore place. Rosa’s Thai Cafe is the place, and through Bank Foods is how I learned about the restaurant, so thanks BF! Without this introduction I would have never stepped foot into the place because it isn’t plant-based. And I’m glad we took a visit, because we haven’t had good Thai food in so long.

I watched (and read) an interview with the owner of Rosa’s Thai Cafe and just knew through her words, which spilled of passion and authenticity for Thai and Lao food, that the food would be delicious. She said when she opened up her first restaurant (she has several locations now) she wanted to show people how Thai people really eat. She wanted her dishes to be authentic, and that she wanted to incorporate Lao food as well. When asked about what she thought about the rise and demand for health foods, she gladly accepted it and wanted to implement it as well. I had a hunch she would have vegan options, and after I checked the menu I was right, because there is a vegetarian menu with half of it being vegan dishes. Immediately I knew we would be visiting.

We visited the Angel location in Islington, and it was really busy. We waited almost an hour for a table, and by the time we sat down and ordered we both were ready to eat. Our order was simple. We both had the Butternut Squash Red Curry and the Papaya Salad to share. The papaya salad was so yummy. Spicy papaya salad is a staple dish for my family. I grew up eating the dish with almost every meal, every day. It has been so long since I’ve had this dish, and it made me nostalgic of those days. At some point towards my last year of college I became an organic and non-GMO snob, so eating USA’s GMO papayas was a no-no for me. It’s hard to find organic papaya in the US because they’re all tainted by Monsanto, so I just stopped eating the dish altogether. Sad to say I haven’t had papaya salad for almost 13 years, though I’ve had alternate versions of it — substituting the papaya with cucumber, which is still good but not the same. Nevertheless, having this dish at Rosa’s that evening really hit home in so many ways.

The butternut squash red curry was really tasty. It was fragrant, full of flavor and just the perfect consistency. We enjoyed both dishes very much and were delighted with every bite. I’m happy to say we were pleased with Rosa’s, and I’m thankful for the great dining experience.