First things first. Rosa is a myth. She doesn’t exist. The real genius behind this host of restaurants is a hard-working lady called Saiphin, who moved over to the UK via Hong Kong adamant that she would share her own home-spun brand of Thai cuisine.
I went for lunch with a man who has been to almost every country in Southeast Asia and he was more than impressed by the Moo ping (skewers of char-grilled pork in soy and honey marinade). I too, thought them delicious, and I was exceedingly taken with the tamarind dipping sauce so fragrant and delicious that I nicked it for my Pad Thai. I was not erring on the side of caution with said Pad Thai, as I think it is the best yard stick in Thai restaurants, and the flat, wide noodles full of beansprouts and prawns and peanuts did not disappoint.
Drunken noodles with beef had the insistent heat of chilis but my friend loved this dish. He has withstood a lot of heat in his life and chilis were not going to phase him. We had a lot to catch up on and we gabbed and gabbed all the way through lunch and then it was mid-afternoon and we were still gabbing. And the very lovely staff left us to it, gabbing and gobbling and wondering whether to order more Moo ping. At Rosa’s you could go in for a quick lunch and might well end up staying for dinner, too.
Rosa’s Thai, 26 Earlham Street www.rosasthaicafe.com ►MAP C3