Salim Uddin-Khandakar samples this formal Thai experience with unrivalled views of Hyde Park

It’s not often you find a hidden gem that’s worth all the plaudits it receives. Perfectly hidden on the first floor of the Lancaster London hotel, you’ll find Nipa Thai. A warm, traditional Thai greeting awaits and the fabulous Raffles-like decor sets a scene that even King Mongkut would applaud.

A succinct menu offers a fair selection of meats and seafood whilst professional, attentive staff provide efficient service in regal surroundings, complete with unrivalled views across Hyde Park.

The restaurant is renowned for being one of London’s best Thai establishments using original Thai ingredients. Nipa Thai offers a holistic experience; from the all-female Thai kitchen team to the smell of essential lemongrass oil gently permeating the restaurant.

Nipa Thai’s authentic cuisine has received the prestigious Thai Select certification from the Thai government – an accolade presented to Thai restaurants proven to have achieved the highest standards of quality. The 55-seat restaurant features a teak-panelled interior with traditional Thai furnishings, and ornate decorations crafted in Thailand. The authentic decor complements the cuisine, which is served by Thai staff.

The restaurant delivers outstanding traditional cuisine that combines hot spices with mild and sweet flavours, offering a mix of dishes from Thailand’s central region. Each of the dishes is prepared according to traditional recipes by Head Chef Sanguan Parr and her dedicated team.

We shared the Ruam Mitr – a selection of chef’s special Thai starters that includes chicken satay, prawn parcels, fish cakes and spring rolls (£24). For mains, B chose the Kaeng Kiew Warn, a vibrant chicken and Thai aubergine in a spicy green coconut curry (£16). I opted for the Phad Kra Prao Koong, which combined stir-fried prawns with chillies and basil leaves (£22). We shared the Phad Phak Mitr (mixed vegetables, £10) and Kao Phad Khai (egg fried rice, £4).

The restaurant has recently launched two fantastic new offerings:

Thai wine paired set menus

Each menu features a selection of Head Chef Sanguan Parr’s speciality Thai dishes, such as Keaw Nam Koong (prawn dumpling consommé with bean sprouts, spring onions, coriander and iceberg lettuce). The four award-winning wines chosen to highlight the dishes’ flavours are from Monsoon Valley’s prestigious Hua Hin Hills Vineyard. Including wine pairings, the menus are priced at £49, £52 and £65.

Pre–theatre Nok Khamin Menu

The Nok Khamin Menu is served from 5pm to 6.30pm and priced at £23 per person. With London’s West End and the Royal Albert Hall just a short distance from the hotel, the menu provides the perfect pre-theatre or early dinner. The Early Bird Menu is served daily and includes a starter, main and glass of house wine or Singha beer.

The menu features Thai favourites, such as Thai Green Curry (Kaeng Kiew Warn Puk), Spring Rolls with Glass Noodles (Por Pia Thod), and Thai Chicken Satay.

An à la carte dinner would cost approximately £40 for a three-course meal with wine.

Unfortunately, we couldn’t try the Thai desserts, such as Caramel Lychees (caramel delice with a crunchy lychee centre, chilli and pineapple carpaccio with salted caramel ice cream), but that gives us the perfect excuse to revisit on our next trip to the city.

Nipa Thai

Nipa Thai

1st Floor, Lancaster London,

Lancaster Terrace,

London W2 2TY

Tel: 020 7551 6039

niparestaurant.co.uk