Girl’s Dinner @ Patara Soho

Yesterday, a bad weather descended upon Britain and even though London escaped from its fiercest might, the heavy rain drenched evening commuters and Christmas shoppers, including me. I was there to meet up  with my dearest girlfriends, Fei, Letizia & Alex, for our pre-Christmas feast at Patara on Greek Street, Soho.

Around 7pm on Carnaby Street, the sky started to spit tiny raindrops but no one was yet to anticipate that it would turn a proper downpour shortly…

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Fei and I met up at Topshop first and scouted the shop floor for her headdress and cape for her office Christmas party. Upon leaving the store, we were confronted with a stormy rain and a herd of shoppers taking shelter. Why there is no cab when I want one? We gingerly unfolded our umbrellas and headed towards Soho. Oh my, what an epic journey it was! Our folding brollies were too flimsy to brave the elements and we could hardly see where we were walking into. Therefore, it was a great relief when we had a sign “Patara” glowing on the facia in our sight.

Once all of us got together at their bar, we were ushered to our table…

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The Magnificent Four!
Our appearance was slightly dishevelled by the elements…

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Year 2013 had its ups & downs for all of us. However, we stuck together and weathered it very well. Without them, my year would have been a much dimmer one because of my unforeseen health problem. I am truly thankful for their love & support. I love you, girls!

For our feast, we ordered three starters to share as well as a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc…

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Kong Nueng Ruam…

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Assorted steamed handcrafted dumplings with prawn, chicken and pork fillings.
The purple one had pork filling and tasted sweet. Very interesting flavour for dumpling. It was non-spicy and Hubbie would like it.

Kamon Bueng DIY…

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Do-It-Yourself Thai tacos of chicken and prawn with cucumber tomato salad. My apology for an out of focus pic. The taco filling in the bowl appeared deceptively benign but it was fiery! I was caught completely off guard.

Then, we favoured this Yum Nua Yang the most…

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Grilled sirloin beef spicy salad with rocket and onion. The beef was tender and dressed exquisitely.

For main course, I ordered Gae Yang Somtam…

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Grilled herb-marinated tender rack of lamb, accompanied with sweet rice rolls, spicy salad & chilli sauce. The lamb was succulent and flavoursome. And the rice roll, its delicate sweetness was a perfect accompaniment to the meat.

Letizia & Fei had Pla Hima Tod…

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Grilled black cod, accented with savoury ginger and pickled yellow bean sauce.

And Alex opted for Pia Yang Bai-tong…

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Sea bass fillet char-grilled with herb curry in banana leaf.

In the middle of main course, our wine ran out and we ordered another bottle.
Then, for dessert, Fei picked Tart Sangkaya…

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It was coconut custard baked pudding with ginger flavoured ice-cream. Again, the flavour was delicate but far from dull.

And the rest of us had Chocolate pudding with mango sorbet…

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Normally, I would opt for more tangy fruits such as berries to eat with chocolate pudding. But their fresh mango as well as the sorbet added the  sweetness and depth to the otherwise bitter chocolate pudding. The marriage was quite successful.

In spite of the restaurant being busy, the service we received was attentive and pleasant. Therefore, I highly endorse this beautiful eatery in Soho.

After lots of hugs, kisses & holiday wishes to each other, Alex & Letizia headed to Tottenham Court Road station and Fei & I beelined to Piccadilly Circus.
At Piccadilly Circus, we saw the Eros in a gigantic snow-dorm…

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Then, a cheeky intruder jumped in the frame!

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A complete stranger! Still, the mood amongst the crowd was buoyant and good-natured. This must be another Christmas magic…

Kaori by Kaori Okumura

Patara @ Greek Street

Prior to the August bank holiday weekend Fei & I had a Thai diner at Patara on Greek Street.
Can you believe that we won’t have any more public holiday left until Christmas? I am so sad…
While I waited for Fei in front of Costa on Old Compton Street, an alcoholic guy approached me and looked into my iPhone as I was typing away this blog entry. Eek! I turned my body away from him and he drifted away like a floating seaweed. What a weirdo.

Then once the police appeared on horseback, he vanished like a magic and was nowhere to be seen…

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The air was warm and the sky was getting increasingly overcast.
Ever more pronounced breeze indicated the approaching rain from the continent.
What a shame that the weather during the Notting Hill Carnival would likely to be a mixed bag, shine & rain.

I walked to Soho from Old Street – a pre-emptive power walk before an imminent feast.
Relying on my feet instead of TFL is the most dependable as well as pleasant way of travelling in London.
Plus, walking give me a time to observe & reflect. My mind runs freely as my body concentrates on putting one foot in front of the other.

Patara had been my favourite Thai restaurant for a long time.
However, the branch I’d been frequenting was their Maddox Street one.
Therefore, we decided to try their Greek Street outlet this time…

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A fragrant air greeted us as we entered the restaurant.
The identical smell as the Maddox Street’s. A quite distinctive yet delicate scent which puts anyone at ease instantly.
May be from those orchids displayed all around the restaurant?

After a brief wait at the bar, a waiter with a beaming smile ushered us to our table…

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We studied the menu and was instantaneously drawn to the picture of rock lobster pad thai. Mmmm…
After some consultation with the waiter, we decided to order 3 dishes with a portion of rice to share between us.

Here comes Kiew Wan Gai Ban – free-range chicken green curry with green basil…

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The curry was fairly spicy.
However, the roux was creamy without being too rich. A generous amount of bamboo shoot and chicken was in there. It was very tasty.

Yum Nua Makua Grob – grilled sirloin beef spicy salad with onion & wild rocket…

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I must say the dressing they used for this salad was just exquisite.
The sharpness of lime was nicely rounded with sweetness. And the beef was succulent and flavoursome.
We both were raving our praise as we noshed it away.

And then, le plat de resistance, Lobster Pad Thai…

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Ahhhh… Just looking at the picture, I want to go back there and order it again!
I love Pad Thai any day. But with lobster, OMG, it was amazing!
My mouth is watering like Pavlov’s dog as I write this sentence, recalling the taste…

The service we received at Patara was efficient and sincere.
It was a thoroughly enjoyable dining experience and I shall go back there in near future.

Kaori by Kaori Okumura

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