I don't often get feedback from restaurants so I was genuinely surprised to receive an e-mail from Alex Moore of Rosa's. Truth be told, I was a bit apprehensive given that I'd written a less than glowing review of the Soho branch of Rosa's. Anyway, it was with some relief that the e-mail was a lunch invitation to discuss my comments about their calamari and pad Thai dishes with Alex and his wife, Saiphin.
I accepted the invitation; after all, you don't often get the opportunity to offer feedback to restaurant owners in the flesh. I thought I was just going to have a chat so it came as a bit of a surprise when Saiphin told me that she had been working on ideas on how to improve both dishes.
|Thai calamari - well what's left of a full portion...|
|Pad Thai with king prawns|
|Beef green curry - I forgot to take a photo before it was nearly gone|
During lunch, I also gained an insight into the challenges of running a Thai restaurant in Britain. The main difficulty seems to be getting the right ingredients as Saiphin explained that it was so much easier to get supplies in Hong Kong – where she used to run a restaurant – compared to London. For example, she'd like to use fresh rice noodles in the pad Thai but so far has been unable to find a supplier that meets their requirements.
I feel mildly embarrassed that Alex and Saiphin went to so much trouble over my comments about Rosa's. That they did shows how much they care about their restaurant. Now I appreciate that being invited to lunch by the owners of the restaurant isn't entirely representative of what a paying customer might expect. Having said that, I will be giving Rosa's another chance probably with an order of Thai calamari and a green curry.
PS: Such is the small world we live in, Saiphin bumped into this gangly blogger on a recent visit to Hong Kong. Rather scarily she remembered that his regular order used to be green curry.