Patara Fulham Road

181 Fulham Road, London, England, SW3 6JN, United Kingdom

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This restaurant is sister to Patara in Beauchamp Place, and also in Greek Street (there is a further one in Maddox Street). They are part of a small global chain offering high end Thai cooking, This branch is quite small, but with large windows which give a nice, airy feel to the place, and there are a few tasteful Thai artifacts scattered around in the limited space.

On my most recent meal tom yum goong soup had excellent stock though it did feature a rather chewy mushroom (13/20).  Scallops in a lime and chill dressing were served in their shells and in themselves were nicely cooked and the dressing was punchy, but the scallops had become rather lukewarm by the time they arrived (12/20). The best dish was a prawn curry, with a complex curry sauce and correctly cooked prawns (13/20), and sea bass in a banana leaf with a red curry paste was nicely made (12/20). Pad thai noodles suffered from some overcooked prawns (11/20). At £45 a head with not much to drink this is not a cheap place, but presentation is good and the cooking a distinct cut above the norm.

Below are notes from a meal in September 2007.

A small bowl of prawn crackers arrives while you peruse the menu, and they tasted properly of prawns and were crisp. Tom yum goong soup is a classic which can easily be messed up, but here it had the full set of spices and lemongrass, oyster mushrooms rather than button mushrooms and a couple of prawns; the blend of spices was very good (13/20). I had a Thai style raw tuna salad flavoured with mint leaves and coriander and a light soy dressing, which was very refreshing (13/20).

Sea bass was deep fried, which seems a bit odd but was done well enough, the batter fairly light and the fish cooked through properly (12/20). Pad Thai noodles had good texture and were topped with a few prawns in their shells. These were correctly cooked but had a whiff of chlorine about them, suggesting low quality farmed prawns (noodles 12/20). A prawn curry was cooked in a coconut cream sauce with turmeric, betelnut leaves and kaffir lime leaves, which gave a light, curry flavour; prawns were again tender (12/20). Rice was fine, while sugar snap peas were stir-fried in a wok and cooked with a soy sauce with a few prawns and mushrooms; the vegetables were cooked lightly and had lovely firm texture (13/20). Service was excellent, dishes arriving smoothly and no trouble getting attention.

The Greek Street branch has the edge but this was still very enjoyable.

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