Food Review: Rosa's Thai

Words: Amelia Brookes
Photos: Rosa's Thai
Thursday 08 December 2022
reading time: min, words

It's a chain, but it doesn't feel like a chain - and the food is so good we couldn't not write about it...


Rosa’s Thai is one of the few restaurant chains that I will admit stands out and doesn’t feel like something that has been done time and time again; I would go to certain other chains for convenience, I would go to Rosa’s because the food is excellent. I have been to two Rosa’s Thai restaurants before - one in York, and one in Seven Dials, London. Today, I took a trip down to the Nottingham iteration’s new soft opening to see if it would live up to my expectations…

The first thing I noticed about Rosa’s was the shiny exterior, and the menus advertised on the door - an extensive all-day menu, and an express lunch menu, offering a starter, a main and a drink from the set options for £13.95 (not bad!). The interior greeted me in a similar manner, where I was in the state of trying to find something from the menu while I took extensive notes of the decorations, the tiled bar, the ‘Rosa’s Café’ cookbooks that were scattered around the shelves, and the specials on the chalkboard in front of me. It seems like they update every three months, the next group of specials most likely in spring.

The servers were attentive, giving me the opportunity to order a lemongrass and pandan iced tea before thinking about how I was going to write my review (I had no idea if they know I was reviewing Rosa’s!). The drink itself was fizzy, which I wasn’t expecting but I wasn’t mad at, because the tanginess and sweetness worked together nicely. Overall, I think it was worth the money, but I found that for the entire restaurant’s menu - nothing feels egregiously overpriced, nor overtly tries to justify the price like some chains are inclined to do.

My advice for people reading this review is run, don’t walk to Rosa’s Thai

For food, I ordered the summer rolls for a starter and flat noodles with vegetables and tofu for my main course. The staff were very conscientious about allergies, telling me the alterations that they could make to the dish to ensure that it was better for me. It’s always a green flag when a restaurant does this! As I was waiting, I noticed that the larger tables had condiments on them - chilli flakes, soy sauce, jalapenos and sweet chilli sauce. The summer rolls, once they arrived, were fragrant and slightly tough - it was the sauce that made the dish for me, even though the rolls themselves had their own delicate flavour. I was happy that the sauce was actually spicy; chains often have a problem where the food is consistently tasty but bland, so I’m glad that wasn’t the case here.

The star of the visit itself was the main course, though. I’ve had this dish before so perhaps I’m biased, but I would argue that it’s the tastiest thing on the menu. The veg was fresh and had crunch that balanced out the noodles, which were savoury but had this wonderful mildness. The tofu provided contrast too, being chewy and a little salty. The salt, bite and mellowness of the flavours complemented each other, creating a wonderful umami dish. 

Less formally, my advice for people reading this review is run, don’t walk to Rosa’s Thai (only if you want to though, of course). More formally, it’s a mid-priced restaurant with really great Thai dishes that I would heavily recommend. Let’s hope that a lot of people in Nottingham will like it as much as I do!

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