Monday, 22 August 2011

The Summer of Six Senses in Soho

By Philippa Morton.

I have a new favourite restaurant, a peaceful retreat away from the buzzing streets of Soho, where soft voices chatter between mouthfuls of food, and a few comforting noises from the kitchen remind me of Mum serving dinner. Sound.

I touch the little moss in the centre of our table. It’s so soft I want to cover my bed in it. I feel the ice-cold sensation of my glass soak into my hand. Touch.

A model of a Buddhist temple takes centre stage, and its golden glow catches my eye, but not as much as the sculptured artwork on the walls. I discover they’re original pieces from a temple in Thailand that was pulled down. Deep reds are set off with flickering tea lights in the walls. When I my first course of Chicken and Banana Blossom Salad (Yam huaplee gai) arrives, I am intrigued at how the salad is served: cupped in a banana leaf, with banana blossoms frilled around it like wings. My mango cocktail is set off with a brooch of star fruit kissing the mouth of the glass. A purple blossom is pinned onto my dessert of coconut ice cream with tropical fruit. Sight.

As if on the tropical shores of Africa, coconut and banana tickle my sense of smell with each exotic bite of my Yam huaplee gai. But tonight I am in Patara, a little taste of Thailand, in Soho, London. Nothing could bring this sensation home more than spicy mango and passion fruit aromas mixed with the roasted fragrance of king prawns in the Goong yai op. Smell

The fishy flavours - prawns, mussels and squid - in the Seafood Boullabaisse infuse with the Thai herbs and coconut to exude a little creamy luxury. These distinct flavours blend perfectly with zesty chilli to form trinity of a perfect whole! Scrumptious king prawns bedded in bok-choi remind me of a charcoal BBQ in my main meal of Goong yai op. Dustings of ginger make my palate tingle while I drink Patara’s signature ginger tea. I am not afraid to say, I am now addicted. Taste.

Our 5 senses are not lacking for sustenance thanks to Patara’s Six Senses menu this summer; an ultimate luxury, for an ultimate bargain. Two courses £19.80 or three for £28. Ingredients are sustainable, local, organic and wholesome. A stunning pick-me-up for the mind, body and soul.

And the 6th sense? That my friends, is something for me to know, and you to find out! And there is only one way to do so.

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