Rosa’s Thai Cafe Manchester, The Old Courthouse, 184 Deansgate, Manchester, M3 3WB – Visit Now
On a corner in the middle of Deansgate’s flair and grandeur, you can now find Rosa’s Thai Café. If this name is familiar to you, perhaps it’s because of the other eighteen locations dotted around the country. These all stemmed from owner Saiphim’s initial business at the Brick Lane Market in 2006 where she picked up the nickname “Rosa”.
Perfect for a cosy night out after work
Things have come a long way though, from her humble beginning cooking eleven dishes at home before hauling them to her stall, to the now ever-popular chain of restaurants which also includes the famed Lao Café in London. Despite this huge growth though, the personal touch still shines through. Each plate uses her own family recipe with ingredients sourced from Wanapa Budworth, a local supplier of Thai goods which include rare ingredients such as banana blossoms, a flower that you will be hard-pressed to find elsewhere.
The current site occupies the position formerly owned by the Handmade Burger Kitchen and is a welcome addition to the variety of options on the street. Entering this restaurant with its low ceiling and soft lighting it’s clear that it’s perfect for a cosy night out after work. Add to this the atmosphere generated by the hubbub of a full house and smell of fresh Thai food from the open kitchen and you can almost picture yourself being in Thailand if you close your eyes. These feel-good vibes are a perfect representation of Saiphim herself who is full of energy and smiles as she emphatically says that she loves cooking before encouraging people to eat.
Food characterised by having every basic taste (sweet, salty, spicy, sour and bitter) in every mouthful all at once
Onto the food itself though. While the umbrella term for what is served might be “Thai” food, it is more specifically “Isan-style” Thai food. Isan is the North-Eastern area of Thailand with food characterised by having every basic taste (sweet, salty, spicy, sour and bitter) in every mouthful all at once. This combination may seem impossible but a tasty dish at Rosa’s will show you the contrary.
Even their most basic starter of prawn crackers with a chicken satay sauce has an initial sweet and saltiness from the bite of a cracker along with a kick of spice from the satay. A highly recommended option though is their papaya salad, an Isan staple. This sweet, salty, sour and, most importantly, spicy, is not for the weak of heart. An addictive first bite will have you sweating and reaching for your Chang beer before going in for another mouthful of this flavourful plate. A slight deviation from the homely styled menu are the house cocktails, each with memorable names such as the Bangkok Night Out, supplying a twist on those classic cocktails. For example, the Bangkok Night Out is a strawberry mojito using a Thai basil infusion giving it an extra facet of flavour.
An addictive first bite will have you sweating and reaching for your Chang beer before going in for another mouthful
For a true Thai experience, booking a table at Rosa’s as soon as possible is highly recommended as and demand is sure to be high. Be wary of the spice indicators on the menu though or you may literally bite off more than you can chew.
Because of the ongoing Coronavirus crisis, we are unable to bring you our usual recommendations for things to do in Manchester and the North. Our thoughts at this time are with our readers and with the organisations and businesses who make the North of England a great place to live and visit. We hope you stay well and look forward to sharing more unmissable events and places with you later in the year.
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Please note – many of the venues on our site will be closed and events either postponed or cancelled. Please check the venue website for details.