Ora, 6 Little Portland Street, London W1W 7JE
Last week I finally got to satisfy my Thai cravings. Thai food is my all-time favourite (but not so for Adrian, he’s a wimp when it comes to any ‘heat’) and it’s been far too long since I had any. Thai green curry in particular, has to be my favourite dish, it would be my last supper, if ever that situation were to ever come up. The best green curry I’ve ever had was at the unassuming Thai cafe on Fortess Road, near Kentish town, when I lived in Tufnell Park I would get one delivered almost every Friday night, just for me. So every time I try somewhere new, I always hope it will match up, it rarely does. Nothing beats that rush from the first mouthful, it’s a bit like a drug.
Back to Ora, we were convinced it would be pretty quiet, as it’s located on a back street behind Oxford Circus and we hadn’t seen many reviews on the net. The manager Nol Murphy, previously worked at Awana and Mango Tree (on our ever-increasing list of places to eat), and chef Tamas Khan was recruited from the wonderful Busaba Eathai, of which we are great fans. As we walked up the deserted street I didn’t hold much hope for it being popular. We were surprised to be guided into a full and buzzing restaurant.
We liked the decor, sleek dark brown with splashes of fuchsia pink, very much like our lounge at home. It could do with a few candles though…
The cocktail list is pretty extensive and expensive! I had a Future Lovers – quite apt with our impending wedding, it consisted of raspberry vodka, Passoã liqueur, Lichi li, cranberry juice, fresh raspberries, mint and ginger. Ade had a rather less interestingly named, Watermelon (vodka, Passoã liqueur, homemade grenadine, fresh lemon juice, apple juice and fresh watermelon)
My starter was the Silk Trader – Chicken satay, prawn tempura, crab cakes, vegetable spring rolls, and calamari . I loved all of it, apart from the calamari was very plain and dry. I also could’ve done with a few separate dipping sauces, each dish had been lightly drizzled with a sauce, I prefer the option of dipping. Ade’s Kanom Beurgh Sai Gai was lovely, it was a bit like a Thai omelette. It was a savoury pancake stuffed with smoked chicken, bean sprout and fresh herbs, served with a cucumber salsa.
We decided to go for our favourites for mains, of course I had the Kaeng Kiew Warn Gai (Thai Green Curry) Ade chose the Massaman Neur – prime beef cooked in a Massaman curry sauce, served with peanuts and potatoes. Ade made lots of satisfied noises as he ate it, I can see why, the sauce was gorgeous. They did an unusual take on the traditional Massaman by stacking the potato, like a dauphinoise tower, and the beef was a whole fillet. Beef in curries can be quite tough but this was really tender. The sticky rice was almost too sticky, I wished I’d gone for Jasmine but the slightly bossy waitress told me I wanted sticky. The coconut rice was good but perhaps a bit dry.
My curry was gorgeous but I didn’t get that ‘hit’ that I get from a perfect Thai green curry. I couldn’t put my finger on it but something was missing. It didn’t stop me devouring the entire thing though. It was packed with vegetables and had a great crunch to it.
My next cocktail was a Passionfruit Mojito, I love a Mojio with a green curry and decided to have a slightly different version than the usual. Ade had a Thai Dressed Gimlet, he seems to always end up with a feminine drink… He said it smelt like a spa treatment, and it did, which sounds off-putting but tasted good.
I wasn’t sure if I was going to find any room in my belly for dessert, but managed to squeeze in a Kanom Na-Nuan pavlova. The meringue was a bit stale and I suspect shop bought, but was fine once I had mixed up with the gorgeously thick cream – possibly artificial, my favourite kind being that I don’t like cheese and cream and butter. Ade had a huge serving of I-Tim Coconut Ice Cream with tiny coconut jelly strips and sweet sticky rice.
We finished off with a very cute little pot of fresh mint tea, with the tiniest little cup, I fell in love with this, a perfect ending, especially as I sat back whilst Ade kept refilling me.
6 Little Portland Street
London W1W 7JE
020 7637 0125
Open Mon-Wed 12pm-3pm, 6pm-11pm
Thu-Sat 12pm-3pm, 6pm-11:30pm