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food is everywhere in London; from high-end restaurants like Fitzrovia’s Crazy Bear and Bam-Bou, to informal trendy street food canteens, to local backstreets pubs. It’s inescapable, but sometimes you know it’s going to be special. Mini-chain Patara has branches in South Kensington, Knightsbridge, Soho and Oxford Circus and this is Asian cuisine at its most sophisticated.

We visited the Knightsbridge branch tucked away on Beauchamp Place, a stones throw from Harrod’s. We found a relaxed restaurant full of a mixture of people, young professional couples, to older people who it appeared were too posh to cook for themselves.

There are old favourites on the menu alongside innovative dishes like the house signature dish of Thai tacos with chicken and prawns. The classic dishes are a world away from the ubiquitous high street versions. The Thai prawn and fish cakes were thick and meaty, slightly tangy with a cool cucumber salsa and the dim sum style dumplings were a rainbow of deliciousness – honey-coated pork in a translucent lilac casing, aromatic chicken in golden casing and delicately flavoured prawns in a light green casing.

The starters perfectly set up the main courses. We tried two classic Thai dishes, chicken with shiitake mushrooms, ginger, pineapple and spring onions and a chicken green curry with basil, both served with sticky coconut rice. As with many restaurants, getting the basics right is genuinely impressive and while the dishes were familiar, they were so well cooked as to taste like completely new dishes.

The only drawback to a genuinely lovely restaurant is the price, this is not a cheap restaurant and we struggled to keep the bill below £80 for two courses each plus a bottle of wine. But if you fancy a treat, then we recommend indulging yourself in something more than a little bit special.

Four London locations