As I was perusing the art scene around the area I decided to give this a go. The only consideration I had was price. I knew if I wanted a sit down lunch in Mayfair at a restaurant I would need to fork out quite a bit so when I saw £12~ for a set lunch I rushed to this place, besides Timeout gave it good reviews and they're an international brand.
I ordered the Thai fish cakes as my starter and the slow braised beef for my main, a dish that I've read good reviews of. Silly me for ordering a drink as well because water is free but I must say the Thai Tea was lovely, I'd go back just for that! They also gave us free prawn crackers and a parting gift of chocolates which were both very tasty.
The service was good, nice and efficient, but the waitress did have a little giggle at our food and drink choices, did I order something bad? Damn my lack of knowledge on Thai food. I think it must have been my rather feminine choice of Thai Tea.
Anyway the Thai fish cakes were decent, the accompanying cucumber salsa gave the dish a nice sweet but slightly spicy kick. However it's a relatively simple dish to make so if I was looking at fine dining I still wasn't sold.
The lauded slow braised beef with coconut reduction was a bit of a let-down. The flavours were lovely, mixing authentic Thai flavours with a contemporary twist, I also love coconut, but the beef was pretty average. It was rather tough and the tendons were not soft enough to chew, to only be given a spoon and fork I would have expected to eat this without cutting the beef to pieces but if I didn't I'd probably have choked on the beef. And even though there was a good amount of sauce the beef did taste a little dry.
I wasn't impressed overall, there were highlights and lowlights but at £35~ for two people I think I'd need some convincing to come back. My trusty dad who is now so wary when I ask him to accompany me for food branded the place as awful, it was simply too sweet for him. Let me just clarify something here, my dad is quite a typical Chinese man so if you want to take more money from him than he could have paid somewhere else you better give him something amazing, or simply classified as stingy. When you serve him what is pretty much Dim Sum (I think it was some dumpling starter) but of a lower quality compared to normal Cantonese fare you are bound to get a very annoyed Chinese man. He also ordered the King Prawn fried noodles but he was absolutely appalled when he only got three halves of prawns, the Asian stinginess kicking in. I wouldn't rate Patara that badly but I must say it didn't live up to expectations.