I was recommended by a French friend of mine to eat at this restaurant which I previously avoided on the basis of how it looks. Koobla is the restaurant in Hotel Xanadu and as you walk past it wouldn’t attract a single glance let alone a second look, the colour scheme is subdued to the point of being dull and I’ve rarely seen more than 6 people in there at any time during the day, however the bland aesthetics belie the true sophistication of the food. I took my husband for lunch on Thurs afternoon to use our TasteCard 50% discount, we were seated by a friendly, welcoming waiter by the window and handed the express lunch menu, which is quite limited but adequate. We chose the lamb curry with Chinese broccoli in oyster sauce and coconut rice, and nasi goreng with deep fried bread rolls, whilst we waited a complimentary appetiser was brought to the table. The appetiser was a small dish of delicately flavoured coconut, authentically spiced with enough chilli to make one realize that this was Thai food, it was delicious but the waiter would not divulge the recipe. The restaurant is really spacious between tables so that even at full capacity there’s plenty of room to breathe and feel comfortable, pleasant jazz was played over the music system at a reasonable volume which made it very relaxing. The main course came after about 25 mins giving the distinct impression it was all cooked fresh and not warmed up from the previous night, presentation was impeccable and only outshone by the quality of the food. The lamb literally melted in the mouth, the sauce was hot and packed with flavour unlike so many other Thai eateries that are afraid of using chilli for fear of upsetting the uneducated palates of western Europeans. The deep-fried bread rolls were sweet and light rather like fresh doughnuts but far better and the nasi goreng was really authentic, and it was evident that all the food was cooked fresh. The waiters were attentive without being annoying and I could only use positive adjectives to describe their food, we will definitely be returning to sample the full variety of the Koobla menu.
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