Most restaurants try to do a single cuisine and if they are lucky they do it well. Panama Hatty’s is the complete opposite, their menu is extensive with dishes ranging from Mexico to Malaysia and everything in between! Seb and I were out shopping this weekend, and after a lot of deliberation concluded that we had no idea what we wanted to do for lunch. When you don’t know what cuisine you want, there is nothing better than lunch at Panama Hatty’s – there is something for everybody! So we decided to head to this little crowd pleaser and see what the restaurant had to offer.
Panama Hatty’s is tucked away just off the exclusive upper part of Kings Street next to some fairly well-heeled neighbours including Armani, Vivienne Westwood and Agent Provocateur. It’s quite easy to miss this basement restaurant – you are more likely to notice the mannequins at the Agent Provocateur designer store above it but I think this works in Panama Hatty’s favour.
You walk down the stairs into a fairly well lit eclectic space. The decor is quirky and busy – you have no idea where to look and there definitely is a lot to look at.
The waitress greeted us at the entrance and showed us to our table right next to this Moroccan inspired bird cage(?!) in the picture above. Yes, it was slightly spooky but it does fit in with the quirky interior at Panama Hatty’s – adds to the character of this restaurant.
The menu at Panama Hatty’s truly is global – they really have tried to appeal to everybody here. The variety really is something to gawk at – it ranges from salads to risottos, ribs to burritos, tagines to fajitas – Panama Hatty’s is like going around the world in 80 plates! I have to admit I did find the menu layout very confusing – the font doesn’t help either.
Seb and I decided to go for the special lunch menu which is a good reflection of the à la carte. And for £12.95 for a two course meal and £16.95 for a three course meal, it’s definitely not too heavy on your pockets either.
I started off with the Mushroom and Stilton Bake served with cream and fresh herbed crostini. I love blue cheese and any dish that is smeared in blue cheese is a winner in my eyes! The bake was okay but bread had a massive hole in it though which I wasn’t too happy about.
Seb went for the Chicken and Chorizo Crostini topped with salsa and a drizzle of chipotle and cream. This dish was simple fresh and light – the perfect little starter.
For Seb’s main, he decided to mix it up and went for the Jambalaya which comes with Cajun rice, chicken, tiger prawns, shellfish, coriander, jalapeños, red chills with spicy tomato crostini. Yum! It did taste as nice as it looks.Seb thoroughly enjoyed the Panama Hatty’s take on the classic Jambalaya.
I decided to rock the boat a little too and went for the Bajan Chicken Croc which is a delightful combination of breast slices, tomatoes, chillies, cumin, chilli powder and onion, dressed in creamy garlic sauce with authentic Caribbean rice and peas. The Caribbean rice and peas were really tasty but I wasn’t too sure about the chicken though – it was a little too bland for me. I did still finish all of it though.
We were really full at this point having tried out food from Italy, the Caribbean and good ol’ Louisiana. But I wasn’t going to say no to dessert especially with options like the Hatty’s Schmaltz on it which by the way is meringue pieces blended with fresh whipped cream, strawberries, raspberries and fruit liquor! Yes please? Seb and I decided to share one of these and it was absolutely spot on. Exactly what we needed to seal our stomachs after that meal.
We decided that we had enough food to keep us going and asked for the bill which we cleared and continued our shopping spree on King Street. Our waitress was friendly and efficient – food did take a while to arrive but they were packed at the time and the wait wasn’t too bad so we didn’t mind.
No other restaurant gives you the variety that Panama Hatty’s does – it truly is multi cultural cuisine. The food was spot on for the money too – unique but tasty. It’s the perfect little break when your out shopping and need a dash of quick lunch to keep you going – it looks like most people had the same idea when we visited. It’s fun, quirky and perfect for indecisive people like me. I will definitely be going back again.