Rosa's Thai restaurant, Coney Street, York

IT was an unseasonably cold and wet Friday evening - a shock after the wall-to-wall sunshine and record-breaking hot weather of recent weeks.

Luckily we had an inside table at Rosa's Thai in Coney Street, where we had been invited along to try its new summer menus, launched to celebrate the restaurant chain's 15th year in business (although it has only been in York for a year).

There may have been dark clouds and rain outside, but Rosa's menus have been designed to bring the colours of summer to the table and palate; just what the doctor ordered.

The first 'medicine' of the night came in the shape of one of Rosa's new cocktails for the season. The new cocktail menu boasted it would "get your summer on", with drinks packed with Thai flavours and the promise to taste as good as they looked.

I started with a Lychee Ginger Spritz (£8.45), an eastern take on a classic white wine spritzer. Here Prosecco and Cointreau are mixed with lychee and ginger juice, lemon, coconut sugar and soda water - utterly delicious and I could have happily drunk these all night.

My dining partner opted for a refreshing Chang Thai lager (£5.25) and we ordered some pumpkin crackers with sweet chilli dipping sauce (£3.75) to snack on with our drinks.

For starters we chose honey-marinated pork skewers (£7) which were three meaty fingers of tender stickiness which were very tasty but just pipped by the crispy and well-filled veggie spring rolls (£6.75) as our favourite.

York Press: Soft shell crab salad - from the new summer menu at Rosa's ThaiSoft shell crab salad - from the new summer menu at Rosa's Thai (Image: Supplied)

My partner chose the Rosa's Massaman curry (£15) with sticky rice (£3.50). This popular Thai dish features slow-cooked beef with potato and a creamy mild, rather sweet sauce. At first, my partner was slightly put off by the appearance of the dish, particularly the identical, perfectly cubed, pieces of beef. But shut your eyes and they were deliciously tender and the sauce was creamy and totally moreish. The sticky rice, was, well just TOO sticky - more a gelatinous lump, so he asked for it to be changed to plain Jasmine rice instead. This took a while to arrive - if we had one main complaint about the evening it was the slow and often absent service; perhaps they have a shortage of staff? Between courses, plates were left on the table for a long time, and we had to go in search of a waitress to request a second drink.

Meanwhile, as my partner waited for his rice, I tucked into my main course, chosen from the new summer specials' menu. Determined to get my dose of sunshine on a plate, I plumped for the soft shell crab salad (£13.50). Apparently this was one of the very original recipes from the first Rosa's Thai restaurant.

It amounted to a plate of shredded lettuce, tomatoes, spring onion and fresh Thai herbs with giant segments of juicy pink grapefruit with flash-fried soft shell crab on the top, all bound in a creamy Sriracha mayo spicy dressing.

I chose this because I used to love the soft shell crab served at Khao San Road, the Thai restaurant in Walmgate (which now serves a small-plates menu and in my opinion is not a patch on how good it used to be). There, the crabs were beasts of a thing and smothered in an oozy wasabi cream, which I would greedily gobble up.

In contrast these crabs at Rosa's were tiny - it was like comparing whitebait to giant prawns.

York Press: Inside the restaurantInside the restaurant

Nevertheless, they did taste good: crunchy and squidgy, with a lingering flavour of the sea. There was heat from the tiny red chilli pieces dotted through the salad, and I loved the fresh and juicy grapefruit pieces which looked a picture and brought an added flavour dimension to the whole enterprise. However, with just two small soft shell crabs on the salad, there was not much to eat - and you might expect more for the price.

We finished by sharing some ice-cream. Sticking with the summer theme, we chose a coconut ice-cream with mango sorbet (£2 per scoop). It was another taste of summer - most welcome as it was still raining outside.

To check out the full summer menu visit: