Sign of the Times

I know it’s been a long time since I have posted – boy oh boy have I been busy!

I have been super caught up in work, trying to find a job as a solicitor, finishing my Masters in Legal Practice, organising travel over the next few months and trying to stay in touch with everyone! I also (finally) rejoined the gym and I’m trying to get my finances in order.

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Kinn Thai Canberra

Kind Thai is a fairly new restaurant situated in the Canberra Centre restaurant strip on Bunda Street. It took over the spot that once was Wagamama. I believe that Kinn Thai is part of some kind of chain of restaurants.

I recently went there for a group dinner to catch up with a lot if my friends whom I hadn’t seen in a while. Asia. Food restaurants are generally good for catchups with large groups because of the casual and relaxed dining, the variety of options, the speed of service and of course the price point is always good. It was definitely a good choice for a group of 16 people!

I really liked that the menu was available online to look at before dining, because unfortunately gluten free people like myself have to see what options there are before dining. Otherwise we are often left surprised or unprepared (mentally, money wise and even left feeling hungry!)

I knew before I was even having dinner that I would be having the Pad Thai – it’s one of my favourite dishes and I struggle to make it properly at home, so it’s always a nice treat to get a delicious Pad Thai dish when eating out.

We were seated near the entrance Of the restaurant where a few large tables had been moved together. I think they did the best the could to seat us. They were fairly attentive by giving us water and asking if we wanted drinks, however I felt rushed when it came to making my order – they seemed pretty keen to get us in and out very quickly! I don’t think it really mattered though because we all just ended up pretty quickly. A few other people also ordered the chicken Pad Thai after hearing that I was ordering it.

I also ordered an entree and being Asian food I expected good value for money, but unfortunately, my entree was just one bite. One prawn. On a leaf. It would have been nice if the wait staff told my when ordering that it is a small entree, because I would have ordered more!

The food came out sporadically but it was pretty quick inbetween each dish being brought out so we were essentially all fed at once. Two of my friends had the great idea of sharing dishes with some steamed rice on the side. If I was to go back to Kinn Thai this is definitely what I would do – it’s a sharing kind of environment and that way you can fill your tummies up pretty quickly!

The only problem was that when my friend started eating her Pad Thai, she noticed a nice long strand of black hair matted into the dish. She was not going to say anything and was just going to put the dish aside because she could no longer eat it. However, my other friend knew this was not acceptable and walked up to the counter with the dish to show them. Before she even said anything the wait staff said “oh, there’s a hair in there, isn’t there?”

All I could think is: wow…Seriously? If you know that there will be a hair in someone’s dish then it shows that there are some serious problems with the hygiene practice in the establishment. They offered to make another one, which they did, but my friend could no longer touch that food without feeling sick. When it came to paying for the food, my friends had to make sure that they were not being charged for that dish, whilst it was something that just should have been taken off the total bill.

The restaurant itself is quite large, and it looks like it is best for large gatherings or group dinners. I wouldn’t recommend coming here as a couple or just with one or two friends as it seems like it is more of a group restaurant place. It is licensed as well as BYO, and from memory corkage was around $3 each, which is pretty reasonable when I brought along my $5 Aldi Moscato to drink! (Which I highly recommend because that Moscato is delish!)

Overall I was a little disappointed. There had been a bit of hype about this new restaurant but I don’t really think it was worth all the talk – it’s just another Asian restaurant in an already crowded market. It offered nothing new to me and the experience was not a good one.

My Rating of Kinn Thai Restaurant Canberra Centre

Atmosphere: 2.5/5 | Customer Service: 2.5/5 | Speed of Service: 3/5 | Presentation of Food: 3.5/5 | Taste: 3/5 | Value for Money: 4/5

Total Score: 18.5/30

For more information on Kinn Thai to their website: http://kinnthairestaurant.com.au/canberra

Have you been to Kinn Thai Canberra? What’s your favourite Thai dish to order when eating out? Tell me your thoughts or show me links to your reviews!

Bye for now,

Vintage Barbie

All opinions in this post are my own. Unless otherwise stated, this post has not been sponsored and I have not been paid for this post

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Friday Night Sharing Plates at Soju Girl

I remember when Soju Girl opened a few years ago. It was considered a hip new place to go. I went when it was still in its early days with a small group of people. Back then I enjoyed quite a few cocktails as well as the share style meals.

I was invited to go recently, and whilst there certainly were no cocktails involved, it was a lovely dining experience with a group of people from my work.

A Zucchini Flower, as well as trying a prawn and lychee from the Spicy Prawn Dish

The kind of eating at Soju Girl is described as “refined Asian sharing plates”. It’s a similar experience to going to a Chinese restaurant and each person on the table ordering a different dish to be shared with the group, alongside steamed or fried rice.

There are more choices than would usually be expected at this hipster-style restaurant. Surprisingly there are plenty of gluten free options – about 75% of the menu. I love that on the menu it says “the menu has been designed with gluten intolerance in mind” – hooray! I actually have a choice this time and not a forced choice!
The menu also caters for vegetarians and even vegan.

My table consisted of a variety of dietary requirements: gluten intolerant (me), vegetarian, vegan, and two people with shellfish allergies. With that many dietary requirements, eating out can be difficult, often with people feeling left out or feeling like they are that “annoying person”.

It’s good that there is finally a place that caters for all dietary requirements! And I love that it’s a pass-the-dish-around kind of setting. It gets people talking, breaks the ice between people that don’t know each other very well, and truly allows everyone to fill their bellies with delicious food.

The friendly staff always make sure that everyone knows how it works at Soju Girl before they let everyone properly look at the menu.

Essentially there are the large plates and the small plates. You choose a few plates to share around the table, and you can add some sides on as well. The dishes will usually be staggered throughout your time there, so you are not overloaded with too many choices at once, and so the dishes compliment one another.

Crispy Pork Belly

Food reviews

Zucchini Flowers: I’ve got two words for this dish: absolutely delicious. The fillng tasted like minced turkey or pork mince, although it was completely vegetarian (and gluten free!). It came with a ginger, soy sauce and capsicum dipping sauce. They didn’t even need the sauce though because they were so tasty! My dish of the night!

Pan Tossed Prawns with Crispy Noodle Salad: whilst this dish technically not gluten free I ate part of it anyway. The prawns had been mixed with lychees which gave it a nice sweet taste. The prawns themselves had a delicious slightly spicy taste to them. The only problem was that my prawn had not been entirely removed from its shell, causing me to have an uncomfortable chunchy bite into part of my prawn. But the meat of the prawn melted in your mouth. The sauce had a tomato-style-tang to it. It came with a crispy noodle salad, which I obviously didn’t have as it is not gluten free.

Crispy Pork Belly: Not the best pork belly I’ve ever had. It was not a melting in your mouth experience like I usually have with pork belly. The crackling was thin but not too salty. It had a pleasant taste but it isn’t something I would choose again.

Lamb Shoulder in Massaman Curry: This dish was a lot bigger than I expected! There was a very generous lamb shoulder in the middle of the curry dish. It had a medium spice to it, delicious aroma, and was well marinated. We ordered some steamed rice to have with this dish.

Sizzling Asian Mushrooms: The sizzling mushrooms came out like the sizzling lamb dish at Chinese restaurants – in the same kind of plate, with the dish still sizzling away. It was mixed with fried egg, tofu and Asian vegetables. It was another winner dish for me. It was great that this dish could be eaten by almost everyone at the table – it was gluten free and vegetarian, but not vegan. Although the it was not entirely vegan, the vegan diner at our table still ate some of the vegetables out of this dish and it seemed that she enjoyed the taste of this dish as well.

Lamb Shoulder Massaman Curry

I was totally shocked that after all that food it was only $26 per person! And that was even after everyone put in money for the person the dinner was in honour for.

I would definitely recommend going to Soju Girl and I am already thinking about planning another dinner there soon. It would be great for groups of friends or work colleagues to catch up over dinner and share delicious food.

I would say Soju Girl is one of my top restaurants in Canberra.

For the full menu please click here.