As a big fan of Thai cuisine, I was thrilled when one of my friends recommended Lanna Thai to me. The smallish restaurant is located right across the street from The Royal Women’s Hospital, so University of Melbourne students take note – it’s not too far away from the Parkville campus! When we arrived, the restaurant was already packed with customers who were enjoying their lunch, with the exception of several empty reserved tables. The first impression I had of Lanna Thai was how positively quaint its interior and decoration were, including those funky seats pictured above. All in all, my friend and I had a great meal, stuffing ourselves with several Thai dishes that we’ve been craving for some time now. We ordered the food below and they were just the right amount to make us full.
– General Review –
- Service: 7/10
The service at Lanna Thai was quite good – the waitress was pretty friendly and we didn’t have to wait too long for the food – but they seemed to be understaffed. The minimum EFTPOS (such as paying by debit or credit cards) spend is $20, so be sure to bring some cash with you, just in case. Most of the food portions are quite small, but the main dishes could be shared between two people.
- Servicescape: 7.8/10
The restaurant was clean, bright and pleasant. It was also adorned with some cultural decorations, which gave off an air of modern-yet-traditional Thai feel, from the displays on the wall all the way to the utensils. They played relaxing instrumental (and traditional Thai?) music in the background too, and the atmosphere was so nice and comfortable that we ended up staying for a couple of hours.
- Non-smoking area: Yes, most of the seats are indoors and smoke-free.
- Vegetarian dishes: An assortment of vegetarian dishes available, from the appetizers to the dessert!
- Price range: $$ (AU$12 – $18 for most main dishes.)
Overall Rating: 8/10
– Food Experience –
1) Gai Hor Bai Toey (Fried chicken wrapped in pandan leaves):
I’ve always ordered this particular appetizer (it’s pretty much one of my staples) when I visit a Thai restaurant. This dish didn’t disappoint either – it was really fragrant and delectable. The meat was tender, although I found it a little too oily. But then again, it’s supposed to be deep fried anyway. The chicken lacked a bit of flavor but the sweet-and-sour sauce complemented the taste well. The appetizer is also great for sharing, and a must-try!
2) Gaeng Khiaw Waan (Green curry with chicken):
The green curry in Lanna Thai was quite spicy and tasted great, although I thought it lacked a bit of taste as well. But because the curry wasn’t too thick nor rich, it was easy on the stomach. The curry was cooked in coconut milk and green curry paste, and included carrots, cauliflowers, bamboo shoots, broccoli, bell pepper, and peas. The portion was quite little, but definitely enough to share for two people. Different options are available to choose between beef, pork, chicken, or prawns.
3) Putt Ga-Prao (Chilli & Basil with Pork):
The Putt Ga-Prao was a stir-fried dish, and we ordered the pork version for this (other options include beef, pork, chicken, prawns and seafood). Personally, I thought it was just a decent dish and nothing too special, although I quite liked the sauce. It’s not too oily was served with quite a lot of vegetables such as carrots, bell pepper, onions, zucchini and french beans, which made me feel like I was eating a little healthier.
We ordered a bowl of coconut rice and a bowl of steamed rice to eat with the other dishes. They were presented in such pretty bowls too! So I thought they deserved a section for itself. The steamed rice was well-cooked, and my friend loved the coconut rice. I’m not much of a coconut fan myself, but I tried a little of it and even though it was fragrant, I thought eating too much would make the flavor too rich. I’m sure coconut-lovers can argue otherwise, but I like how the usual rice helps to balance out excess flavors from dishes apart from providing our body with carbs.
Contact number: +61 3 9329 2960
Website: Lanna Thai
Posted by: V