Sometimes, I find it difficult to search online for restaurants in Gungahlin because there appears to be a very high turnover rate in the area. Every time I think I’ve found something I really want to try (e.g. Hot Pot Gungahlin), it turns out that it has closed in the last year or so. In light of this issue, we decided to just go for a drive and see what was around. We ended up at a small cluster of restaurants tucked away in a residential area near Yerrabi Pond.
My significant other’s** favourite cuisine is Italian so we were first drawn to Da Nunzio Caffe Bar Ristorante. A quick google search revealed mixed reviews withmost of the negativity being directed towards customer service. We decided to go in and form our own opinion. We were told in short order that if we didn’t have a booking, we weren’t going to be seated, to take a card, and call ahead next time. There may have been an eye roll tucked in there somewhere, too. Still, the restaurant’s popularity was evident and we agreed we’d try again some other time.
The menu had the usual Thai offerings and looked reasonably priced. There were enough people inside to make it look popular but not overcrowded, so we went in and easily got seats without a booking.
We were greeted warmly and water was brought to our table right away. Starting with drinks, my SO got hot green tea ($2.00), while our dining companion and I both ordered Thai iced teas ($5.50). I thought the iced tea was nicely flavoured, not overly sweet, but could have used a few more ice cubes, as it also wasn’t fully chilled.
I didn’t try the green tea personally, but I absolutely loved the cute pot it came in!
As this was our first time here, we got a few signature dishes in order to compare to other Thai restaurants. The dishes all came within moments of each other, but the first to arrive was the Som Tum (green papaya, tomato, and garlic spicy salad, $15.90). This turned out to be tangy, refreshing, and packed a very nice kick. If it hadn’t been too spicy for my SO, I would definitely order it again!
The Panang Curry ($17.50) with king prawns was served with nice large sized prawns, tail on.
We thought it had a creamy, flavourful sauce but found ourselves disappointed with the size of the dish and the lack of vegetables. Maybe a few more larger pieces of capsicum would have made the dish more filling. That said, this ended up being the table favourite, and we’d be likely to order it again.
The Pad Thai with chicken ($14.90) was fairly generic, made with a sauce sweeter than I generally prefer. I hadn’t realized this but our dining companion pointed out that one thing that did make the dish stand out was that the restaurant deep fried the tofu before mixing it in with the noodles, which apparently is not always done.
We ordered our dishes with a side of jasmine rice ($2.50) and a side of garlic rice ($4.50). I’ve seen garlic rice on menus on occasion but for some reason, I had never ordered it before. For whatever reason, I decided to try it this time around. From this point on, I may exclusively eat garlic rice. It was awesome and I can’t believe how many years I’ve missed out on such a simple amendment to one of my staple foods (rice).
Overall, I enjoyed my dining experience at Thai Herb and while I was mixed about the dishes we ordered, I thought the quality of the food was very good and I would like to try a few more of their dishes.
**On a food-unrelated note, using the term ‘partner’ to describe my boyfriend/de facto partner/significant other has confused some of my American friends and family. In American English, ‘partner’ is not regularly used to refer to one’s long-term boyfriend, but unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be a good equivalent for someone in between boyfriend and fiancee. The best I can come up with (without demoting my partner to boyfriend) is significant other. So from here on out, I will refer to my boyfriend/partner/significant other as my SO (significant other).
#On a slightly more related note, I’m really very new to twitter and hashtags, so any thoughts on how to tag posts would be greatly appreciated!