Anyway Kirsty and I were due for a catch up before she flew out to Texas with work so I suggested here given it's close location to our offices and Steve decided he could leave the office on time (believe me, this is rare these days!) and join us.
The one time I'd walked past I though the place would be big but upon entering the ground floor actually was quite cramped. Not helped but lots of Thursday night diners either. Our table was upstairs so we climbed the narrow square shaped spiral steps and entered another busy bar / dining area and were shown to a spacious booth with a big table perfect for sharing lots of dishes.
The places was busy with after work drinkers congregating round the bar and there was a noisy and buzzy vibe. Definitely not unlike Cookie so not surprising the two come from the same heritage.
The menu was very enticing and it was hard to decide what to eat. Equally the cocktail and wine list were also appealing. My Singapore Sling went down a treat!
Wait staff were friendly, reasonably quick and efficient. Had to ask for my water glass to be refilled a couple of times but there were lots of bodies so probably difficult for them to circulate and see all the tables.
Kale & Crispy Pork Belly
Salt & Pepper Lamb Ribs
Red Duck, Lychee & Pineapple Curry
Tumeric & Lemongrass Chicken
Tomato, Zucchini & Buffalo Mozzarella; Chilli, Basil & Cashew Crumble (unpictured)
Roti Bread (unpictured)
Red Jasmine Rice (unpictured)
Food arrived pretty quickly and there was plenty to share. Some good strong flavours and aromatics. The kale and pork belly was particularly yummy - salty, spicy, meaty and well balanced with the clean and grassy kale. Lamb ribs were a little fatty and we've definitely had better but weren't a fail.
The curry looked very appealing and the meat was a duck leg. Again well balanced with hints of tropical sweetness from the lychee and the pineapple. I think I slightly prefer the Coda version as I remember it having a warmer, peppery hint to it. I guess this was more Thai style than the Coda interpretation. The roti was golden and flaky and I loved it with the curry sauce and in fact, dipped in all the other dishes too.
The roast chicken was pleasant. Not too intensely flavoured but probably a good foil for some of the stronger dishes. It was juicy and and the texture great.
The salad was probably a good choice. I found the fusion of Italian and Asian a little strange and the mozzarella and zingy salad dressing was a little jarring and took some getting used to. It looked European but tasted Asian so a little bit confusing for the head but ok for the tastebuds and the vinegary hit cleansed some of the richer flavours.
My memories of the meal now that I look back is that it was tasty and a good place for a group to dine as there'll be something to suit all palates. I found the choice of dishes more inspiring and creative compared to Cookie, Red Spice Road and that type of restaurant and there's definitely more left to try during a return visit. I liked the roomy booth we were seated at and the vibe is although noisy is a friendly and fun one with lots of groups of friends enjoying a meal together. It's probably too noisy, too neon lit and too hipster to take parents and maybe during the day it is a little more relaxed.
Price wise we were pleasantly surprised which I did not expect as I've always thought Cookie to be overpriced so a good way to end the meal!