Nu Suandokmai is a chef with an impressive resume. He has travelled the world, wowing diners with his punchy flavours and culinary creativity. He has also made his mark on lucky ol’ Adelaide with his involvement in Golden Boy, Gin Long and Mrs Q. Next up, Lantern By Nu, a rad new restaurant off Gouger Street, serving up modern Thai street food.
Holy chic, this interior is beautifully executed with plenty of cultural influence including gold statues, wooden furnishings and brass cutlery as far as the eye can see. To me, this place screams ‘hip dinner on a Saturday night followed by cocktails at a small city bar’ – a place with a little bit of liveliness in the air.
Diners are spoilt for choice at Lantern by Nu with a selection of Street Bites, Smalls, Mids, Bigs and of course, Dessert. Why every new restaurant feels the need to have a bunch of different sized meals labelled as such, I don’t know, but grandma is just going to smile and nod.
To start, we ordered the Betel Leaves with prawn and caramelised coconut, peanut and lime – an interesting take on a ‘build your own cold roll’ style dish with vibrant ingredients and an enjoyable flavour combination.
The Vegetarian Dumplings were a goer. A little more like a shallot pancake than a vego dumpling, with an aggressively deep-friend exterior (which I would never find offensive) and a mishmash of fresh greens inside.
The Crispy Pork Belly with Asian Broccoli (pictured up top) was an absolute delight with tender, flavoursome pork served with a bunch of veg and a beautiful combination of all the right spices. I expected the pork to be a touch crispier however the lack of crunch was certainly made up for by the Crispy Chilli Barramundi Slices which HAD to be my fave dish of the night. The fish was super-dooper crispy and had that nice buttery fish flavour which was cut through nicely with a selection of fresh veg. This dish was more likeable than Tom Hanks. Need I say more?
The golden raspberry had to go to the Roast Duck Breast Salad which ain’t really saying much given the high quality of all the dishes. I just found it a little bit blah. Possibly just not to my taste.
I’ve gotta say, I left feeling very impressed with the new addition to Adelaide’s killer restaurant scene. No doubt it will be as well received as everything else Nu has touched. I wonder if ‘Golden Boy’ was named after him perhaps?!
So many new eateries, so little time! Comment below and let me know where I should go next. Also feel free to jump onto She Said What’s Facebook page and give that bad boy a like.
Until next time… That’s what she said.