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Published August 3rd 2014
Indochina never tasted so good
The Green Papaya - Corner Potts Street, and 898 Stanley Street, Woolloongabba
The Green Papaya is one of those restaurants where you simply can't make up your mind what to order because everything sounds so damn good. You want to make the most delicious choice, but you also want to try everything, and the waitress needs to be asked for more time to decide at least twice before you finally put in the order.
Fortunately, the three of us were all willing to share our dishes among each other lest there be some serious food envy going on between. They also do banquets of all different for larger groups and really, who doesn't love the idea of a banquet?
Pretty much everything on the menu at The Green Papaya sounds mouthwatering, and this is a restaurant where you should save your visit for a special occasion and order up big. I implore you to have wine to accompany your meal and enjoy multiple courses making the occasion a bit of a feast like we did.
With three separate dining rooms, The Green Papaya offers a sophisticated ambience
As an Asian fusion restaurant with half the menu Balinese and the other half Thai, the menu takes some of the best of each with a noticeable focus on the freshness of their ingredients. The menu is a good example of the creativity and versatility of Asian fusion cuisine and their mouth watering choices really showcase the freshness in their produce, especially with hand picked water chestnuts, fennel, and lemon and lime grass. I could go on, but really, I'd just recommend you check out their menu and start salivating.
To begin, we tried to generous serving of Ka Nom Pang Ka-Praw which is a lightly fried chicken filled pastry, with a chilli jam dipping sauce. It was delicious and almost could have been a meal in itself. We didn't get to try their most popular entree, the Island Quesadillas (roast duck, lychee, pineapple and red curry sauce) but it's definitely my first pick for my next visit.
The Ka Nom Pang Ka-Praw is a lightly fried filled chicken pastry with a sweet chilli jam dip
To wash it down, we enjoyed a bottle of organic McLaren Shiraz (Battle of Bosworth $40) which was full bodied without being to too heavy, and deliciously more-ish. If you want to save some money on the wine side of things, the restaurant is BYO and conveniently there is a Dan Murphy's across the road. If the wine wasn't enough I also washed down my meal with a refreshing Watermelon iced tea tasted very natural and not overly sweet. They also attentively fill up your glass of cold water throughout the meal which is a definite tick from a service standpoint.
Over good conversation, and an intimate and ambient setting with tea light candles, we observed the restaurant completely fill up for a Thursday night which made us congratulate ourselves for booking. As the Green Papaya filled, the setting become a bit more rowdy. Because of the high ceilings and timber floors, the sound echoes a little bit and you'll have to speak up so your fellow diners can hear what you are saying. I'd rather this though than a restaurant which is deathly quiet and you feel everything that you say is overheard by the people at the next table.
If however, you prefer to make your experience more of an intimate romantic affair, I'd recommend going earlier in the week when the venue is not so busy. Although with it's popularity, I think you may find The Green Papaya could be busy on any visit - and for good reason.
The Coconut rice is a must to have with your main, and perfect to share between 3 people
With the mains we ordered a coconut rice which despite being pricey at $14.00 was a huge serving for the three of us and so much more exciting than plain steamed rice. The subtle coconut cream and nutty flavour which had been infused into the rice made it a delicate and delicious accompaniment to our mains.
We enjoyed a poached Atlantic salmon salad ($25.90) with red paw paw, cashews, zesty lemon and lime grass on a bed of fresh greens. The salmon portion was incredibly generous and the accompanying vegetables were prepared in the perfect Asian stir fry style. If all food in Bali is this good, better book myself a gastronomic 'Eat, Pray, Love' style trip there soon.
With the Paw paw poached Atlantic Salmon salad, I think I died and went to EAT, PRAY, LOVE balinese heaven...
The vegetarian water chestnut vegetable stir fry was also elegantly served up, and since I'd only ever had sliced water chestnuts from a tin before, the crunch, freshness and uniqueness of these scallop size chestnuts was absolutely delicious.
The freshness of the ingredients is something to behold.
The final main was the Ayam Chicane ($24.90) which was a Indochinese grilled chicken curry in Tumeric and coconut sauce, rich and full of flavour. We had it mild, but all dishes at the Green Papaya can be made to your liking when it comes to spices.
The Ayam Chiane (Coconut, turmeric and chicken curry) is just one of the many curries which can be made to order as spicy or as mild as you like.
For a serious evening eating affair serving up quality Asian cuisine with only the best ingredients, the Green Papaya definitely fits the bill. Overall we had an extremely enjoyable experience and the skills of their kitchen staff as well as the little details about the restaurant (from the bamboo timber trimming on the chairs, and the yarned string ties on our linen serviettes) made for an extremely pleasant and authentically Asian atmosphere. They also have a takeaway menu, which offers more typical Thai options and at takeaway prices. Will be going back for sure, and I'm guessing, I'll still find in difficult to decide what to order, wanting the entire menu on my plate all at once.