Do you have a favourite Chinese or Thai restaurant that you go to for a quick takeaway? It can take awhile to find a favourite one, however you know you have picked a winner when you love absolutely everything on the menu. This has been our family's quest for quite some time now and we have finally found our "go to" Thai takeaway. The beauty of this particular venue is that it is also just as enjoyable to eat in as it is to take away, with welcoming staff and relaxed, comfortable surroundings.
We were recommended Joe's Thai Food at Wanniassa shops by friends who live nearby, as it has reasonable prices, friendly staff, exceptionally delicious food, attractive décor and a playground out the front for kids. Also, the chef and owner, Joe, has been the head chef at many well-known restaurants around Canberra before opening his own restaurant, so you know it's going to be good. We booked a table with our young daughter for a quiet birthday celebration and we were looking forward to what lay in store.
Joe's Thai Food, a local's secret tucked away at Wanniassa shops
Joe's Thai Food is located at the front of Wanniassa shops, with views out to a large playground in front of the centre. On our weeknight visit we thought we may have been the only ones dining in so early, however we were quite surprised by how many other groups had reserved tables and were enjoying dinner out - it felt like it was a busy Saturday night. We sat inside and enjoyed the cool air conditioning, however there are a few outdoor tables if you prefer to sit outside, or have kids who want to play in the playground whilst waiting for their meals. This was a popular option on the evening we visited, with several kids out there enjoying the light evenings and hanging upside down on the climbing frames.
The menu at Joe's Thai Food is easy to read, as it has photos of each dish so you know what to expect when it arrives. It has all the Thai favourites such as massaman, noodles, laksa, stir-fries, curries and fried ice-cream - if you have any room left at the end! We also noticed that the next table had a different menu with all the gluten-free options, which also had plenty of choices listed down the page.
We started our meal with some tasty spring rolls and then shared two dishes - Chicken Stir-fry in Oyster Sauce with noodles (as it is our daughters' favourite dish) and also Yum Duck - Thai style roast duck salad with ground rice, lime juice, fresh mint. It didn't take long before the beautifully presented dishes were placed in front of us, with smell that was a heady combination of Thai spices and flavours, all combining as one.
Vegetarian spring rolls ($7), Chicken Stir-fry in Oyster sauce and hokkein noodles ($14), Yum Duck ($18) and a side of boiled rice ($3)
The Chicken Stir-fry in Oyster Sauce with hokkein noodles was easily the best we have tasted, with a flavoursome sauce, tender chicken and perfectly cooked noodles. Our daughter, aged 6, ate half the plate on her own - and then followed it up with a serve of fluffy boiled rice. The Yum Duck certainly lived up to its name, with a hit of flavour and texture which combined chilli and crunch. In hindsight we should have asked to have the dish cooked as "mild", as it had chillies all through it, however the flavour was so delicious that we pushed through - with many glasses of water to put out the fire within! We left Joe's Thai Food with our lips and tongues tingling - but it was worth every bite. If you love your Thai hot, which most people do, then try the Yum Duck - it really is a Chef Special that is truly special.
If you have a favourite Chinese, Thai, Vietnamese, Laos, Malaysian or another favourite Asian restaurant or takeaway that is tucked away in the suburbs of Canberra, please leave a comment at the bottom of this article and share your local's secret. Although the city has a wide range of delicious and popular Asian restaurants, sometimes it is the "local" close to home, that fits the bill every time. When you love everything on the menu, why would you want to go anywhere else?