Freelance writer and blogger from Brisbane. Follow my social media, photography, technology and food blogs at www.acarrick.com
Published June 23rd 2017
Affordable, appetising Thai in Hawken Drive
Thai Nakonlanna on St Lucia's Hawken Drive is a perfect Thai restaurant for those on a budget. Their meals are quite good value for an affordable price.
On my first visit, I got their combo deal for $16.80. It comes with a Thai tea drink, small entree, (small) main meal, and a choice of dessert. The menu described this dinner combo as coming with an ice cream for dessert, but they actually upgraded the selection to any of their dessert choices.
I choose an iced tea, calamari for the entree, chilli chicken with rice for the main, and a crème brûlée for the dessert. The green tea was refreshing, not too sweet or too milky. While deep fried, the calamari didn't seem too oily, and the size was just right - about 4 pieces which didn't spoil my appetite for the main dish.
Fun, homemade, green tea
Though I chose spice level 2 out of 5 for the chilli chicken with rice, I found it closer to a level 3 or 4 - though the chilli flakes and seeds mixed throughout probably didn't help! Since I like chilli, I didn't really mind though. (I should add, on a later visit, another dish with level 2 chilli wasn't very spicy so that time may have been an anomaly.) As I often like, an even mix of meat and fresh vegetables helps to make any dish much nicer for me. Thankfully, the chilli chicken filled that requirement with broccoli, carrot, onion, and capsicum! The chicken and rice were well done - the chicken was tender and flavourful while the rice wasn't hard or dry. Finally, when I was ready, I called the staff over to order the dessert. While this was only the second creme brulee I've had in my life, I liked it. The custard wasn't too dense or runny, and the sugar layer was nice was and crisp.
Spicy chilli chicken at Thai Nakonlanna!
My dining companion wasn't very hungry that night so she just the spring rolls entree. We both agreed that the spring rolls were firm while the pastry was crisp and flaky.
On a later visit to Thai Nakonlanna with a different friend, I decided to go for a standalone dish rather than the combo deal. The Pad Thai I had this time was extremely large for the price of around $13. While the dish was very good value, it was lacking the fresh vegetables I desire, which is probably understandable being a pad thai. The dish was rather sweet and certainly large enough to take some home for later, which in hindsight I should have done. I also got their homemade milk tea again which was as cool, refreshing and fun as last time.
The staff were amicable enough during the evening and didn't mind my friend and I paying separately which I always appreciate. Both times the meals arrived in a timely manner as well. They are open 11 - 9.30pm every day.