65 Flemington Rd, North Melbourne
Phone: 9329 2960
This is another of the restaurants near my work, which my colleagues and I visit semi-regularly, when someone has a birthday to celebrate. Every time we go there, they’re pretty busy, but I’m not sure if it’s the quality of the food or the paucity of options in the immediate area. The food’s not bad, but it’s not on my list of favourite Thai restaurants in town. I’ve also been warned to be skeptical of any restaurant that references itself as Northern Thai (lanna means North).
The last time we went, I got the ol’ iPhone out and snapped just about everyone’s food. Exhibits A and B: Thai beef salad, and chicken pad Thai.
I had the chicken pad Thai that day. I was feeling a little uninspired, so went for the safe option. Also, I think pad Thai is a good way to benchmark a Thai restaurant in Melbourne (even though the best pad Thai is almost always street food in Thailand). Lanna Thai’s version was disappointing. A little bland, and lacking in the wok hei (Cantonese for wok air, or wok breath, which essentially refers to smokiness and the aromas which come from slight charring of the ingredients when they hit the searing hot wok).
Exhibits C & D: Chicken wrapped in pandanus leaves, and chicken pad see-ewe.
Exhibits E & F: The curries. A prawn Massaman curry, and a green chicken curry. I had the green curry on a previous visit. It’s good, but lacks a kick. In their defence, I didn’t ask for it spicy (though neither did I ask for it mild). I do love the little ramekins, which come on matching porcelain stands.
Exhibit H: The birthday girl finished off her lunch with banana in sticky rice with ice cream.