Nua Lao Thai: Pawn Shop Central

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Located between the Eddy Avenue and Chinatown tram stops, it’s an interesting part of the city with about half a dozen pawn shops across the road from each other next to the venue, backpacker hot spots on either side and major junction points to Market City and several key office buildings.

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Social distancing measures are in place with appropriate signage and the ambiance is comprised of popping colour with grapefruit tones and overhead helium party balloons.

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Dine-In Experience first week re-opening:

The feature wall of Thailand artscapes with communal and divided booth is the best seat in the house to view the action.  It’s also the only seating with cushions.

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The raw salmon salad was a nice change from the usual papaya salads I’m drawn to retracing that summer freshness that makes that humid Thai weather bareable.   There’s a nice crunch against the salmon which has been somewhat ceviched in the very spicy bitter dressing its in.  There’s alot of grit in this which is interesting.   You can adjust the level of spice to your preferencce.

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Another dish that contrasts the crackle of pork against the crunch and wilted drapery of asian greens on a subtle soy sauce.   An easy dinner option which is substantial and filling..

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Baby Octopus skewers are the fancier of their entree options if you’ve become disenchanted with satay sticks, money bags and fish cakes..

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The Panang Curry was great, however it was approximately 80% vegetable, 20% beef which made no sense when it costs exactly the same price as the one we had a few weeks ago which we took away (pictured below).   Clocking in just under $19, in comparison to the other dishes we had, this didn’t seem to deliver on value as the dish experience which was on point in terms of flavour lasted for 5 seconds before the rest of our consumption time became a vegetarian one.   It is however the first week out of lockdown so this isn’t a complaint, but generally from our multiple visits here they have always been consistent.

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Takeaway Experience during lockdown:

As the city was stripped down to its core, the street side benches became the only options close enough to dining in as restaurants sent us on our way after collecting our pickup orders.

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This is the same Panang Curry made to order which we had dining in.  It had about a third more beef in this.  The bamarine always gets our attention from the walk down from Railway Square into the city…

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Every dish during lockdown was either just chicken or fish.  No pork, no beef as we saw the effects on a lockdown interfere with supply availability or as we see the simplifying of menus for fiscal efficiency.

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Whatever the reason, there’s now an unspoken appreciation for that struggle which would have already been hard enough when restaurants were full to the brim with customers inside, online and on the phone.

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When visiting this place during lockdown, realised How irrelevant do the old reviews and food critics on the wrong way service staff looked at you, or how long it took for your party to be seated or how a dish wasn’t seasoned to personal preference.  We now see the heart and souls of these businesses in the simplest forms now and we forgot about the livelihoods and stories behind these dishes we were casually criticising…WhatsApp Image 2020-03-29 at 9.26.02 PM (1)

Why does it take the potential collapse of an industry or closure of business to accept the comfort and satisfaction food brings without any superficiality?

Plating is a thing of the past for now and who knew how much joy could be carried by one standard 1000mL plastic container.

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From the looks of things, the seats may not have been available, but the party was still on!   Great to have them back!

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Nua Lao Thai Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


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