- Plenty of gluten free options
- Nice light environment
- Friendly, helpful staff
On Saturday night, the family and I did something we haven’t done for ages, we went out for dinner! Pre-baby this was a common occurrence, however when you have a small child that needs feeding no later than 5.30pm combined with a coeliac diet, going out for dinner can be more difficult. You need somewhere interesting enough for the baby and safe enough for the coeliac!
So we decided to go out to Thai Herb. Firstly, because the environment is bustling and interesting enough for the baby’s entertainment and secondly because we’d eaten here before and knew that there were good options for coeliacs. There are lots of gluten free options including flavour filled soups, spicy curries and light rice noodle dishes.
We got to Thai Herb at 5.15pm. There is some very tight parking around the back of the restaurant accessible from Wimmera street, but because we were so early, we managed to get a park in front of the building on Flemington road. There is a small stretch of outdoor seating with heaters which would be lovely if it wasn’t on a large main road.
Inside, the restaurant is long and thin. In the middle of the room, immediately opposite
the entrance there is a bar and counter. On top of the counter there were some bunches of flowers, and plants are dotted around the room. To the left and right are rows of tables and chairs. The space is light and open, with high ceilings and lights entwined with plants. There are large windows along one wall letting in plenty of light and down the left side of the room, the wall is papered in green and brown patterned wall paper.
The first thing I noticed when I walked into Thai Herb was the amazing smell of lime and lemongrass, and it was mouth-watering! We were greeted by a lovely staff member straight away and shown to a table opposite the bar and kitchen. She fetched us a high chair for the baby and bought over some menus.
As we had arrived so early, there was only one other family there – they also had a young baby who needed to eat early. However, the place filled up quickly and I’d recommend booking a table if you planned to eat at a normal time (after 6pm)!
We were given a menu each and a list of the specials, which were also written up on a tall chalk board to the side of the bar. The menu identifies all the gluten free options. We were left for a little while before the staff came over to take our order. We ordered TomKhaGai (coconut soup with chicken and mushrooms), Phad Thai (rice noodles with chicken), HormokMaprowOn (fish in a coconut) plus sticky rice, steamed vegetables and two coconut waters.
When we ordered, I explained to the staff member that I was coeliac and needed gluten free food, and she said it was not problem.
We waited about 10 minutes for our food to arrive and while we waited for it, the place steadily began to get busier with take-away and dine-in customers. The dishes came out starting with the noodles, steamed vegetable, fish in a coconut, soup and rice.
A few years ago when Michael and I were young, reckless and baby free, we travelled to Phuket and did a day long cookery course. I remember the teacher telling us about the importance of balancing four components; sweet, salty, sour, and spicy. The Phad Thai we cooked that day is still the best one I’ve ever had and I compare all others to that one.
Although the Phad Thai at Thai Herb wasn’t as good as the one we’d cooked all those years ago, the flavour was well balanced and they were tasty. When it came out, Michael mixed it together combining the noodles with the chicken, peanuts, beansprouts and lemon juice. The noodles had a little spice in them but not much and they were very strongly tomato flavoured. They were also warm rather than hot which was a bit disappointing. I prefer to have lime rather than lemon with my noodles but this was a small issue.
The steamed vegetables were also on the cold side however they were fresh, vibrant and well cooked.
HormokMaprowOn is one of the specials at Thai Herb and it’s a favourite of ours. It looks amazing as well as tasting delicious! The HormokMaprowOn is a creamy, spicy fish curry served in a coconut. You can taste the coconut and kaffir lime in the sauce, and the fish is firm and beautifully cooked. It’s really enjoyable to eat, especially when the sauce soaks into the sticky rice.
TomKhaGai is another one of Michael’s favourites, so when we get Thai food we almost always get this soup. It’s usually light and refreshing, however this time, the soup was thicker and creamier than usual. It wasn’t bad but it was heavy and we couldn’t finish it. The flavour was still good though – it popped with lime and lemongrass, and left my lips tingling with the spiciness!
Accompanying the food, we each had a glass of coconut juice. This was the perfect complement to all the spice in the meal. They were ice cold, and a good size, with bits of coconut ‘meat’ in them that could be scooped out and nibbled on.
As our first evening meal out as a family in a really long time, Thai Herb was light, filling and enjoyable. The food was good, despite some of it being a little cold, the staff were friendly and helpful, and the décor is light and comfortable.
94/11 Wimmera St, Harrison ACT 2914
02 6255 7070