I heard that I Love Thai in Manuka had opened up earlier this year, and when I saw a Groupon voucher advertised for the restaurant, I snapped it up. For $39, three courses were provided for two people. A friend and I caught up over dinner to try it out this cheap deal. I Love Thai also provide take-away and home delivery services. The restaurant is not on the main restaurant strip, but near the Coles end with the entrance of the restaurant facing Canberra Avenue.
The seating area is a little narrow as the completely open kitchen takes up the other half of the room.
The only (blurred) shot I have of the kitchen shows that you can see everything the chefs are cooking. A downside to this is that your clothes may smell a little of Thai food. A fan standing in the middle of the bench tries to provide a bit of air, but just seems to push the aromas around the room.
On the dining side, one wall is a bright turquoise colour with several black framed pictures and photos of Thailand. I love the cute bright upside down umbrellas used as pendant lights. It gives the place a bit more colour.
All entrees are $7.50 with a varying number of pieces on the plate. We ordered the chicken meang which is similar to a sang choi bao consisting of minced chicken, mushroom and spring onion in a lettuce cup. I really liked this. The mixture was moist and tasty. The lettuce crunchy and fresh. It came with sweet chilli sauce but I didn’t think it was necessary.
The other entree was the salt and pepper silken tofu which was served on mixed salad with balsamic vinegar. This was delicious. The outside was covered in a light batter and coated with salt and pepper seasoning. I have no idea how to cook something like silken tofu, which falls apart so easily. This was simple but moreish.
Menu items are grouped into categories – all soups $8.50, all curries $17.50, all noodles and fried rice $15.50, all seafood dishes $19.50 etc. For the mains, I ordered the red curry with roasted duck (usually $17.50). I found the portion size to be relatively small.
I forgot to ask for a mild curry, so this came out medium hot. The curry itself was average with onion, capsicum, baby corn and tomato tossed throughout. There was only a tiny amount of duck meat which was disappointing. To be honest, I don’t think there was anything particularly special about this dish.
My friend ordered the beef stir fry with peanut sauce (usually $15.50). The veggies included baby bok choy, zucchini, carrot and broccoli. Lots of greens, but again, I thought this was an average dish.
Coconut rice for two was ordered (usually $5) which came out in a small bowl. I thought this was a very small serving of rice between the two of us.
All desserts are usually $7.50, and I chose the crispy banana fritter with vanilla ice cream. The batter was light and crunchy. You can’t go wrong with well-cooked banana fritters. There was bit of caramel sauce on it too. Yum. The menu does state ‘banana fritters’ being plural, but I only received one fritter. But I think that might be due to the deal I purchased.
My friend had the Thai-style coconut milk gelato which she mentioned had chunks of ice in it.
My favourite dish of the night at I Love Thai was the salt and pepper silken tofu. Light and tasty. Sadly, I wasn’t impressed with the sub-standard mains so I don’t think I’d go back or order takeaway. But I am comparing it to great Thai places like Morks which is much closer to me distance-wise.
Check out I Love Thai’s Facebook page for more information.