Another new Thai restaurant, Coconine, has opened up at the Kingston Foreshore in addition to Morks and Chong Co Thai. By far the smallest restaurant of the lot, Coconine offers some nice culinary surprises. I understand that the Head Chef’s name is Nine (not sure about the Coco part).

The fit out is comfortable and simple with wooden tables and chairs (both inside and outside), a long wooden front counter and vertical timber slats along another wall to give the place a bit more depth. The feature wall is noticed instantly and there are a few other gold embellished ornaments displayed around the restaurant.

Menus are provided in a bounded folder filled with plastic sleeves. We noticed a few typos and spelling mistakes on the menu (Peking Duct? hehe) but I like to think that makes the place more authentic 😉 There is a lot of variety too. Dishes such as salmon panang curry, Thai North East style papaya salad, grilled salt and pepper lobster on pad thai, and Bangkok-American fried rice sound interesting.

We ordered a few entrees to being with. The Golden Pockets ($7.90) stuffed with chicken, corn and chestnut (aka treasure bags or money bags) came out with some sweet chilli sauce. The deep fried pastry was really crispy to bite into and there was plenty of filling inside. The chopped up chestnuts give added crunch as well. The Cripy (crispy) Enoki Mushrooms ($9.90) wrapped in prosciutto rolls sounded unique so we had to order it. The mushrooms had been fried, tempura style, and were lovely and crispy. However, I could only taste the batter and not the mushrooms. The saltiness of the prosciutto also overpowered the dish but I love prosciutto so I didn’t care. I was happy that none of the entrees were dripping in oil too.

Inside the Golden Pockets

The fish cakes ($6.90) were served with a cucumber peanut relish (which was really sweet chilli sauce topped with some cucumber and peanuts). Lovely presentation. I was really impressed with the fish cakes – so much flavour and spicyness in these little patties.

We both wanted to try something different to our usual Thai favourites. The ‘Special Dishes’ looked good with dishes such as char grilled lobster with garlic pepper served with fruit salad in lemon dressing (might need to try that with a bunch of friends), and grilled marinated pork neck.

We ordered the Cripy (crispy) broccoli and cripy pork belly ($16.90). The pork belly was AMAZING! Served sliced up, it really was crispy on the outside but tender at the same time. We got some good chunks of meat and there wasn’t much fat on them. The Chinese broccoli was fresh and cooked perfectly giving a nice crunch when bit. For $16.90, we both thought this was great value especially for pork belly. This is a dish my partner would gladly order again.

Under the ‘Chef’s Recommed’ menu (okay lots of typos), we chose the Duck in Orange Sauce ($24.90). We were surprised at the amount of duck meat on the plate. No bones, just delicious thick slices of tender pink duck breast amongst individually peeled sweet orange slices. The orange sauce was syrupy sweet and I really enjoyed mopping up the duck with it. Orange and duck go so well together. This was one delicious dish.

Being the third Thai restaurant on the Foreshore, I wasn’t sure what to expect of this place so we were both pleasantly surprised at the quality of food. Best of all are the prices! Coconine have noticeably cheaper prices. For instance, the beef massamun curry is only $16.90 at Coconine, compared to approximately $23 next door at Chong Co.

The $10 ‘Lunch Special’ menu is worth a mention available Monday to Friday.

The staff are shy but extremely polite. As the restaurant only opened up on Thursday, there were few people inside which meant it was quiet and the food came out quickly. A plus for us! A minor concern is that each serve of rice is placed on large dinner plates that looks good, but when your table is full of dinner plates, mains and drinks, it’s not very practical space-wise.

Coconine has left a strong first impression on the both of us and I can safely say it will be providing more competition to the other Thai restaurants. Take away is an option if you don’t want to dine in.

Open 7 days a week and located between Max Brenner and Chong Co Thai on the Foreshore.

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