I caught up with some friends North-side for dinner. Having heard that Thip’s Thai in Belconnen was authentic, I was keen to try out it out. The restaurant is difficult to find if you don’t know where it is as there is no signage out on the street. It’s actually located upstairs in the Churches Centre building so follow the staircase up. The restaurant is set out as your typical cheapie Asian eatery – bright neon sign outside, tiled floors, plastic tables and chairs, etc. The restaurant is very small with only a few tables. I was surprised to see so many people there on a Wednesday night – mostly Asians dining in with a few locals grabbing takeaway. Good sign!
I forgot to take a photo of the menu so I’m uncertain of prices for the dishes we ordered. The one page menu is double-sided and laminated offering various entrees (around the $7 mark), house specials such as hor mok, curries, stir fried dishes, Thai salads and noodles. I ordered the seafood hor mok but it wasn’t available that day or they had run out. This was met with devastation and I had to think fast of what else I wanted. I decided to go with the squid Thai salad instead (I think around the $15 mark) knowing that my friend and I were sharing dishes and she was ordering the beef massaman curry.
The squid salad certainly looked pretty and I was pleased to see so much squid piled on the plate. However, there wasn’t as much ‘salad’ as I would have liked. The dressing offered a striking balance between sour, sweet, spicy and tangy. Yum.
The beef massaman curry had a glossy slick of oil on top. The curry was quite dark so not as much coconut cream was used which is fine by me. There were plenty of evenly cut chunks of beef in the bowl. A lot more than what can be seen from when it was first placed on the table. Unfortunately I couldn’t taste much flavour in the curry and it didn’t have that lovely home made taste to it.
My two vegetarian friends ordered their own vegetarian dishes to share. They chose the vegetable green curry with cauliflower, capsicum, green beans, tofu and basil.
They also shared the Thai basil and chilli stir fry with vegetables and tofu.
Though service is friendly and polite, and the squid salad was tasty, this restaurant is not somewhere I would drive all the way north-side for. But then again, that’s based on the two dishes we had. Maybe we ordered the wrong thing. I’m sure the regulars could advise which are the go-to dishes. The positives are being asked how spicy we wanted all our dishes, refills of the bucket of steamed rice we ordered between us, tap water provided without asking and fast service.
Thip’s Thai is located upstairs in the Belconnen Churches Centre on Benjamin Way. To be honest, it does not look at all appealing from the outside but from other people’s reviews of the place, it’s worth a try.
Open Monday to Friday only for lunch and dinner. The closest parking is the Westfield Belconnen or street parking across the road or on Chan Street. I believe it is cash only.
Value for money 7/10
FPJ score 21/30
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