7 November 2023

Senn Noods is serving up the sauciest meals in Braddon

| Lucy Ridge
A bowl of Thai dish Khao Soi Gai topped with crispy noodles anda a wedge of lime.

This bowl of Khao Soi Gai took me back to my travels in Thailand. Photo: Lucy Ridge.

Senn Noods has just opened its doors in Braddon and I know it’s early, and I don’t want to sound clingy, but this might be love.

I was among the first to try out the new casual restaurant by Zaab’s Becky Khanthavongsa. I sat in the sunny courtyard at a communal table and checked out the menu. As the name suggests, Senn Noods is a little bit cheeky, although we’re informed that it’s actually a pun (senn is a Thai and Laotian word meaning noodles). Not afraid of innuendo or a sideways wink, the menu is split into sections labelled things like Hot Stuff and Saucy.

Two skewers with three grilled fish balls each on a rectangular plate with a section holding chilli oil.

The fish balls were a delicious snack to get me going. Photo: Lucy Ridge.

There’s plenty of great dishes to try, from favourites you might be familiar with, like Pad Thai and Pad See Ew, to traditional Thai and Laos dishes that you don’t often see on Canberra menus.

The restaurant takes over the courtyard on Lonsdale Street, formerly occupied by KYO Coffee. There’s moody booth seating indoors and plenty of outdoor tables to capture the street food vibes of the menu.

I’m warned as I order on the QR system that Senn Noods operates on a scale from ‘mild to Thai spicy’. Thai spicy, for the uninitiated, is too hot for most of us to handle, so I sensibly order my meals with medium spice.

Courtyard with a waitperson setting a long hightop table

Choose a cosy inside booth or make a new friend at a communal table. Photo: Lucy Ridge.

I start with grilled fish ball skewers, two per serve, with crispy chilli oil on the side. The texture on the skewers is perfect with juuust a hint of resistance before I bite down into the tasty fish. I’m glad I went with the medium spice: it’s hitting the spot in all the right ways.

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The fish balls are the perfect foreplay for my main meal: Khao Soi Gai. It’s a curried coconut noodle soup with a whole chicken drumstick, pickled green veg and topped with crispy noodles. A squeeze of lime cuts through the richness of the coconut cream.

The noodles are, to borrow an Italian phrase, perfectly al dente. The combination of slurpy noodle soup with crispy fried noodles is incredibly satisfying. It’s hard to eat noodle soup without making a splash and things got a touch messy as I picked up the drumstick and sucked the juices off the bone. Sometimes, it’s fun when things get a little confused!

Bowl of noodle soup with lots of different toppings including prawns.

I’d return to Senn Noods to try other dishes like Yen Ta Fo. Photo: Lucy Ridge.

They’re still waiting on their liquor licence (side-note: this seems to be a common problem for a lot of new restaurants. What’s with the boozy bureaucratic hold-ups?), so I could only snicker at the cocktail list with drinks like Lick my Spritz, Friends with Berry-fits and That’s What She Said.

For now, I contented myself with a sweet (and family-friendly) Thai Iced Tea with lemon.

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At the communal table, I got chatting with another nearby solo diner who was enjoying the Yen Ta Fo ‘pink noodle’ soup. It looked great, and I was assured it was absolutely delicious, and she also added some extra spice from the condiments on the table.

Green sandwich sign that says 'BYO until we get consent' with an image of a bottle popping.

Senn Noods is waiting for their liquor license, but you can BYO in the meantime. Photo: Lucy Ridge.

It’s still early days for Senn Noods and they’re hoping to add takeaway service soon once they’ve found their feet. I visited for lunch, but I’m sure things hot up even more once the sun goes down.

There were plenty of other menu items I would love to order when I come again, so I think it’s fair to say that this is more than a one-night stand. I’ll be eating out at Senn Noods more often.

Senn Noods is located in the NIBU building courtyard at 2/27 Lonsdale Street, Braddon. They are open from Wednesday to Saturday, 11.30 until late. Walk-ins only. Follow Senn Noods on Instagram or Facebook or visit their website.

Original Article published by Lucy Ridge on Riotact.

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