This morning, I was faced with the worst decision ever…where to eat??
For me I would just go to grab some pho or a bibimbap at my usual go-to restaurants in Civic. But today it was different. Mum somehow got first hand information from her friend, that there was a new eatery opened in Civic. She however forgot the name but when she described the location of the eatery, I instantly knew which one it was. Soi Noodle Bar. It is located between Hugo Boss and Guzman y Gomez, which is rather easy to find, even for those who rarely go out to Canberra Centre.
So lets begin…
I looked through their menu and they have an entire section of entrees called ‘Mini Dishes’. I did spend some time deciding what to order and I ended up choosing the Yakitori Chicken Skewers ($10) and the Soft Shell Crab Buns ($15) to share between three people.
The yakitori skewers would have to be one most authenic ones I have eaten in Canberra. The chicken was tender and flavourful. These skewers had a subtle mirin flavour which I really loved and wasn’t overly sweet, unlike some which I had in the past. They were drenched in sweet teriyaki sauce, as in the sauce pooled beneath the skewers.
I’ve lost count of the number of baos I had consumed this year. When people ask me ‘aren’t you sick of eating baos?’, my answer is always ‘NOPE!!’. Today at Soi Noodle Bar was no different. The soft shell crab buns come with lettuce, tomato and wasabi mayonaise. I’ve always loved the combination of lettuce, tomato and mayonaise. When I make Katsu Sando (crumbed porkchop sandwich) at home, it must always contain these three ingredients. Back to the buns, you get several different textures from a single bite. The crunch from the soft shell crab, the crisp lettuce and the juicy tomato all encased in a fluffy bun.
My advice is to eat them as soon as they arrive to the table to ensure the crab does stay crispy.
After the ‘Mini Dishes’, I ordered three mains and a soup. These were Saikyo Miso, Black Cod Fish ($18 lunch special, usually $28), Green Curry Chicken ($15), Pad Thai Beef ($15) and Seafood Tom Yum Soup ($17).
Saikyo miso, originates from the Kansai region of Japan, it is sweeter than your average miso paste. At Soi Noodle Bar, they used it to marinade the black cod fillet, which they later grilled. This may ring a bell as it is Nobu’s signature dish. The fish is served on a bed of shredded cabbage along with a simple lettuce and tomato salad and black rice.
I also ordered a curry, green curry to be exact. It may sound strange ordering a curry here, when I could have gone down the road to Kinn Thai. The main reason is that here they have a large selection of proteins that you can choose to go into your curry. This time it’s chicken because I LOVE chicken!! You also get to choose unhealthy white rice or the brown rice. you can probably guess which one I chose…the unhealthy white rice. A single serve of the curry is quite large, but dont worry as half of it is vegetables.
The tom yum soup came in a large black bowl. I knew it would be good because it contained the essentials of a good Tom yum soup. Tomatoes, mushroom, lemongrass, coriander and loads of seafood. My first thought was BARGAIN!!!! as you wouldn’t get a serving this big from the thai restaurants. When I looked beneath the pile of seafood, you wouldn’t guess what I found…it wasn’t more seafood but rice noodle…which was actually really good as they soaked up the flavours of the soup.
It wouldn’t be a visit to a noodle bar without ordering a serve of their stir fried noodles. With a personal preference for a more savoury noodle dish, I chose the pad thai with beef. It came with the essential condiments. Crushed peanuts, fresh bean sprouts and lemon. Remember that whenever you order pad thai, it must always come with these three essentials or else request a refund!!
They also have alot of other dishes on their menu including salads, dessert and ice slushies. I’m definitely going to order some ice slushies next time I go there. They come in lychee, coconut mango and watermelon flavour!!!
I do recommend you go and try them out. If you dont feel like dining in, they also do takeaway which comes in a really fashionable paper bag. I kinda regret not ordering something for takeaway just to get their paper bag.
Soi Noodle Bar
Address: Shop EG08 Bunda Street, Canberra Centre, Civic (between Hugo Boss and Guzman y Gomez)
Opening Hours: Monday to Sunday, 11am to 10pm