I greatly enjoy Thai food but hadn’t had any in a little while. The fact that I had a gift voucher for the Chong Co dictated my choice of restaurant on this occasion. They actually have four branches in Canberra so we choose the one at the, still relatively new and hip, Kingston Foreshores.
The décor and general ambience were both pleasant and we were promptly greeted and shown to our seats on arrival. The service for the whole evening was attentive and top rate. I only wish I could speak so highly of the food.
While the food was not awful it was bland and unimaginative and not of the standard I expect from a mid to higher priced Thai restaurant. Both taste and looks wise, it was hard to distinguish from what you would get in a decent food-court or from a market stall. To be fair it was served on real crockery rather than in a plastic container!
Nothing on the chef’s specials attracted my attention and outside these the menu offered pretty standard and basic Thai fare.
We started with Thai fish cakes and satay chicken. The fish cakes were bog standard and I suspect the sauce was from a bottle while the chicken was overcooked and, of itself, dry. The satay sauce was the standout of the evening and was delicious.
For mains we chose a beef massaman and a red duck curry with jasmine rice.
The beef was tasteless though very tender while the sauce did nothing for me at all – bland in the extreme. Why anyone would serve this dish garnished with a sprinkling of chopped raw white onion baffles me.
The duck curry was reasonable though the duck was a little on the though side. Andy found this dish a bit on the sweet side.
To drink we choose a Peter Lehmann Riesling (South Australian) which I found a tad on the dry side for what we were eating.
While the Chong Co is fully licensed BYO (bring your own) wine is accepted (corkage charge of $3.50 per person, as I recall).
In summary I won’t be rushing back. For a 30% premium over the price of the average Thai restaurant in Canberra I expected a level of innovation and sophistication in the food. This wasn’t delivered.
7 days from 11.00am – 10.00pm
Address: 31 Eastlake Parade, Dockside Kingston, Kingston Foreshore, Canberra