Lantern by Nu produces some of the best authentic Thai street food that I have come across in Adelaide to date. Chef Nu Suandokmai is certainly no novice when it comes to running a successful restaurant. In fact, he is a seasoned veteran, heading the kitchen in a range of popular Adeladian restaurants such as Fish Head, Gin Long, Cliche and Mrs Q.
Nestled in a seedy side street, you’d be forgiven for thinking that you’d taken a wrong turn somewhere along Gouger street. But, then you spy a small lantern extended over a door frame. You walk towards it, and suddenly you’re peering into a brightly lit once-upon-a-time warehouse, which has now been transformed into the cozy eatery that is Lantern. With exposed wooden rafters, bare brick walls and quaint ornaments such as traditional woven fishing baskets that dangle from the ceiling, the interior is modest and unimposing. The atmosphere is warm and embracing, and the staff are exceptional.
Now on to the food. The menu is comprised of small and big eats, both ideal for sharing amongst friends and family. The betel leaves are a must-have. Served with prawn, caramelised coconut, charred peanut, and tangy lime, this dish is exploding with flavour and the chilli packs just the right amount of punch. Delicious.
The salmon sashimi is a pristine dish, served with fresh mint, bitter melon, delicate threads of seaweed and doused in a well-balanced traditional Thai sauce. Next, tantalise your taste buds with the crispy pork belly. Accompanied by a vibrant array of greens, the succulent pieces of pork are armoured with a crunchy layer of crackling that puts grandma’s roast pork to shame (sorry Grandma). A word of caution though. Go easy on this dish as it is very rich and extremely easy to eat more than your stomach can probably handle!
Finally the stand out dish, the slow-cooked beef cheek. This is hands-down some of the best beef I have ever tried; it’s simply impeccable. Submerged in an aromatic curry sauce, the tender meat falls apart at the slightest touch of a fork. Beautifully delicate, melt-in-your-mouth, irresistible goodness.
As you can probably tell, I can’t rate Lantern by Nu highly enough and if you haven’t already been there I highly recommend that you make it your next culinary experience.
Where: 10 Selby Street, Adelaide
When: Wednesdays to Sundays, lunch, and dinner.
Contact: (08) 7078 3559