In Asian, Dining on
September 3, 2011

Signature Thai, Balmain

We don’t usually buy coupons off group deal sites- mostly because they are quite a hassle, with all the terms and conditions and because most of them are simply situated in places which are far away from where we live. We decided to try this deal ($19 for $45 worth of food) at Signature Thai restaurant, eventhough it was situated all the way in Balmain, because it seemed like a pretty decent deal for our family of four.

We’d made a booking the day before, and drove for more than an hour to get to Balmain for lunch here on a Sunday. So you can imagine, we were not impressed to turn up and find that the restaurant was not even open. We waited a while, called them numerous times (but no one picked up) and eventually figured that the restaurant wasn’t going to open anytime soon and left. Definitely not a good first impression.

After not receiving a call back from them for a week, we called them to make sure they were still in business. The call was answered by an apologetic waitress, who explained that it was a one off because that something had happened. We made a second booking, this time for a Friday night, since it was probably less likely that they wouldn’t be open on a Friday night.


Luckily, the restaurant was open the second time around (though it was much quieter than we’d expected) and the waitresses immediately apologised again once they figured out that we were the ones who turned up when they were closed last time.

We didn’t order any rice with our mains so we ordered roti instead, which we thought was interesting in a thai restaurant. The roti was nice and crispy- it tastes like the frozen ones you get from asian supermarkets….but we weren’t really expecting freshly made ones anyway.

Thai Beef Salad

We spent a long time pondering over what to order, as the menu was full of interesting choices, but we almost instantly decided to order the thai beef salad, as it is one of our favourite thai dishes. The dressing in this salad was a little disappointing, missing the hit of flavour I’ve had with beef salads in the past, but beautifully pink beef slices were quite good.

Salt and Pepper Soft Shell Crab

We had a hard time trying to decide between the soft shell crab with curry powder or the salt and pepper soft shell crab , but ended up choosing the latter, since my dad isn’t a big fan of curry. The soft shell crab is deliciously crunchy, almost to the point of being too hard and quite tasty with the mix of chilli, spices and shallots. It’s served on little bed of lettuce, which serves well to sooth my tongue from the spiciness of the chilli (I’m not too great with spicy food). Whilst it’s quite an enjoyable dish, it feels like it’s lacking a little something- it wasn’t quite as exciting as I’d hoped.

Pad Thai

The menu doesn’t offer much variety when it comes to stir fried noodle dishes, so we chose the pad thai (with beef). The stir fry of thin noodles was good though not the most amazing pad thai I’ve ever had- the sauce isn’t too tangy or sweet, but I find the noodles a little on the dry side.

Duck Hoisin

We couldn’t really go to a restaurant named Siganture Thai without trying one of their signature dishes, which we are informed by the waitress are Duck Hoisin and Lamb Massaman Curry. The Duck Hoisin sounds a little more interesting than the curry, so we chose that- and were pretty glad we did. It comes as a beautiful dish of roasted duck pieces, accompanied by some plump shitake mushrooms rested on a bed of vegetables and drizzled with a delicious hoisin sauce, which tastes slightly different from the normal, store bought type. The flavours of the dish have a resemblance to Peking Duck, though that may be obvious from the combination of the duck and hoisin sauce, but still unique in its own way. This is definitely the highlight of the meal- the roasted duck has an irresistibly crispy skin and tasty duck meat.

Overall, the food was pretty good, though not spectacular- probably not enough to get us coming back here again (though I may have had a slightly more positive opinion if we had not had been through the first experience of turning up to find it not open).

Signature Thai on Urbanspoon

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  • T and Tea Cake

    Wow, big bummer. Nothing in the world would have made me return. Your family seems to be very forgiving in general. 🙂
    I hope they gave you at least SOME kind of guerdon!

    Well at least the food looked pretty.

    Duck with hoisin sauce is one of my favourites as well. 😉


    September 3, 2011 at 12:08 PM Reply
  • Viv

    yikes!! sorry to hear about that bad experience…i cant imagine driving an hour to eat and the place is closed >< to be honest, ive had bad experiences with all these online discount vouchers be it with restaurants or other services haha. ill def think twice before i buy them next time! but that duck does look good i gotta say 😛

    September 3, 2011 at 1:31 PM Reply
  • MissPiggy

    Wow, driving an hour to find the place is closed would be SO annoying! I buy loads of these vouchers and so far I've only ever had GREAT experiences.

    September 4, 2011 at 10:58 PM Reply
  • Nic@diningwithastud

    Such a shame about your experience. The duck does look amazing but I dont think I would go back after what you went through either

    September 5, 2011 at 12:39 AM Reply
  • JasmyneTea

    What a shame that you travelled all that way for TWO less than steller experiences! I do buy the vouchers myself, but only if they're for places that I've really really wanted to visit anyway. Great review!

    September 5, 2011 at 1:34 AM Reply
  • Dumpling Girl

    Oh I hate it when restaurants do that. Good value with the voucher, shame the food was more on the forgettable side though. Better luck with next vouchers 🙂

    September 5, 2011 at 2:46 AM Reply
  • grace

    at the very least, i'm impressed by the height and color of the dishes. 🙂

    September 5, 2011 at 7:42 AM Reply
  • Nami | Just One Cookbook

    I'd be really mad…after driving for such a long time and the restaurant is closed?! I'd be scared to visit again. Haha. Well, I'm glad food was "okay" at least, not horrible. 😉

    September 6, 2011 at 6:08 AM Reply
  • Mochachocolata Rita

    wawww salt pepper soft shell crab! i wish i can find this in hong kong!

    September 6, 2011 at 9:33 AM Reply
  • Christine@Christine's Recipes

    That's not a pleasant experience with the booking with the restaurant, that's enough to put me off. 🙁

    September 6, 2011 at 1:07 PM Reply
  • Quay Po Cooks

    When restaurant is not open as they should, I will not go back especially when it is situated so far away. I am sorry your your bad first experience but it is nice of you to give them a second chance.

    September 7, 2011 at 2:21 AM Reply
  • Juliana

    Sorry about your bad experience…although some of the pictures look pretty tempting.
    Hope you are having a great week 🙂

    September 7, 2011 at 7:18 PM Reply
  • mademoiselle délicieuse

    I don't tend to buy coupon deals either, only because I usually can't get my act together to get there during the limited offer period =p

    That soft-shell crab does look mighty crunchy though!

    September 8, 2011 at 4:04 AM Reply
  • Angie's Recipes

    So delicious, esp. that beef salad and crab!

    September 8, 2011 at 4:47 AM Reply
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