Address: Shop 9/1 Harbour Street, Darling Walk, Sydney NSW
Tel: (02) 9267 7992
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So last weekend I organised a surprise party for MC.
He turned 25 and wasn’t really thinking about doing anything special for it. His niece’s 4th bday party was held at lunchtime on his birthday, and although we had a great time, I thought he deserved a little party of his own!
About a month beforehand, while he was in London I began organising the party. I invited friends on facebook and rang about 10 restaurants in the Darling Harbour area trying to find a place that would accept a booking of 10-15 people, cater to vegetarians, and not require us to use a group banquet menu (which can cost around $60 each). Most of the well-known restaurants in Darling Harbour required banquet menus, and after countless phone calls I finally found Nok Nok.
It was a bit tricky trying to keep the secret from MC but he was very surprised when we turned up for our “quiet dinner” to find about 10 of his friends seated around a table waiting for him.
The atmosphere was great as it was a Saturday night. There was a good buzz around the restaurant but it wasn’t so noisy that you couldn’t hear your friends talking.
The decor is quite cute and quirky and I really liked the little trees around the restaurant and the mirrors on the roof.
Darling Harbour also puts on a fireworks show at 9.00pm each Saturday and so the crowds give the area a lively feel.
Service wasn’t great to be honest. It was a struggle to get the attention of the staff for drinks and to order food.
However they were quite helpful when we did ask them for something.
We all started off with one of the special $10 cocktails. I tried a delicious mango daiquiri which was light and refreshing. MDS had a passionfruit caprioska and others around the table had berry cocktails, beers, and ciders.
Food was great. MDS, Nicole and I shared a few dishes, and everyone else ordered their own.
We started off with some delicious salt and pepper calamari. This was some of the best I’ve had anywhere as it was soooo crunchy, like the skin on KFC chicken. It was perfectly seasoned and well-presented with some fresh lime, cucumber and sweet chilli sauce. Definitely a winner!
Salt & Pepper Calamari, $17.90
I picked the Panang Beef Curry. I was happy with the quantity of beef and the meat to vegetable ratio of this dish. It added a little spice to the meal which the S&P calamari lacked. The creamy curry was delicious as well and the ginger was fragrant and crunchy.
Panang Beef Curry, $16.90
MDS picked the chilli jam chicken. While I thought there was more vegetable than chicken on this dish, it ended up being more than enough for the three of us. We really enjoyed the sweetness of the dish and the crunchy stir-fried vegetables. Not the “best” chilli jam I have had, but it was still quite good.
Chilli Jam Chicken Stir-Fry, $17.90
MC ordered the Khao Soy Gai (Beef). This dish consists of egg noodles in a coconut curry soup with a side of pickle, sauce and fresh lime said the dish was quite nice but that it was also a little heavy.
To finish up I arranged for MDS to pick up a Boston Mudcake from the Cheesecake Shop. It was very rich and delicious and a nice sweet way to finish off a spicy meal. The restaurant charged us $0.50 each for the cake.
For the 11 of us the bill came to around $330, which was pretty good value for drinks and dinner!
Overall I would rate my dining experience (out of 10):
- Service- 5.5
- Food- 7.5
- Ambience- 7
- Value – 7
Overall, the dishes came out quickly and were quite tasty. Service wasn’t great but the atmosphere and decor was quite nice. The location is quite good, being near Darling Harbour and about 10mins walk from Town Hall Station. The food was also reasonably priced and I would go back again to try out something else there!