I’ve walked by Ladda’s hundreds of times and I never thought of eating there until my friend Sebastian recommended it. It looks like the typical cheap Asian eatery, a bit dodgy and usually empty. But Sebastian said it was one of his favourites restaurants and he’s still alive and healthy, so what could go wrong?
A lazy Sunday afternoon I got back from the gym starving and with zero intentions of cooking. I had to wait until Alvaro finished doing stuff in the computer, so by the time we got to Ladda’s my stomach was screaming with pain.
There are some specials in printed papers stuck to the front of the serving area, with prices between $10.80 and $15.90. That seemed a bit too much to me, but luckily there was a menu with lunch specials that is effective from 11 am to 3 pm.
Since it was our first time there, I decided to go with a well-known dish in order to compare: the almighty Pad Thai. Alvaro chose the stir-fried chicken and vegetables. Both dishes were $7.50, not bad but not as cheap as Thai La Ong’s lunch specials. The waitress gave us chilled tap water while we waited for our meals.
The good thing about this place is that everything is in plain sight. The pre-cut vegetables are placed in stainless steel tins right next to the window, and all the stir-frying action happens behind the counter. The cook that afternoon was a super skinny young man; I’ve seen an older lady at night.
Our meals were ready in a few minutes. The Pad Thai looked a bit small in the beginning (again, compared to Thai La Ong’s) but it was in fact quite big. The flavour was very good, I must say better than my former favourite cheap Thai restaurant in Newtown.
Chicken Pad Thai ($7.50)
Alvaro’s dish was not bad, either. The serving was generous, too, and along with the rice it made a very satisfying meal.
Stir-fried chicken and vegetables ($7.50)
While we ate I realised why I often see this place empty: their main business is takeaway (hence the sign outside: “Ladda’s The Thai Takeaway”).
593 King Street
(02) 9516 2870