23 September 2023

Hot in the City: Senn Noods set to open in October

| Lucy Ridge
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a hand holding chopsticks pulls up noodles from a bowl.

Many lesser-known noods will feature on the menu. Photo: Supplied.

Senn Noods is a new Laos Thai restaurant opening in Lonsdale Street in October. The restaurant is a new offering from Becky Khanthavongsa, the owner of another Lonsdale street favourite, Zaab.

While both restaurants celebrate Becky’s own Laotian heritage, Senn Noods is a more casual affair.

“The culture is still the same but the offerings will be completely different,” Becky told Region.

“Zaab has become a bit more elevated, whereas Senn Noods is going back to basics with street food dishes that you would see Laos and Thai people eat more often.”

The name and branding of the restaurant are a bit cheeky but the name itself is a pun: senn is a word for noodles in Lao and Thai! But true to the playful spirit of the name, the restaurant will be open late for a quick and easy meal that you won’t regret the next day.

Woman drinks bagged cocktail that says 'talk dir-tea to me'

Zaab’s favourite bagged cocktails are back at Senn Noods. Photo: Supplied.

The menu will definitely have a strong focus on noods. Becky explained that while some classic Thai dishes like Pad Thai or Pad See Ew are really well known here in Canberra, there are some more that she’s hoping to introduce. Think Tom Yum Noodles, Northern Thai noodle soup Khao Soi, and Boat Noodles.

“There’s a dish in Laos called Khao Poon, which is a rice vermicelli noodle that is served in all different styles. We’ll have rotating specials to show them all off.”

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The menu will also have lots of grilled skewers and salad dishes like papaya salad and crispy rice salad, which Becky describes as “like fried rice, but better”.

Vegetarians and vegans will also be well catered for with a variety of options suitable for those dietary requirements.

table with many plates of food

The dishes at Senn Noods focus on traditional street food and noodles. Photo: Supplied.

And if you need some Dutch courage to make a move while you lock eyes with someone across your bowl of noods, don’t worry: Zaab’s much-loved bagged cocktails have made it onto the menu from down the street!

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Senn Noods is tucked into the NIBU building, and the team are hoping to evoke the sense of a Southeast Asian street food experience right in the heart of Canberra.

There will be a mix of indoor booths and al fresco courtyard seating. The style of service will be a little more laid back than at Zaab with QR code ordering as well as a strong takeaway menu. Walk-ins only, true to the laid-back, street food vibes.

Zaab owner Becky Khanthavongsa

Zaab and Senn Noods owner Becky Khanthavongsa infuses flavours from her Lao heritage into the menus. Photo: Zaab.

There will be an opening night party in the courtyard of the NIBU building on a soon-to-be-announced date.

A DJ will provide the tunes while the chefs pump out menu samples, and there will even be a spicy noodle eating competition, although we’ve been warned it’s not for the faint-hearted!

Senn Noods is expected to open mid-October. Follow them on Facebook or Instagram, or visit their website to be the first to know.

Senn Noods is located in the NIBU building, 2/27 Lonsdale Street, Braddon.

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