I hadn’t been expecting to be doing restaurant dining when I went out on Friday afternoon. But she-who-must-be-obeyed put her foot down demanding food and a kebab apparently wasn’t going to cut it.
So I wasn’t really dressed fine dining (black t-shirt, cargo pants, hat hair) when we darkened La Pasa’s stylish door on Alinga Street in Civic. (In the base of the Novotel building).
To their credit though the staff did not bat an eyelid and were helpful and attentive throughout.
La Pasa bill themselves as “Singaporean cuisine”.
If you haven’t had the pleasure before then there’s a few things you need to know. Singaporean is basically Chinese in style, but with Malay and Indian influences then jazzed up by a couple of centuries of relative affluence as a center of trade in Asia under the British. On top of that it’s very tropical. So there’s lots of coconut and pineapple involved.
It had been a hot afternoon so we ordered the coconut juice which came out wonderfully sweet and cold with a dressing of soft coconut pulp. At $4 each they’re worth popping in for at the bar alone.
For entree we had excellent duck pancakes and then for the main king prawns with ginger and shallots and their zesty steak.
All were extremely well executed.
There was a slight snarl with our green coconut rice (as in the rice was green) arriving after the mains. But (horror of horror in Canberra’s service with a snarl dining culture) I got an unsolicited apology for that slight mixup.
The menu covers a lot of ground with a genuine variety of dishes rather than five meats and five sauces making a menu of 25 dishes.
I’d really love to go in with a large group and banquet properly.
All up I had chance from $60 which was an extremely pleasant surprise.
I’ll be going back. Probably soon.