Chow!, Darwin – rich and friendly pan-Asian lunch joint

A need for a spicy lunch in Darwin tempted me towards the harbourside area – somewhere I’d not prioritised because of the oft-repeated tour guide warning of saltwater crocodiles in the harbour!  I discovered that a harbour wall had been built and a children’s paddling area with beach constructed, which sounds great (hoping crocs can’t climb!).


The sharp downwards decline from city to harbour is eased by a relatively new ‘sky walk’ that ends with a lift to harbour level – a great idea, particularly for those with ambulatory issues.


The harbourside area is a series of new-ish apartment buildings making the most of the view with restaurants, coffee shops and bars on the ground floor of those buildings.  On this Sunday, the humidity was at its maximum grinding moistness and the temperatures were teetering shy of 40 degrees, so there weren’t many using the paddling beach or walking about outside.  Happily, there were plenty of people inside the restaurants soaking up the AC.


My destination was Chow! – a Vietnamese restaurant (well, Vietnamese-ish).  A 40s-dressed hostess greeted me at the door – you choose your seat, read the menu and then return to her to make your order.


I had already looked at the menu online and was ready for a Chicken Laksa, a rich coconut broth over two kinds of noodle (if I knew better, I’d say something other than thick and thin), with tender steamed chicken, spring onions and crispy onions on top.


The broth was delicious and packed full of flavour – one of the best that I had on this trip to Australia.

It being a lazy Sunday, I took me and my journal across the harbourside walkways to a coffee joint for a flat white, which was delicious (quick rant: I rarely drink coffee from expensive stores in Ireland/UK as I find it bitter and unpleasant.  However, Australian coffee shops, particularly in Melbourne, are really excellent and seem to have found a formula of roasting coffee that makes it mellow and characterful).


We are nearly at the end of the visit to Darwin.  Adelaide will be up soon!



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