We'd made a booking the day before, and drove for more than an hour to get to Balmain for lunch here on a Sunday. So you can imagine, we were not impressed to turn up and find that the restaurant was not even open. We waited a while, called them numerous times (but no one picked up) and eventually figured that the restaurant wasn't going to open anytime soon and left. Definitely not a good first impression.
After not receiving a call back from them for a week, we called them to make sure they were still in business. The call was answered by an apologetic waitress, who explained that it was a one off because that something had happened. We made a second booking, this time for a Friday night, since it was probably less likely that they wouldn't be open on a Friday night.
We didn't order any rice with our mains so we ordered roti instead, which we thought was interesting in a thai restaurant. The roti was nice and crispy- it tastes like the frozen ones you get from asian supermarkets....but we weren't really expecting freshly made ones anyway.
We had a hard time trying to decide between the soft shell crab with curry powder or the salt and pepper soft shell crab , but ended up choosing the latter, since my dad isn't a big fan of curry. The soft shell crab is deliciously crunchy, almost to the point of being too hard and quite tasty with the mix of chilli, spices and shallots. It's served on little bed of lettuce, which serves well to sooth my tongue from the spiciness of the chilli (I'm not too great with spicy food). Whilst it's quite an enjoyable dish, it feels like it's lacking a little something- it wasn't quite as exciting as I'd hoped.
We couldn't really go to a restaurant named Siganture Thai without trying one of their signature dishes, which we are informed by the waitress are Duck Hoisin and Lamb Massaman Curry. The Duck Hoisin sounds a little more interesting than the curry, so we chose that- and were pretty glad we did. It comes as a beautiful dish of roasted duck pieces, accompanied by some plump shitake mushrooms rested on a bed of vegetables and drizzled with a delicious hoisin sauce, which tastes slightly different from the normal, store bought type. The flavours of the dish have a resemblance to Peking Duck, though that may be obvious from the combination of the duck and hoisin sauce, but still unique in its own way. This is definitely the highlight of the meal- the roasted duck has an irresistibly crispy skin and tasty duck meat.
Overall, the food was pretty good, though not spectacular- probably not enough to get us coming back here again (though I may have had a slightly more positive opinion if we had not had been through the first experience of turning up to find it not open).