When it comes to a favourite cuisine I tend to flipflop quite a bit. I love, love, love Mexican (the real kind, not Tex-Mex) – especially because Jeremy is such a good cook in that department. Japanese definitely floats my boat, and dumplings tickle my pickle. But at the moment, I’m super obsessed with Thai. From an amazing red curry, to a fiery larb, it really hits the spot for me.
New to the Thai offerings in Perth is Louder Louder; a modern restaurant that takes traditional flavours and brings them into a new, modern style approach of plating and dining style. They’re situated in Northbridge next door to Torre Butchers. They opened in September, at which time they kindly reached out to me to visit but I couldn’t head in because we were off travelling in America. Fast forward a couple of months time and I finally was able to take them up on the offer, and I was excited.
The menu has varying degrees of spice heat in the dishes, with the option to make them ‘loud’ (medium), ‘louder’ (hot) or ‘louder louder’ (super spicy). With the sun shining down on us at lunch, we tackled the menu with gusto choosing the prawn pad thai ($18.00), the duck minced salad ($17.00) and the beef short rib mussaman curry ($28.00). On the side was a serving of sticky rice and a Thai milk tea ($5.00) to drink.
When the food came out, I have to say the smell alone was satisfying enough. But then it was time to dig in, and we were really impressed. The pad thai (gluten free) had just the right amount of smokiness to the noodles and was accompanied by plump prawns that still had a good snap to them when biting in, plus tofu, red onion and peanuts.
It was presented wrapped in an egg lattice to give it an ultra modern look. But it went even further than how it looked: it tasted damn good. A squeeze of lemon over the top to bring even more vibrancy, I was happy to dig in greedily.
But it was the curry that really knocked me for a six. I love mussaman (or massaman) curry. I love the thick sauce, the underlying sweetness and the rich flavours. This one was very well executed, thanks to their clever choice of meat cut being the short ribs which are cooked for 48 hours before serving. It literally slid off the bone, and fell apart with just the barest of prods from a fork.
Accompanied by potatoes, peanuts and fresh pineapple it was an utterly perfect dish. I can see why it’s one of their highly recommended items to try!
Our final savoury dish was the spicy duck salad with herbs, red onion and roasted dry chilli. I loved the fried kaffir leaves in this (yum) and the intense heat – we only got hot, so I can’t even imagine what the super spicy was like eep!
There was a lot of flavour though, and lettuce leaves to wrap up each bite and bring a little relief. It was very fresh, very tasty and punched you in the mouth every time you thought you managed to recover from that chilli burn. There’s definitely no one that gets you in the heat department like Thai.
While we were pleasantly full already (the majority of the pad thai and little of the curry were coming home with us in a takeaway container), we decided to share a mango sticky rice for dessert. Louder Louder’s is a pretty epic offering with eleven ingredients. Piled atop the namesake rice, sits taro, fresh coconut, toasted coconut, almonds, sesame seeds, mango and palm. Plus a big scoop of house made coconut ice-cream.
It’s a big serving, perfect to share between two, and the ideal way to finish up the meal. It has a real savouriness to each bite which is just how I like my desserts, with the coconut and mango providing some sweetness. I loved it, and will happily return for this alone.
Our first visit at Louder Louder was a resounding success. While it straddles the line between traditional flavours and contemporary cooking, what it does deliver is flavour, respect for ingredients and panache. After chatting to the team working (note: service was excellent too), I’m keen to go back and try their favourites: the pork hock, the som yum and the noodle soup. Bring it on! However I will be leaving the temperature at just ‘Louder’ – no way can I handle the double.