Words & photos by Fatema Sitabkhan
Having visited Port Noarlunga for the first time in 7 years since first arriving in Australia, I decided to make a fun day out of it by exploring the different local businesses that have found their home right by the beach side. One such place that I happened to stumble upon was one that was recommended by Benny from Port Noarlunga SNUBA – Ampika’s Kitchen.
A Thai restaurant with an Australian twist, this restaurant has nestled itself in a brilliant spot (an old house, actually!), which overlooks the Port Noarlunga jetty. While we visited Ampika’s Kitchen during the day, I can only imagine how much more beautiful (and romantic!) it would be to dine at this spot around the time of sunset.
There are two spaces available for dining – outdoors in a “balcony” area, and indoors, right by the bar, or for a more intimate // function-style experience, an interior space with lots of tables and chairs.
The menu boasts of an extensive selection of Thai dishes, which cater to non-vegetarian, vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free dietary requirements. Need a drink to complement your meal? The bar is stocked up with several local (South Australian) favourites, such as beers from Shifty Lizard Brewing Co., The Big Shed Brewing, as well as wines from McLaren Vale. There are also custom-made cocktails that are available at a decent price of $15.
- Pad Krapao Chicken ($18.90) with Wok-tossed with fresh seasonal vegetables, chilli, Thai herbs and Thai hot basil
- Pad Thai Chicken ($18.90) with rice noodles, wok tossed with egg, bean sprouts, shallots, carrot, served with ground peanuts and a wedge of lemon.
The two dishes presented with an overflowing freshness from the vegetables. The Asian spices and herbs were subtle but just enough to add a level of tang and a burst of flavour to these dishes. The meat was consistently succulent and juicy and mixed well with the rest of the ingredients. Both dishes had a mild level of spiciness and while we would have liked it to be a bit hotter in taste, it certainly did its job in filling our hungry tummies. The cocktails on the side were an excellent add-on to enjoy on a hot, summery day by the beach. With a view of the calm ocean waters, we felt like we were in paradise.
While the dishes may be a bit on the expensive range, you are not only paying for good customer service and delicious dishes, but also for stunning views of the ocean and the jetty. If I were you, I’d visit Ampika’s Kitchen for dinner and be seated out in the balcony, where you can be treated to a picturesque sunset along with excellent company, as you feast on yummy Thai cuisine.