Sunday, February 16

Golden Orchid

Brunch is not really part of my vocabulary in Darwin, though I loved weekend (or weekday) brunches in the quirky cafes of Melbourne. Here, around brunch time, especially during the wet season, the sun is already bright and sizzling - not conducive weather for slowly enjoying cooked breakfasts and sipping hot coffee. And if it's pouring, we tend to stay home.

Regardless, I was excited about exploring a potential brunch venue in Darwin. So we went to Golden Orchid, which normally serves Thai food during lunch and dinner. It used to be another Thai restaurant called Lemon Grass prior to a change of management several years ago.

Location: 62 Marina Blvd, Cullen Bay, NT - as you enter into the retail area, it's on the left hand side see map

Website: having come across a weebly business site yet, but the official website is surprisingly clean and informative

Price: $16 for the breakfast buffet, otherwise ~$20 mains for takeaway and ~$30 mains for dine in, see online menus


Drinks - there's free flow of juice and coffee. This is the latte I ordered, quite unusual looking, but pretty. Amusingly they only make hot coffees, but were happy to provide us with a glassful of ice to make our own iced coffee.

Mains - scrambled eggs, poached egg, baked beans, baked tomato, bacon, sausage, creamed mushroom and there was also a choice of fried rice, which I didn't get. I guess it's not too different from getting a the "big breakfast" option commonly found at cafes, except you can refill as much as you like. Reminded me of the hot breakfasts at my residential college, which I did used to enjoy. My fellow diners also had plain (rice) porridge with frozen peas and carrots, which didn't look appetising. Apparently there are more choices if you book early.

Cereals and breads - there were a small selection of toasts, muffins, croissants and cereals. I would have tried some muffins if I thought they were made fresh. I didn't see any jugs of milk for the cereal either, but I'm sure they would have provided some if we asked.

 Fruits and yoghurt - fruits included yellow nectarines, watermelon and rockmelon. There were natural and vanilla yoghurt options. And a strange combination of canned peaches and pears, corn, and beetroot on the side. Well, I discovered that corn goes surprisingly well with natural yoghurt and canned fruits!



True to its name, each table was decorated with an orchid branch (plastic). The air conditioning was effective, but the heat came through the open doors. The view outside is quite nice, on a cooler morning or perhaps in the evening, sitting outside could be pleasant. The waitress who served us was enthusiastic and helpful.

Rating: 2/5 for the buffet breakfast. The hot foods were okay, but most options were unexciting and could be easily made at home, and the selection in general was rather limited. I would keep looking for proper brunch places in Darwin, but I'm open to trying items on the regular lunch / dinner menu at Golden Orchid.

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