Lemongrass and Suwanna

Lemonwanna. I want these two Saint John Thai restaurants to get married and produce a baby that has Suwanna’s food quality and Lemongrass’s ambiance.

Lemongrass, located at 42 Princess Street, a fine piece of real estate, is nestled in close with Happinez Wine Bar and Peppers Pub in the ever-so charming Brodie Building. Right next door is O’Leary’s Pub and across the street, Sebastian Martini Bar. So, no matter where you stumble when you fall out the door, you will find civilisation (or lack there-of, depending on the time of day).

Inside, the lights are dim, candles flicker, the music is eclectic and gentle. Bamboo placemats are carefully placed on the tables which are spread into 3 partitioned rooms on the main level of what seems like a used-to-be heritage home. The walls are painted warm and cozy shades of orange, and you cant help but look up at the intricate-gold crown moulding 12 feet overhead. Satin throw pillows and gold-detailed fabrics fall elegantly in all the right places. Sigh.

The food, unfortunately, ranges from bland, to pretty good for-a-food-court, to omigod I think my digestive system is blistering! I do recommend the red curry fish cakes when you go. The wine selection is ok; you really can’t go wrong with a bottle of Wolfblass Cab Sauv, but $43 a bottle is just a little wrong. Also, if you’re looking for proper wine serving etiquette, go downstairs to Happinez.

I want Suwanna to move in with Lemongrass.

Suwanna, located a little off the beaten path on 325 Lancaster Avenue, West Side, is indeed located at grannies house at the top of the hill. This brightly lit pad has all of the features of a tacky old-lady’s decor, complete with what-the-heck table clothes and dishware.

Off to the side of the main hallway is a small table, cluttered with abused old CD’s. As you sit studying every clogged pore of your dinner companion (due to the excruciatingly bright lighting), from the distance you can enjoy some rendition of Creedence Clearwater Revival’s Greatest Hits (I do enjoy John Fogerty, but for every good rock tune there is a campfire and an 8-pack of Bud).

Then comes the food.

For a split second or two, you forget where you are. The food is THAT good. I really can’t go on too much here, as every person has individual food preferences, but let me suggest for the spice lovers the Green Curry (bring kleenex) is full of flavour and just the right amount of hot. Not-so-spicy lovers can enjoy a nuttily, mouth-wateringly, selubriously, ridiculously delicious Masaman curry.

I need to stop here as I am salivating on my keyboard. The food is so good though, you will be lucky to get a seat without booking well in advance. Once fork meets mouth, the fear of being exfoliated with your partner’s eyes is quickly replaced with the fear of becoming full.

Both venues will run you about $18 per curry dish, which can comfortably feed two people, or 1 person and take home tomorrow’s lunch. Both places provide infinite rice and relatively good service for casual dining. A good date with a wine buzz will run you $70-$80, tip included.

Suwanna Restaurant and Inn
325 Lancaster Avenue
Saint John, NB E2M 2L3
(506) 637-9015‎
Lemongrass Thai Fare
42 Princess Street
Saint John, NB E2L 1K2
(506) 657-8424

6 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    matt said,

    This blog’s great!! Thanks :).

  2. 2

    Tanya said,

    Definitely agree with you. I love Suwanna, but I am not crazy with the location, I think if they were where Lemongrass is they would triple their business. I was not impressed with the food at Lemongrass. I have been there twice now and have been very disappointed each time. Too bad, because I love the whole location and ambiance they have there. Especially having Happinez downstairs. Thanks for sharing your opinion…love reading your blog!

  3. 3

    trieroimi said,

    Great site this consumersj.wordpress.com and I am really pleased to see you have what I am actually looking for here and this this post is exactly what I am interested in. I shall be pleased to become a regular visitor 🙂

  4. 4

    uptowngirlsj said,

    This blog is my favorite, I completely agree and you have such a way with words! Kudos!

  5. 5

    Elisa said,

    I thought this was histerical! Suwanna is definitely my favourite restaurant but I have yet to enjoy Lemmongrass and I

  6. 6

    christie61 said,

    I stumbled on this blog from Bean Book’s blog and really enjoyed what I’ve read here so far. I totally agree with you about Suwanna and Lemon Grass. Sure Lemon Grass has a nice ambiance – but the one and only time I ate there my meal was so ridiculously bad I’ve never been back. If I say the name Suwanna three times fast, I must immediately make a reservation!
    I’ll be back for more of your writing.

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