Over Indulgent Prices @ Itsara, Nedlands, W.A.

It was A’s turn to organise date night last week and she decided on Itsara Thai restaurant with a surprise after (dessert at the lovely Koko Black in Claremont). Itsara was chosen after she’d heard it was worth a visit from a few colleagues at work.

On arrival, we noticed that it was BYO only for alcoholic beverages. We decided to enquire first if they had a table for two and then venture to the nearest bottle-o. The man we saw, who wore a cap backwards and I think was the manager, seemed confident that a table would be available. We asked directions for the nearest bottle-o and off we went.

On our return, the same man in the backwards cap greeted us at the back entry. My partner lifted the sixpack to signal that we were back, ready for our table. He seemed to have no idea who we were and what we were doing there (keep in mind that we had only been gone for 20 minutes – max). The restaurant was still empty at this time and A asked if there was a table for two. He then took us to the counter at the front but got distracted on this short journey. We then stood at the counter, waiting for him to finish talking to one of the waitresses when another male jumped in to help us. As he was looking in the book, a third male jumped into the mix and ended up signalling to one of the closest tables. By the time the guy looking in the book had organised a table, we were already seated and ordering water. The guy in the hat had already moved behind the bar and he seemingly forgot us again.

The venue is quite pretty aesthetically and the back garden setting would be lovely in Summer. The main inside area is one room, probably as big as your lounge room. The tables aren’t close together however they are set out weirdly. There are big tables on the side then tables of two in the middle. We were seated in the middle, which felt a bit awkward and was quite close to the counter area.

We decided to skip entrees and get one noodle dish and a curry to share between us. We were both craving Pad Thai, so that was an easy choice and I decided to get the Green Curry with Chicken.

The Green Curry had lots of fresh ingredients that I like, such as herbs and fresh chilli. The meal was nice but was pretty basic. I felt that the Green Curry wasn’t balanced in regards to being sweet, sour, salty and spicy. The plate at the end was covered in oil and it was pretty pathetic for the $25.50 price tag.

The Pad Thai was disastrous. Really and truly the worst Pad Thai I’ve ever had and I forked out $23.50 for a small helping of noodles. The prawns were overcooked and were flavourless. The noodles were gluggy and stuck together. The dish was overpoweringly sweet. It was as if it was dripping cane sugar. The overall result was not pleasant at all. Even after sharing these two dishes I was completed dissatisfied due to the serving size and food quality.

And then there was the service. The service for the whole night was absolutely shocking. I don’t know how six waiters can screw around so much in that tiny room. We didn’t have a consistent waiter and the flow was so disjointed and annoying, as you constantly had to tell your different waiters what stage you were up to. It irked me when a waiter tried to take a dish from the middle of the table when we were both still eating. Yes, it was empty – but leave us in peace while we are eating! This is just one of my pet peeves in service unfortunately and overall we ended up bolting as soon as we ate as the experience wasn’t worth sitting there. Plus we were probably getting charged for the space we were taking up, as somehow the bill ended up being $60.

I hate writing bad reviews. Really, I do. After venturing here to Itsara, I said to A how disappointed I was that another one needs to be written.

To say this plainly – I really disliked Itsara. From the amazingly overpriced food, to the small sizing, to the annoying service – Itsara was a displeasing venture. I wouldn’t return, as there are so many better Thai restaurants around that don’t cost this crazy amount that provide better food and service.

Itsara on Urbanspoon


  1. PB says

    We had a very similar experience:

    We asked the Manager: Anything on the menu that would be good for kids? (we were dining with our children) and he said that it depends on what they like.

    After ordering, I asked him: Do you think we've ordered enough? (As it turned out we were at least 1 main short) The reply was that it depended on how hungry we were. I was going to say to him that it would also depend on how big the servings were but couldn't be bothered having an argument.

    At the end of main course, he told us he was going to "get our bill", without even offering us desert – clearly he was out of sorts that night, and perhaps a little bit put off that our booking for 9 people turned out to be 4 adults and 5 children.

    All in all, it sucked, not going back there again, ever.

    • perthfoodjournal says

      Thank you for taking the time to comment. I’m sorry to hear your dining experience was as bad as mine – Hopefully the management/owners will take notice and do something about it. If you are craving some Thai I recommend Dusit Thai – I have never had a bad experience there however if you don’t like spicy, definitely let them know. :

      All the best, PFJ

  2. KIR says

    How strange I have only have had great experience there. I personally don’t think it is a place I would take kid’s. And Pad Thai is a boring dish to order at Itsara. Try your local neighborhood Thai for kid’s and cheap Pad thai.

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