• By Optimus Prime Rib
One of the more unique foodie experiences in Darwin, Lola's Pergola is a carnivàle themed restaurant in a prime spot on the waters of Cullen Bay Marina.
The decor consists of carousel ponies, retro posters, giant eyeballs, actual working carousels and various other toys and rides for the kids to play with. If you're after a family friendly environment, Lola's Pergola should be at the top of your list - the restaurant is even named after the owner's daughter.
During the day and provided some cool breezy weather, this is one of the most relaxing and chilled environments to hang out in. We often lose track of time when we are here on the weekends and several hours can easily pass by without us noticing. If you need to unwind one afternoon, head here.
The seating is all undercovered al fresco with lots of chairs, couches and benches, it is the perfect spot for a cool dry season day. There's plenty of space to spread your legs, the kids can run around and when you get hungry the bar and kitchen will keep you satisfied. We went here a few times during the wet season last year, much to humid for my liking despite all the fans about.
I've only ever gone during the day, come evening the place transforms from a family playground into a vibrant night time mosh pit for the oldies whilst the kids are at home.
The menu is predominantly burgers, pizzas and a few of the usual Aussie type mains. There's plenty of liquid refreshments on offer as well including a decent cup of frothy cappuccino goodness.
The burgers are claimed to be the best in Darwin with their unique blend of ingredients and funky names. I've had a few of them now and they're all quite nice with their brioche buns and generous amounts of ingredients. I usually find the patties a bit on the dry side though, so I'd call them great burgers, but not the best in Darwin.
Oh my goodness! The chips! Don't forget to order a bag or two to share, because these chunky cut, crispy soft golden fingers of potato gold are probably the best going around. Even if your belly is full to the max on burgers, you'll always find room for just oooooone more chip. Bloody delicious.
The pizzas are great as well, the bases are a little thick for my liking, I'm more of a thin and crispy guy. They're perhaps a slight too oily as well. The flavours however are top notch.
Children are well catered for on the menu, there's a selection of super cheap items for the little ones at $7 each, which is not that common in Darwin, so this is much appreciated by myself. My daughter also loves using the self serve soda water tap.
With a great blend of entertainiment, food and chilled surroundings, Lola's Pergola is definitely worthy of a regular visit. Bring the family during the day and bring your friends at night.