Malvern, VIC 3144
I absolutely adore Thai food, and I also love stumbling on good restaurants that I would normally not venture to. So it was with much joy when Adrian, Dennis and I decided to just walk to the nearest restaurant to Adrian's house and try out Sukhumvit. The restaurant is located on a small strip of shops near the corner of Burke and Malvern Road, and is quite hard to notice. I wouldn't have driven there on purpose to eat, but I might go back in future as the Thai food is slightly different to other places in Melbourne.
The restaurant is very small and typical of your suburban eatery. It is nicely decorated and was fairly quiet on a Friday night, but I did notice a lot of people getting takeaway. We got settled at our comfy table and browsed our menu while the waitress poured us some nice chilled water. Again, one of my personal pet likes is when places pour me ice tap water without needing to ask for it.
After careful analysis of the menu and working out all the permutations and costs, we once again settled for the banquet menu. It's so funny that at most Thai places, we usually browse the menu for ages when we first go to a place, and then settle for the banquet because we want to try everything and it's usually the best value for money.
The banquet started off with an assortment of five entrees for each person. The little entrees were very interesting and some things I hadn't tried before. The curry puff and fish cake were excellent, but I was most interested in the other entrees. The two steamed entrees were very beautiful and the addition of palm sugar in both savoury dumplings gave them a strange flavour. One of them I liked more than the other. The fried dumpling with taro was my favourite and reminded me of the taro type dumpling at yum cha.
Anti-clockwise from bottom right:
*Curry Puff - Deep fried puffs filled with minced chicken and potato
*Bussaracum - Steamed flower shaped dumpling filled with seasoned mince chicken and palm sugar
*Tod Mun - Deep fried Thai fish cake
*Puak Sod Sai - Filling of mince chicken, prawn and mushroom deep fried in a wrapping of taro pastry
*Khao Kried - Steamed dumpling filled with mince pork, crushed peanut and palm sugar
Once we had our entrees, we shared three mains. The banquet usually contains four mains but you need a minimum of four people. They were happy to do the banquet for the three of us and dropping one of the mains, the vegetable stir fry. This left the Thai beef salad, green curry chicken and stir fried prawns. The Thai salad was spicy and refreshing, and the curry rich and flavoursome, great for pouring over the jasmine rice. However, to my utter surprise and delight, the prawns were super awesome. I don't really like prawns much, but these tasted so good. The prawns were covered in a light batter and then fried to crispy goodness. But it was the really delightful sauce that made it work for me. It blended well with the prawns and also really highlighted the cashew nuts, a definite winner for me.
Top, Left and then Right:
*Goong Sam Rod - Crispy king pranws stir fried in Thai style sweet and sour chilli sauce
*Yum Nuer Yang - Thai beef salad
*Gaeng Khew Whan Gai - Green Thai curry
We finished our meals extremely satisfied, after the second filling of our steamed jasmine rice. We were offered tea and coffee to finish, and we got some calming green tea that came in this ingenius tea pot. In one position of the tea pot lid, lifting the handle actually locked the lid into place so you could pour it without worrying that the lid would come off.
The service throughout the night was very efficient and friendly. The restaurant filled up a bit more throughout the night and the atmosphere was a gentle buzz. My only small complaint, if you can even call it that, is I would have liked the banquet to include dessert, even if something simple like a scoop of ice cream. It would have finished off the meal perfectly. Otherwise, it was a very enjoyable meal in a very relaxing atmosphere and I would go back to eat there if I was in the area.
Overall Rating: 14/20, A relaxing restaurant with some unique Thai food.
Scores: 1-9: Unacceptable, don't bother. 10-11: Just OK,some shortcomings. 12: Fair. 13: Getting there. 14: Recommended. 15: Good. 16: Really good. 17: Truly excellent. 18: An outstanding experience. 19-20:Approaching perfection, Victoria's best.