Oakleigh, VIC 3166
Ph: 9569 8283
I used to complain that after moving buildings for work, we were stuck with nothing to eat. While we used to be able to previously go to Pinewood, Brandon Park, Glen Waverley, Clayton and Springvale for lunch, our new location in Bentleigh East looked like a dessert in terms of food. However, our Friday lunch crowd have slowly found more and more gems in the 'burbs to dine at. As I previously mentioned, we foundShyun and Remezzo. You can also add Thai Terrace to that list of gems. In fact, there are even more that I shall try to slowly blog.
We found Thai Terrace purely by accident. Our lunch group have moaned for years about why Thai restaurants don't open during lunch time. So there we were one day going to Oakleigh to get our usual souvlakis. As we were walking down Portman Street, my food specific eagle eyes (I can't find anything usually even when it's right in front of me) spotted Thai Terrace. I stopped to look at it, and it looked closed as I didn't see anyone inside. We were about to continue walking when we saw the waitress put some chairs outside. We all let out a collective cheer, I kid you not, and rushed inside.
Since that fateful day, we have never looked back. Our dining adventures at Thai Terrace have been quite constant and we've tried a lot of the menu and established our favourites. Basically there is one golden rule when dining at Thai Terrace:
"Take the number of diners and divide the number by two and round down, and that gives you the number of Pad Thais you should order". Their pad thai is seriously one of the best in Melbourne, and so addictively good that everyone always wants more of it. So we found ourselves always under ordering it and came up with that golden rule which seems to be the perfect ratio. They have a prawn and chicken version of the pad thai, and both are stunning. They even cook the pad thais in quantities of at most 2 to maintain that smokey flavour. Below is the famous pad thai, with a Beef and Basil Stir Fry and a Green Curry Chicken as well. The stir frys all have excellent "wok" flavour and the beef and basil is slightly sweet and delicious. I'm not a big fan of green curries but some of my work mates adore this smooth curry.
The Vegetable Samosa are again a stunning highlight. Crispy pastry hold these delicate vegetable centres. The sweet chilli sauce gives it another complexion but I actually prefer it without the sauce so I can taste the vegetables inside. My other favourite dish besides the Pad Thais is their Red Curry Duck. The sauce is smooth and rich, with chunks of roast duck and lychees even. A lot of restaurants don't bother putting in the lychee but I find it adds that extra dimension to the dish and I love it. The Chilli Beef has a kick and is my third favourite dish. It's again both sweet and savoury and goes great with the rice.
It's such a pleasure to dine here for lunch as you can rarely get Thai food at lunch time in the 'burbs. As there is a big group of us, we get to share a variety of dishes and hence have a great meal each time. For lunch, it's probably a bit more expensive than the usual meals, coming in around $15 each time with drinks. The restaurant is extremely small and sometimes there are a few other diners. It feels almost like we have the restaurant exclusively and I like that. The service is literally just the owner herself I think. The chef is probably her husband from what we can tell. So hence, the meal is fairly slow so allow some time for it. But trust me, you will not regret it after you have their pad thai. My work mates drive especially there to get takeaways constantly now, so high praise indeed. This place has officially been giving the "Jordan two thumbs up", which is our measure of quality dining venues for lunch.
Overall Rating: 15/20, Excellent Pad Thai and some delicious Thai food at reasonable prices.
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.