Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Easy Tiger

So when The Age's Epicure, thy reputable culinary publication section, described Easy Tiger as below, I just had to go.

Remember the first time you tried Thai food? You’ll have that feeling again when you taste Easy Tiger’s. Put simply, it’s wow. Top-notch ingredients, fresh flourishes, smart service, funky little room, matching wine list: See you there for the Sunday night banquet.

When you read something like above, you can't help but go with high expectations. I love Thai food and eat quite a lot of it from cheap to expensive across Melbourne. I was expecting Easy Tiger to be something so experimental and different. What I found was good, but definitely not like eating Thai food for the first time again.

The four of us, Bruno, Sarah, Logan and myself started the meal with entrees of the Betel Leaf with Prawn and Spring Rolls. The betel leaf entree was good but I felt was inferior to Longrain's. The spring rolls, which I was ready to write off, was very good.

For mains, we went with a Green Wagyu Curry, a Red Lamb Curry, a Sticky Beef Ribs, Stir Fry Chicken Noodles and Rice Cakes with vegetables. The green curry with the wagyu was good, and quite spicy. The flavour was nice but nothing mind blowing different. In fact, I have since tasted a Thai Green Curry at Siam 1 that blows it out of the water. The use of wagyu beef didn't really add to the dish as you can't even tell it was wagyu. The red lamb curry was extremely spicy and I liked it. It was quite a dry curry and the meat was very tender.

The ribs that we had were super sticky and sweet and I rather liked them, but the others didn't much care for them. I liked the sweetness but I guess it's not for everyone. I do have quite a sweet tooth. The chicken stir fry was good, with excellent wok breathe. However, as I was telling everyone, at near $30, I could get three similarly good stir fry chicken noodle dishes at Springvale.

The final dish was a stir fry rice cake. Again, there was great wok breathe and the dish was tasty. I just think that I'm the wrong clientele. The prices are aimed at Smith Street types willing to pay for the latest funky restaurant rather than myself, where I'd rather pay a third the price to eat the same dish on a plastic table and plastic plate thrown at me by the waiter.

Desserts was a simple dish of mochi balls in coconut milk, a clear highlight for the night. Overall, I found the meal good but by no means so unique that I felt like I'd never tasted Thai food before. Many of the flavours are stock standard combinations now. It wasn't the restaurant's fault that my expectations were so high that they weren't met. While the food was good, I wouldn't go back due to the prices. The meal cost about $140 each, with 3 beers on average per person. For that price, I'd rather eat at a host of other cheap Thai restaurants, even if the service and ambiance at Easy Tiger is nicer.

Overall Rating: 13/20, Food is good but I'm unwilling to recommend it as I think there is far better Thai food for cheaper elsewhere.

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.

Easy Tiger on Urbanspoon


  1. wagyu in curry? i think that's kinda wasteful...

  2. I really like the veg options here! But I agree that it's not quite as innovative as the Age lets on. The desserts are superb, and that's what matters most to me. ;-)

    I must get myself to Longrain one day.

  3. That really is pricey! It'd be hard not to pick Longrain over Easy Tiger if you were out to spend that kind of dough on Thai food unfortunately!

  4. That's the problem with all the new fancy Asian restaurants that are around now... unless they do something vastly superior with their food, they will have a hard time justifying the higher prices for the same, if not better tasting food, elsewhere. For example, I would expect a $20 bowl of pho to taste better than the ones in Richmond, Footscray or Springvale, but often it doesn't.

    Of course these type of places have a much nicer atmosphere and service than your cheap neighbourhood Asian restaurant so I guess it's what you're after.

  5. Michelle, seems a bit of waste to use wagyu as you can't really taste it.

    Cindy, The Age had me thinking it was a complete revolution of Thai food. The dessert of mochi was really good. And that matters to me too. Maybe I should just go there for desserts.

    Longrain rocks. You must must get there.

    Vee, I totally agree. I would pick Longrain every time.

    April, for me, the food will have to be quite a bit better to justify the price difference. On most occasions, I would choose the cheaper option.

  6. Although we quite like Easy Tger, we would agree with you that the food lacks a certain oomph. Desserts are great, but not particularly novel. Just yesterday, the Age Epicure made a comment that "Asian dessert strike fear into the staunchest of heart," and listed Easy Tiger's pandan balls as a top dessert. Too bad the Age showed its ignorance in not realising that that dessert was pretty much an Asian dessert, which we noted on our earlier blog post on Easy Tiger.

    Anyway, it would be worthwhile to go back to try more desserts there. :)

  7. feeling bad for wagyu beef..such a waste..spicy and sweet are nt everybody ..thanks for your nice post.

  8. nice post.., food is the very important part of restaurants. if there are all facilities, well furnished hotel but food is not delicious of that place then people would not prefer to go to that restaurant and not prefer to others.
    so to success of any restaurant, the dishes are very important.