Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Tom Phat

I'm a terrible stickler for making plans and punctuality. I don't usually let other people organize social gatherings too often, as I like to make sure I know who is at least definitely going, what time people will show up etc. etc. The problem I find is that people will often say, "Let's do something", a week, sometimes even a few days in advance, a few people also say, "Yes let's do it that day" and those are the only details that are made.

So when it comes to the day, I try to follow up with everyone to confirm a time and place and everyone ends up being busy and we end up postponing things.

I like to plan things to look forward to them, so I always kind of get bummed out when things get cancelled.

Such was this night when Brad and I ended up at Tom Phat. We were to go see Cowboys and Aliens with some friends. We did end up going to see it the week later, and although I spent most of the movie with my face curled up into Brad's shoulder (I'm a bit of a wuss), it was frankly, kinda lame.

But anyway, I think I also complained to Brad that I had just got my hair cut and I never seem to get to go out and show it off a bit on the day that I do. So he let me drag his butt out to Brunswick instead. Not so bad a turn of events after all!

Tom Phat was absolutely packed when we walked in on a Thursday night. There were no seats available straight away so we were given a little table in the bar to have a drink first and pre-ponder over the menu.

I loved the 'cages' that the light globes were encaged in, it does somehow give the atmosphere of a dingy, Asian, hole in the wall restaurant, with the walls looking a bit like they had just been patchworked together.

However, it still remained kind of hip with the hints of colour and just the laid back coolness of the staff.

They have Sapporo on tap! Aren't you excited?!

After a fairly short 20 minute wait, we were brought to a table. The dining room is definitely bustling, with diners seated quite close to each other. Crispy wonton skins were brought straight away to us, replacing the typical serving of bread. Their wonton skins. They're deep fried, bad for your hips but lightly crisp and moorish. Mmmm!

Brad and I started with two starters, one being the baladu tofu & tempeh eggplant with tomato chilli sambal. I like the sweet sticky sauce and the fried shallots gave a nice crisp, but I was kind of hoping for a little more eggplant. The dish was okay, but not great, lacking a little bit in flavour for me.

We also got the corn fritters with sweet chilli sauce. Perfect. They were surprisingly light and not too doughy, with lots of corn in them. You know they're deep fried, you know they're terrible but they were absolutely moreish. So crisp and so light, very different to your typical breakfast corn fritters which take more after pancakes really...

We each picked a main to share as well, I chose the pad thai noodles with chicken, peanuts, egg, chives and beanshoots. I have a real soft spot for pad thai, I think it may be the sweetness and the peanuts, which is quite unusual in a savoury dish I suppose.

Tom Phat's pad thai though, I found really a bit too salty for my liking and this sadly definitely led me to not enjoying this dish as much as I would have liked. It had a nice sweetness to it, enough sugar was definitely added and a nice tang from the lime we squeezed over, but I didn't get enough of a peanut flavour coming through. The noodles were also nice and sticky, but maybe a bit too much as well? The chicken was also really dry and quite tough, not so appealing. So overall, not seasoned that well, produce wasn't fantastic and just not quite the authentic flavour I was hoping for.

Tom Phat seem to like their garnish a lot, just look at the little mountain that's piled on top! You kind of have to ask if it's really that nessecary, as I think Brad and I found ourselves digging past the coriander to try and find the protein underneath....

This was the chicken chilli jam stirfry with asian greens, snakebeans, cashews and Thai basil. Again, I found the chicken a bit dry, and the flavours a bit underwhelming really.

So although we enjoyed ourselves and had a good time and some laughs, with friendly and prompt service, the food, whilst being extremely affordable, was a bit lacking for me. The menu is fairly extensive, so maybe we just picked the wrong dishes, as we did like the corn fritters (but who doesn't like anything that's deep fried?), and both the dishes we ordered were chicken.

Still I don't think I'd find myself out this way for dinner all too soon again, unless I happened to be in the area, or someone really wanted to convince me to try it again....

184 Sydney Rd
Brunswick, 3056

Tom Phat on Urbanspoon

View I'm So Hungree in a larger map