I Spicy – cheap and genuine Thai
Shop 19 (within Safeway complex)
674-680 Glenferrie Road
(03) 9818 4828
On the opening night of GFWS, given we were occupied at Gary & George’s celebrity cook show for much of the evening, we didn’t have much to eat that night. Well at least not enough for our big appetites! So we (*ahem* Kat & My Food Trail) decided on a small trek out to Hawthorn for some Thai.
When me, Msihua and Thanh arrived (before the others) we were quite sceptical. One must walk into the Safeway complex, past a bakery and opposite a liquor store to arrive at this take-away size place. Fluoro greens contrasted by stark metallic shine certainly did not help change our scepticism. Since this place was been highly recommended, and we were already here and very hungry, we didn’t really have much choice… =P
Barramundi with papaya salad – a decently sized barramundi deep fried to a crispy batter of skin, served with a mildly hot fish sauce with ample citrus notes. The green papaya spread across the top provides an extra element of tart, juice and bite. As with any deep fried fish, the flesh is a tad on the dehydrated side. And what is that, it is only $22?
Pork Shank – has a golden and very, very crispy looking about it. Indeed upon sampling the crispy crumble of skin, one finds a somewhat dry interior flesh. Apparently normally it juicier, so I reckon a shorter fry time is all that is needed.
Tom Sap – a seriously hot broth of spice, sour, savoury militia. It has the heat of chilli and garlic, the tart of citrus and tomato, and a meaty broth of pork and herbs (more herbs would’ve been better).
Chicken Pad Thai – a plate of stir fried rice noodles served with a mound of grounded peanuts (oops not pictured) and a dash of lemon – a simple accompaniment.
Soft shell crab – had a crispy batter with a soft crab shell, but was a little chewy and a little too greasy for my liking. Ok, so it’s not tempura quality batter and I am admittedly a snobbish tempura eater, but it is still pretty moreish.
Crispy pork with red curry – Despite its haphazard stir-fry look on the plate, the crackle of skin, succulence of pork belly flesh, and chilli heat of curry are to die for. Whilst most of us did thoroughly enjoy the crispy and hot edginess of this dish, this is by far Thanh’s favourite dish (insert raving comments here) with all the glory of juicy belly fat =P.
Stuffed calamari lemon S. – (not sure what the “s” on the end means…) Again it has the quintessential tang of citrus and mild spice to carry the calamari with a fresh kick. What’s interesting is the filling, which has some similarities to Vietnamese grilled pork patties. If not for having so many other fantastic dishes, we would have inhaled this dish in a flash as well.
All in all… wonder why we were so full to the brim? If you think about it 7 dishes between 6 people – DUH typical blogger over ordering!
Rating: Yummy +1 is a rarity for such a tiny place. Genuine Thai food – good Thai at that. Being wallet friendly is also a plus! (see first image above for prices) Note they don’t take reservations and have limited tables.
P.S. The lesson here is, do not judge a book by its cover. Yet that is what we do so instinctively all the time… sigh sigh sigh!