I Spicy – cheap and genuine Thai

Shop 19 (within Safeway complex)
674-680 Glenferrie Road
Hawthorn VIC
(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!

You may also like: Thai in NewZealand, Vietnamese in Springvale – Hoa Tran, HuTong.

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Yours truly,
Almost Always Ravenous.

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16 Responses to “I Spicy – cheap and genuine Thai”
  1. Jenny Huynh says:

    How does one discover a place like this in the first place?!

  2. I went to I Spicy 2 in Richmond and I liked it!

  3. S probably meant sour. 🙂

  4. Sheryl says:

    This is my favourite restaurant in Hawthorn! I only knew about it and spread word to Thanh because Tin used to study at Swinburne and everyone loves that place, it’s certainly not a place you would walk into by choice if you hadn’t known about it. The only issue is figuring out what to order when you first come here, you have to point at other people’s dishes to know what to order but you guys did a good job in ordering most of the best dishes. My favourite is the Kang Kung crispy pork – similar to the dish you guys ordered but with water spinach. DELICIOUS. Awesome photos!

  5. Good to know, thanks!! The food looks seriously good. Im always after the authentic stuff. So often I’m disappointed. Must go back to Thailand 🙂
    Heidi xo

  6. OMG look at the size of that soft shell crab plate. how much was all that?

  7. msihua says:

    Hahahaha.. insert raving comments here.. I can actually hear him “It’s soooo good!”.. ahahahha… OIII!! This was supposed to be our secret spot.. now everyone knows!!

  8. Gail says:

    Ooh I’d heard this was good! Will definitely try it now! Thank you! 🙂

  9. If I didn’t have to leave early that night, I so would’ve been there for this food coma session. LOL

  10. Food lover says:

    i used to shop at that supermarket all the time when i lived in hawthorn and, despite having heard good reviews about this place, the looks of it always put me off…
    it’s not easy to find good thai in melbourne (let alone good and cheap thai!)
    the pics look amazing – looks like it’s worth a try!

Check out what others are saying...
  1. […] For an alternative review, read Allan’s post about it here. […]

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  • Food RATING scale

    Unpleasant: damn upset my desire to eat

    Average: palatable but many shortcomings

    Yummy: a pleasant experience

    Yummy +1: mouth-watering like rain

    Yummy +2: exquisite flavours that hit all the right notes

    Divine: sheer culinary perfection!

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