Tom Phat is located in Sydney Road, Brunswick, about two blocks away from where I live. I have been there before for breakfast and dinner before I started writing my blog. Both times I enjoyed it, particularly when I went for breakfast. This time we are going there for dinner on Friday night.
We had no booking but we were there quite early so we were able to get a table. Even for early on (just after 6pm) it was reasonably busy. Neither of us were drinking so had a look at the menu for non alcoholic options. My boyfriend chose a juice off the menu but we were told they stopped serving juice at 5pm, we found that quite odd.
We ordered a diet coke which did not arrive for over 15 minutes, so I informed the waitress that we were missing a diet coke. Several minutes later our diet coke was plonked down on our table without apology, I found this a bit rude. Then another 10 minutes later another diet coke arrived, obviously the first one was just running extremely late. And yes we were charged for both! Not a big deal but didn’t exactly enhance our experience.
For entree, we ordered San Choi Bao with minced free-range chicken, lemongrass & lime and Vegetarian Spring Rolls served with herbs & lettuce.
Honestly, the San Choi Bao was not cooked to my liking. It is too dry and salty and they only gave us 3 small pieces of lettuce which is not enough to eat the meat. The lady sitting next next to us had to ask the waiter to give them more lettuce too, so it wasn’t just us. The spring rolls were not too bad but not great either.
My boyfriend originally wanted to order the jungle curry with rabbit. After taking the order the waitress returned quickly and informed us that the dish was not available. Given it was barely 6pm on a Friday we found it surprising that a part of the menu was no longer available.
He has to to then decide quickly and ended up ordering Rendang Braised Beef & potato curry with green papaya relish. He is usually a massive fan of rendang but felt this was missing something, perhaps was a bit too light on the spice side. The beef was cooked well though.
I ordered Massaman Curry of Goat w peanut, sweet potato, star anise & cassia. For me, the taste is too rich so I got full quickly and the sauce was too thick. Again the meat was cooked well.
As I mentioned above, I’ve had breakfast in this place previously and liked it. They have rice for breakfast which is very unusual to find here in Melbourne. Asian or Chinese places usually have yum cha in the morning, so I was pretty happy when I found rice for breakfast.
Even though I did not enjoy my dinner much, I may still come back one day especially for breakfast and maybe for dinner to try the other dishes, but not in a great hurry. Given we have been here before and enjoyed it, it is possible they just had an off night.