Tag Archives: Thai food

Yim Yam, yum!

The trendier third of Eat, Drink, Stagger was having a bit of a rough time a while back. Sadly, Ryan lives quite far from me so I only really get to catch up with him in the city and its environs. However, Ryan had suggested that myself and Tris head out his way for a film at the sumptuous Sun Theatre in Yarraville, and naturally this meant dinner beforehand. His excellent recommendation on the night was Yim Yam, a Thai/Laotian restaurant. It’s the sort of place you’d never really find out about if it weren’t for a local telling you about it.

It was a public holiday, and the small but cute, kitsch eatery was packed to the rafters. A good sign. The service was always polite, but a little erratic due to the volume of business from diners and takeaway-getters alike.

The three of us were seated at a communal bench so things get very cosy! For entrée, I suggested we get two servings of the Thai pancakes. You can see what they look like all wrapped up here, but I want to show what’s inside. See the soft, fibrous brown stuff? That’s palm sugar! What wondrous stuff. It feels a little like candy/fairy floss, but denser though it melts on your tongue as soon as you eat it.

Thai pancake, detail

After some whining from Tris that I’d chosen the dish he wanted, I selected another. Both of us got two ‘salads’ respectively, the papaya and crab, and the toasted rice and coconut ones. The papaya one was extremely fresh, chilli-laden and addictive. Mine was milder and very crunchy. Tris’ one was unbelievable – it really did taste like they’d just dashed off to get the ingredients to make it just for you. A small note of contention however: rather than ‘crab’, it was meatless crab claws. Again, ridiculously fresh but the crab itself was too small to have any meat. In any case, it imbued the salad with a seawater note – it sounds odd, but it was wonderful.

papaya and crab salad

toasted rice and coconut salad

Ryan ordered the tamarind chicken and a serve of rice. There was more than plenty of the chicken and we all got to taste – next time I go there, I’m getting this dish! Just the perfect amount of flavour, dryness and tenderness. I sadly did not take a good enough photo of this dish for it to appear here. We had some leftovers of all dishes and they were just amazing the day after – still hot, crunchy and flavoursome.

Not getting a good photo of Ryan’s selection is the perfect reason to go back as I’m so ordering that dish next time (yeah, sure Gem, it’s all about the photos…*rolls eyes at self*). So Ryan…when are we going next? There is another one in Moonee Ponds which is a little easier to get to for me, but I rather like the Yarraville one as an excuse to head out Ryan’s way.

Yim Yam on Urbanspoon

bring your mother

I find myself strangely alone in the hallowed halls of EDS this past week as the rest of the staffers spend some time north of the border for a mini-getaway. This would explain the lack of posts of late, as well as the moaning and groaning that’s common around these parts; all food-related, of course.

So while Gem and Tris are out galavanting and sampling the myriad of tastes that Sydney has to offer, and which you’ll no doubt read about soon, I’m here holding the fort in Melbourne and slaving away for another review.

And what better way to do that than to head to a venue that is as far removed from the glamour of the Sin City as possible: my local Thai takeaway restaurant.

Suburban eateries are like your long-time fuck buddies: handy, comfortable, filling and reliable. They’re a guilty pleasure; something that fulfils the need when effort proves too much. A standard that you come back time and again to but not necessarily bring back home to meet mother. And while you may extol their virtues to others, there’s the greedy hope that you’ll one day keep him for yourself and maybe settle down and have two dogs and a cat, and maybe a baby because he has such beautiful eyes and a cute smile and… Wait, I’m getting my metaphors mixed up.

Anyway, suburban eateries.

In the heart of Laverton’s shopping strip, you will find an unassuming, nondescript-looking shop front that leads into one of the southwest’s newest hidden gems. Fresh Chilli Thai Restaurant is your traditional suburban eatery with a twist. Here you’ll find an extensive menu including the usual Thai fares of curries, rice and noodle classics. However, instead of cheap laminex tables, scratchy metal chairs and dust-covered Asian decorations on the walls, you’ll discover a nicely appointed modern interior with homely ambiance. It’s your local Thai, all grown up.

On my Saturday night visit for dinner, our group of four ordered, along with several entrees, a selection of dishes that included red prawn curry, cashew beef, sweet and sour chicken, and prawn and calamari in oyster sauce. All were reasonably portioned with generous helpings of vegetables and meat. A person in the group was surprised to see so much cashews with his beef, being a fan of the bent nut.

My red curry came out in a medium-sized bowl filled with a soup of mildly spicy flavours and slivers of soft bamboo shoots along with plump pieces of prawns. Served over a heap of steaming jasmine rice and it was nomilicious. In fact, everyone commented at how tender the meats and how light the sauces were; a stark difference to the usual toughness and thick sickliness found in other lesser eateries. Certainly, from my previous visit, I found the green chicken curry and red duck to be the same. Even the oft-popular Pad Thai had a lighter and fresher (*groan*) flavour at Fresh Chilli.


Pad Med
Pad Med – lots of cashews and beef


Red Curry
Red prawn curry – the bamboo shoots were delicious


Fresh Chilli is popular with the locals, both as a dine-in and takeaway, and so the place can be a little noisy when filled to capacity. But still, the food will win you over every time. The bar is stocked with several wine listings, both red and white, with a few available by the glass. They also offer a number of imported Asian beers, along with the local brews. My tip, however: make use of the free BYO (that’s right, no corkage!) and bring in your favourite tipple. Whilst not recommended, the table next to ours brought a whole esky along, giving a whole new meaning to the term. That’s the west for ya!

Aptly named, Fresh Chilli Thai Restaurant proves to be a fresh addition to an otherwise lacklustre strip out in the suburbs, and one that you will certainly come back time and again to. Even with your mum.

Fresh Chilli Thai Restaurant is located at Shop 1, 1-5 Aviation Road, Laverton. Ph (03) 9369 3796. Bookings recommended. http://www.fresh-chilli.com.au

More photos over at my Flickr page.


Fresh Chilli Thai Restaurant on Urbanspoon