Prior to the Pinky Beecroft and the White Russians gig at the Brunswick Hotel last month my girlfriend and I had dinner at Tom Phat, somehere we had been meaning to try for some time. Its reputation for quality food at reasonable prices is deserved, and the service was very good. The menu is varied with dishes based on Indian, Malaysian, Thai, Vietnamese and Chinese flavours. Even more tempting dishes are listed on the specials board.
My photos in this review are not the best; it is very dark in the restaurant but as you sit close together in a communal space I did not want to use flash and blind everyone around me. We started with the duck and five spice spring rolls and the Thai fish cakes. The spring rolls are extraordinary and the fish cakes are very average – it was quite a strange comparison to make.
The interior is warm and lovely. We sat briefly in the entry lounge area (it was a busy Friday night and we had no booking) and enjoyed a drink before moving promptly to our table. My Laotian beer was excellent.
The two mains we ordered from the specials list were outstanding. The twice cooked duck with mandarin and the tiger prawns in south Indian coconut sauce were generously sized, wonderfully flavoured and very reasonably priced. The greens in garlic and oyster sauce we had on the side were perfect. We did not need dessert after these dishes but next time will skip entrees so that we can try them.
Tom Phat has been reviewed (mostly positively) by many bloggers, including We do chew our food, Melbourne food tales and several of the breakfast oriented food blogs. I think it’s well worth trying. It wasn’t perfect (the Thai fish cakes could be better and the wine list is very limited) but for the price the food was mostly excellent, and the duck spring rolls are magnificent.