Thonglor Garden Thai Restaurant
108 Hoddle Street, Abbotsford 3067
Tel: (03) 9419 1268
Dine in and take-away
Visited for dinner (Friday 20 April 2012)
Spreets vouchers (http://spreets.com.au) recently offered a deal for Thonglor Garden Thai Restaurant. The reviews we had read on Urbanspoon were mixed, so we approached the restaurant with an open mind. We travelled by train to Collingwood Station, and the restaurant was only a couple of minutes walk away, just to the south side of Gipps Street in Hoddle Street.
This is a very intimate venue in an unlikely location on a major thoroughfare. The restaurant is small and has a nice ambiance, somewhat like a comfy home dining room, with subdued lighting and a black feature wall at the back with feature mirrors and a red couch in front of it. "Cool jazz" was playing (at just the right level) in the background. This soft easy listening music was a good accompaniment to the meal. There is a polished wooden floor and wooden chairs and tables. The chairs have comfortable cushion pads on them (perhaps in response to earlier comments on Urbanspoon).
The meal voucher included a glass of house wine as well as a three-course meal. There was a choice of red or white wine. The house red was light but very drinkable. The restaurant is also BYO and fully licensed. Glasses of water were also provided.
Seating inside the main room consists of six tables (2 x 6 seats and 4 x 2 seats) and there are additional tables out the front of the restaurant and in a small courtyard.
There was only one waitress, but she was extremely polite and helpful, and each course arrived in a timely fashion. The menu is presented in a charming small menu book with a traditional Thai cover and handmade paper.
There was a wide choice of entrees and main courses. The mixed entree ($11.90) consisted of two fish cakes, two spring rolls and two curry puffs (the latter two were vegetarian) and was served with a tasty sweet chilli sauce. The spring rolls had a lovely subtle flavour and finely julienned vegetables. The curry puffs had a light fluffy pastry filled with melt-in-the-mouth potato (and carrot) and a complementary combination of coriander and peas. The fish cakes were a bit chewy but had a zesty flavour with a spicy 'afterburn'.
The main courses sampled were Green Curry with Chicken ($14.90) and the house special, Karee Talay ($22.90), a yellow curry paste with egg, vegetables and seafood. The two curries complimented each other well.
The green curry had a thick, creamy, sweet, spicy and tangy sauce with moist and thinly sliced pieces of chicken and squeaky fresh sliced carrot, beans, zucchini, green capsicum and broccoli. It was a nice balance of flavours. It came with a large bowl of freshly steamed rice.
The Karee Talay came on a square plate, with garnishes of finely chopped chilli on one corner and fresh salad on the other. It was more subtle and gently spiced but with complex flavours and the chilli added a kick. In addition to the egg, the colourful vegetables included red and green capsicum, carrot, onion, zucchini, shallots and broccoli. There were two prawns, two calamari rings and four mussels. The mussels and prawns were nicely cooked and the calamari was "just right". (The only criticism would perhaps be that the seafood was a little on the light side quantity-wise.) This was definitely an enjoyable dish, and did not really require rice to accompany it (which was just as well as we had run out after eating the green curry!).
The dessert was a choice of vanilla sundae or banana fritter. Both came with vanilla ice-cream and strawberry sauce, but it did actually taste of strawberries. Not the finest part of the meal but it was a refreshing way to finish.
Just as a general comment, none of the voucher deals seem to offer tea or coffee at the end of the meal. This would be a nice way to round off the meal. However, peppermint tea at home was just as enjoyable as usual!