Monday, August 13, 2012

Review | Tidlom Thai Antique

The owner of a new Thai restaurant recently emailed me, asking me to come down to taste authentic Thai food. Top, the owner and chef of Tidlom Thai Antique Restaurant describes what they serve up as follows.

I am a strong believer that the food served to customers should be just like what I eat at home; this includes the ingredients, the flavours and the way it is cooked. This belief leads to the food being very authentic and "homey".
…If it is Thai food you want, it is Thai food you are going to get, no gimmicks!, no fancy plates!

Since I have not spent much time in Thailand, I cannot really comment on the authenticity of the food at Tidlom, but I will instead comment on what I saw and tasted.

Tidlom is located on Healey’s lane, which is a great little location – it’s got a nice vibe to it. When E & I first walked into Tidlom, our gazes were captured by the retro decorations all around the place. There were old Thai movie posters, and dimly lit hanging light bulbs throughout the room creating a nice atmosphere.

We were quickly shown to our table, and given menus. I do have to credit the only waitress who was clearly very busy and still managed to give us water to sip as we looked over the menus. We decided to order dishes that we had tried before elsewhere, so we could compare! As an entrée we chose the Prawn Cakes, and then for mains we chose the Massaman beef curry with steamed rice, and the Pad Thai noodles.

When we ordered with the waitress I was both amazed and delighted to see her using a special iPad app for the orders – how cool! It even had images of the meals, and options such as each kind of available meat popped up for the necessary dishes.
For drinks, we decided to try the Lychee cocktail, which was an option for the Thai Style Cocktails on the menu. When the waitress brought over our jug, it looked so pretty! There were little floating ‘bits’ of colour throughout the drink – which after some inspection, we found to be red and green jelly. This little addition to the cocktail made it look so much more interesting. The cocktail was also very  refreshing and I would be keen to try some of the other flavours next time.
Lychee Thai Style Cocktail - $22.50 per jug

Throughout the evening I was impressed at how busy Top must be, cooking up a storm in that kitchen. Since we had place our orders just after a few larger tables, our meals took a little longer than usual, and in hindsight, this is not a big issue when considering the delicious taste we were about to experience!

The Prawn Cakes were so light and fresh tasting! And true to Top’s goal, they reminded E of something similar he has at home from time to time. The dipping sauce with these was unbelievable. The menu says that it was a sweet Plum sauce. Upon close inspection, I thought it was some kind of honey with a sweet fruity kick. It was so pretty too – it was clear, and there were little yellow swirls. The combination of the Prawn Cake with the dipping sauce was great – when we got down to our last Prawn Cake we both smothered as much sauce as we could onto the piece of prawny goodness. We would definitely order this again. For sure!

Prawn Cakes - $10.90
Soon after we had finished the Prawn Cakes we were presented with an impressive looking Pad Thai. This was our favourite dish of the night – E could not stop going on about how much he enjoyed it (even after we left Tidlom!), and I was so quiet because I was too busy eating it all up! The Pad Thai noodles were served in a gorgeous thin omelette, with some lemon wedges, chopped peanuts, sugar, and dried chilli on the side of the plate for us to add at our own discretion. After dissecting the omelette in half, we each took a bite of the noodles and were hit with amazing flavour. I could taste zesty citrus, and a lovely freshness right away. Eating these noodles, they were light, and the flavour had been really well distributed around the noodles – there was never a time when I was eating just noodles. Other Pad Thai dishes I have had were served with the wide rice noodles which I really enjoy, but tasting Tidlom’s Pad Thai, I had no wishes to change it at all.

I had fun topping up my plate with peanuts, sugar and some chilli as I progressed through the dish. I was a little apprehensive with the sugar at first, but with the combination of the Pad Thai flavours, it really was delicious. The omelette was also so golden in colour, and when I added it to a spoonful of noodles, made the taste feel complete. There is not much more I can say, other than this dish was so impressive, so tasty and is highly recommended.

Pad Thai Tidlom Style - $14.90
Pad Thai Tidlom Style - $14.90

Next up was the Massaman Curry. First of all, I would like to note that the size of each serve of rice was perfect. So many times at other restaurants we have ordered a serve of rice each and it was such a small measly serve, and when you have to pay for each serve, you don’t really want to order another round! Tidlom served up a bit too much rice for me, and the perfect amount for E – so we were pretty happy about that.
Traditional Massaman Beef Curry - $14.90 with Steamed Rice - $2.50 

On the menu, the Massaman is listed as having ‘Melt-in-the-mouth Beef’ – that was so right. The beef was so so tender, when I picked it up with my fork it broke apart into mouth-watering pieces. The flavour of the curry was so delicate – I could taste ginger flavours, added to the fresh peanuts and onion that was in the dish. My favourite part about curries is pouring lots of sauce over my rice and letting it soak up all the flavour. This was particularly enjoyable as the flavour of the dish was so wholesome and natural, if you know what I mean.

By this stage we were both so full (of goodness)! Top came out to say a friendly hello, and ask how our meals were, and he was so relieved when we told him how much we enjoyed it! He has obviously invested so much in Tidlom Thai, and we wish him all the success in the world!

I hope to be back at Tidlom soon so we can try some more of Top’s delicious take on Thai food.

Tidlom Thai Antique Restaurant on Urbanspoon


Piggyeatalot said...

Ohhhhh he emailed me too but I haven't had time to try it... that omlette Pad Thai looked good though!

spohie said...

Put it on your list!!