Last Wednesday I went home after work and was all settled in to my E! reality show catch up session when I got a last minute call from my best friend asking if I wanted to go for dinner on Victoria Street. So I dragged myself away from the trainwreck that is Keeping up with the Kardashians and headed down to Thanh Tam (yes, the photo above was meant to be the restaurant, let’s just pretend you can see it).
Thanh Tam is a pretty typical Victoria St restaurant, the fit out is clean and simple but nothing to write home about. The first thing I noticed walking in though was the 2 boxes of tissues on our table. I was a little confused. The reason for all the tissues became clearer later in the meal.
In the end there were 7 of us – me, Colin Hill, my best friend, her neighbour ‘the weapon’, her boyfriend-who-gave-her diamond and his housemates the mouse and A who will from now on be known as the toothpaste salesman. We all shared and got completely messy. A lot of the food was wrapped up with the huge piles of lettuce and mint and dipped in sauce and ended with everything getting sticky, I don’t think I’ve had stickier hands since I was about 3. In the end I was begging for more tissues, they were not enough.
We had the steamed rice paper roll with prawn and pork ($10.50) these came served with what I can only (and culturally sensitively of course) describe as mystery meat. The rolls were ok but not amazing (still better than my photo of them though!).
We also shared one of the giant Vietnamese pancakes with meat and prawn ($15). This was the biggest asian pancake I’ve ever seen, the photo doesn’t do justice to the size. This one was split up between everybody and then wrapped up with lettuce and mint and dunked in sauce spring roll style. It was delicious, I’ll be going back just for another one of these – probably to myself.
We also had a Vietnamese pancake with vegetable ($15). This is the vegetarian version of the pancake mentioned above, also a winner.
Somewhere in there we also had the spring rolls with chicken (8 for $8.50). The spring rolls were good, we could have done with a few more.
We also swooped over the Vietnamese coleslaw with chicken ($13), crunchy, fresh and tasty (also with prawn crackers, win!).
The last dish we ordered was the fried squid with spicy sated and pepper ($13). It was really good, crispy and salty and just peppery enough. If I’m back I’ll have it again.
After Thanh Tam we all went for a walk down to the supermarket thinking we might buy an ice cream birthday cake to split for dessert. Yup, we’re just that classy. You haven’t lived until you’ve sat in a Coles carpark in a suit eating an ice cream cake from the box. Anyway, when we were there we saw boxes of frozen avocado, I was so confused. I have no idea what they are used for or how well avocado defrosts or who is buying them. But there they were. Also another fun fact/anecdote, on our way to the supermarket best friend’s boyfriend-who-gave-her-diamond and the toothpaste salesman (as he is now known to me) were stopped by a guy on the street who offered to sell them a tube of toothpaste for $30. When they turned down the offer the guy reduced his price to $20, and then $2. People on streets sure know how to bargain these days.
Quick, easy and pretty tasty. A lot more hits than misses for a cheap shared meal. Just make sure you’ve got enough tissues.
We probably could have eaten more but we decided we were done at $12 a head.