Despite arctic winds and driving rain we agreed to resist the tantalising temptation to stay in and watch the Olympics to make the third stop on our Phuc Buddy tour of Victoria Street. To further add to our trepidation, tonight we would be moving into uncharted waters away from the calm, familiar territory that is Vietnamese Cuisine into the dark abyss of Thai Food. While the cuisine itself held no surprises, it was the fact that we were indulging in it on a primarily Vietnamese street that created a degree of uncertainty. Sure, we’d eaten at Thy Thy House and of course Thy Thy 2 but none of us had ever tried Thai on Vic Street before. To add to our night of firsts we opted to embrace the Olympic spirit and forgo the traditional post-dinner movie in favour of some bowling.
After brief deliberation we settled on a few standard Thai dishes as well as some options that would be easily comparable to our first couple of meals on the street. To kick things off we got some crispy chicken wings and the restaurant’s version of prawn spring rolls. The chicken, which came out looking like the Colonel’s finest, had us salivating with anticipation. While it was crispy on the outside and moist on the inside it ended up being a few secret herbs and spices short of a tasty dish. Similarly, the prawns, while well-cooked were a bit lackluster in the taste department leaving us slightly underwhelmed but still hungry for more. In place of our normal Wonton soups we agreed (after a little persuasion from Marge) on a round of prawn Tom-Yums. The well balanced broth and fresh prawns delivered a refreshing burst of flavour that made us quickly forget it’s bland predecessors.
For mains we tried to play the field, settling on a salad, a noodle dish, a stir-fry and a curry, in order to allow us a fair sample of what the menu had to offer. The Green Papaya (Som Tum) Salad again delivered an abundance of flavour and a good amount of spice, with the only off-putting element being a couple of stray crab legs that despite not being mentioned in the menu description managed to find their way into the dish. Unsure whether they were edible or ornamental… or even intentional we politely placed them to the side and moved on with the meal. The beef Penang curry and the chicken Pad Thai were good without being overly memorable while the crispy pork belly and broccoli stir-fry was delicious but far from Thai tasting.
Overall the meal consistently delivered across the board, without reinventing the wheel. But it’s fair to say that for our initial foray into non-Vietnamese cuisine on Victoria Street we were pleasantly surprised. However, the shocks were short lived as Yask, as was expected, took the honours at the alley and claimed the inaugural bowling gold.
Value 2.5/5 ($97)
Strike Bowling Scores (3 games) - Yask 366, Marge 340, Dizz 293