Has anyone else felt the winter chill that is slowly creeping upon us at night? I sure have, and one way to solve that problem is to eat some Thai food, since it usually consists of hot curries and fried dishes to line your stomach with some warm insulation!
Tonight we dine at The Tall Lemongrass at Crows Nest, a restaurant that I’ve often driven past but haven’t really noticed before. Yvn and I were tossing up between two restaurants but what swayed us was the interesting menu – there is random BOLD CAPITALISATION, some words which are ITALICISED along with the keywords “yum”, “sexy” and “NEW DISH !!!“. Definitely one of the more interesting menus I have ever read.
The restaurant is a big empty for a Saturday night and at its peak, half of it fills up. We start off with a dish of complimentary prawn crackers. These are spicy and highly addictive and we polish these off in an instant. They then go refill the bowl which we think is a very nice gesture…until we see that they actually charged us for the refill on the bill. Not happy with this hidden cost.
Pork Neck Spicy Grilled – $17
Following this comes the dishes we ordered. The first dish is pork neck marinated with ginger, lemon grass, chilli, fish sauce, soy sauce and sugar which is then grilled. Served with sticky rice, the pork has excellent marinated BBQ flavours and is fine the way it is without a sauce. The rice however, is pretty much like normal rice served in a small box, and not really that sticky.
Mieng Khumm (Egg net and betal leaves whipped with stir fried chicken mince, sweet raddish, crushed peanut, prawn, garlic, ginger, pine, red onion, chilli, tamarind sauce) – $10 (price quoted is for two, +$5 for our third serving)
This next one is quite a mouthful when it comes to the ingredients. The fillings are encased in an egg net, served inside a wine glass with a side of tamarind sauce. I poured all my sauce in it which was a big mistake – the sauce is quite sweet and should be consumed in moderation. Besides the sweetness, I found that there were strong hints of ginger and peanuts along with the prawn.
Red Curry of Chicken, Coconut Cream and Vegetables – $17
Following this is a serving of red curry chicken.The curry was well flavoured and the chicken was succulent. Inside the curry is also some lychee and pineapple. In this instance, I think those fruits absorbed some weird flavours from the curry and it didn’t work well.
Deep fried SOFT SHELL CRAB with thai salad PAWPAW one fresh chilli – $22
This next dish only comes with ONE fresh chilli and a bold serving of crab and pawpaw, as copied directly from the menu. The serving is deceptively tall as the crab sits on a bed of fried rice noodles. It is served with a lemon wedge and sweet chilli sauce in a love heart dish. It’s a bit oily and the batter is not as fluffy as I am used to, but it is still crunchy and very meaty. Not a lot of room for error when it comes to fried dishes like this one!
Garlic Rice, Green Tea Rice – $3.5 a bowl
To go with our dishes we order a side of rice. They have a choice of steamed jasmine, garlic, saffron, whipped egg, coconut and green tea. Garlic is an obviously choice for Yvn and I am intrigued by the green tea flavour. The garlic rice is beyond delicious; there are bits of fried garlic on the top and it is extremely fragrant. Although a bit oily especially at the end when the remaining grains are soaking in oil, it definitely packs in lots of flavour and I could really eat this by itself instead of accompanying it with other dishes. The green tea is not as flavoursome as the garlic; I can’t taste the green tea and it tastes just like well oiled fried rice.
Overall I am quite happy with this restaurant. They’ve got some interesting dishes on the menu and many more I would like to try. Aside from the hidden charge for the extra prawn crackers, it’s definitely worth coming back just for that garlic rice.
The Tall Lemongrass
4/136 Willoughby Road, Crows Nest NSW 2065
(02) 9966 0350
Open daily 11am-3pm, 5pm-10pm