Having grown up in Singapore and Indonesia, Thai cuisine is another culinary delight to tickle my taste-buds. I was delighted with an invitation to The Tall Lemongrass restaurant for an evening meal. I was sure to receive an amazing balance of sweet, sour, bitter and a hint of chilli to warm up this winter.
This popular Thai restaurant in Crows Nest, celebrated its fifth year. My friend and I were greeted by Chef and owner, Wendy Khouphongsy. A lovely lady whose passion is shown by the dishes she creates and the staffs’ friendly nature.
Located about a 10 minute walk from St Leonards Station. A popular restaurant for locals and the surrounding businesses offering an extensive menu featuring both traditional and modern Thai dishes. The restaurant is invitingly warm, with cane furniture and lanterns, and red carving artworks.
Wendy mentions that she travels to Thailand every year to source new ideas and recipes. This is to ensure she is consistently offering her customers the authentic Thai experience.
Normally I tend to have a glass of vino or cocktail with my meals. But this time I opted (no pun intended), lemongrass tea. As I wanted to taste all the subtle ingredients in each of the dishes.
We started with Meing Khumm, a signature dish that looks delightful but tastes delicious. A mixture of sweet radish, grounded peanuts, cooked prawn freshly chopped galangal, lime, ginger and red onion wrapped in an egg net and betel leaf. Pour the sweet sauce in and take that first bite.
Next up Wendy brought out the Larb Pedt on Witlof – roasted duck with crushed toasted rice, mint, coriander with a hint of chilli on a leaf of chicory witlof. This is where the Thai flavours puts a modern twist and the chilli gave it a good kick with the fresh herbs.
There were a couple of mains dishes we opted to try. The Yum Aubergine Stack – with chicken, prawn, onion, mint, coriander and chilli; Panang Beef Osso Buco and lastly the Barramundi with salad.
These were all generous portions and the sauce is morish. Different textures and flavours to account for. The Yum Aubergine stack and Barramundi were flavoursome. You can taste the sweet and spicy balance in the dishes. Chicken was tender and the fish with the papaya salad had a tangy flavour and crunch of the vegetables.
Honestly, I was looking forward to the Osso Bucco, the dish was nicely presented and the meat was tender. But sadly it lacked flavour and was a little fatty. I’m not sure if it was the coconut cream that soften the dish, but I could barely taste the chilli, lemongrass and kaffir lime. This would have been a great winter dish.
Throughout the evening there wasn’t many diners, however it was very popular with the locals for take-out. Dinner and movie at home with Thai food on the table – why not.
I really liked how The Tall Lemongrass offers great value Thai food and friendly service. Sometimes we try and change traditional dishes and add a modern twist to it. I quite like that, just as long it doesn’t drastically change the essence of the dish. Wendy is realistic and brings in new dishes using the right ingredients.
Look forward to returning back soon.
The Tall Lemongrass
4/136 Willoughby Rd, Crows Nest NSW 2065
T: +61 (02) 9966 0350