16 March, 2008

Sala Thai

266 Brunswick St, Fitzroy; 03 9417 4929

It was time to take the penguin out for a night. He doesn't get to socialise enough, his resentment at which was demonstrated this Saturday last by refusing to squeak no matter how kindly I squeezed his beak.

Now you really couldn't lay blame for anything on a creature as cute as my penguin bag, but it was a direct result of taking him out for the evening that there is no pictorial record of our dinner at Sala Thai. He's too wee to hold camera, purse and water bottle; and the ambient candle- and fairylight atmosphere at the restaurant prevented my mobile from stepping into the breach.

So instead, merely a brief commentary on the food. The vegetarian spring rolls had a satisfying crunch, but the pastry seemed to mainly enclose cabbage: not a lot of diversity of flavour. The sizeable portion of pad med mamuang (cashew stir fry) came ladled with a commendable soy and ginger sauce and a colourful array of crisp vegetables (beans, capsicum), as well as a bowl's worth of cashew nuts on top. The pad see ew was disappointing. The soy sauce was quite watery and the beef, which I'd chosen as I rarely stir fry with it at home, was particularly tough: should have stuck with chicken.

Earlier trips to Sala Thai had been more promising. I've enjoyed good tom yum soup and pad thai there. If you're looking for a cheap mid-week dinner in Fitzroy, however, they offer a good value special dish each night, Monday - Thursday. Vegetarian green curry, with rice, for $9 would be a bargain, and you can wash it down with a $4 glass of wine, or just $5.50 for a bottle of Asahi.

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