229 Chapel Street
So I may not have had much luck finding a neighbourhood favourite in Toorak or South Yarra, but it seems I may have struck gold in Prahran. With gems like pork belly sliders & pho over drinks at Hanoi Hannah, the gorgeous raspberry souffle at the Smith and the hearty rustic dishes at Franco Choo’s, this food train is unstoppable. Colonel Tan’s is the latest I’m adding to the list of good food destinations in Prahran.
It’s a little grungy and I admit I made my way up with some trepidation. Once at the doorway, the entire place emits a red glow with lounge chairs and big tables near the front.
And tables up the back with some semblance of a restaurant. It gets noisier as the night progresses.
Stir Fried Asparagus, Bok Choy & Beans with Chilli & Garlic ($15.5)
Fresh and crunchy tossed greens.
Eggnet Salad with Pork, Prawn, Peanuts & Beanshoots ($14.5)
Expecting the gorgeous crispy eggnet we get at Chin Chin, I was a little surprised to discover this was a thicker softer version, concealing chunks of pork mince and prawn pieces, with crunchy beanshoots.
Green Papaya, Soft Shell Crab & Rice Noodle Salad ($16.5)
I don’t have much luck when it comes to soft shell crab. I was pleasantly surprised to discover the soft shell crab was beautifully crispy with fresh morsels of crab within. The soft strands of vermicelli were tossed with tangy green papaya slivers, heavily doused with fish sauce and on the spicier side with a sprinkling of crushed peanuts.
Pumpkin, Prawn, Coconut & Coriander Soup ($8.5)
I generally like the clear tangy soups at Appetiser, Middle Fish and Ying Thai 2, but this was comfortingly delicious. The soup is slightly spicy and beautifully fragrant with lemongrass and coconut milk, and soft sweet pumpkin which is a surprisingly good pairing.
Deep Fried Chilli Squid with Sweet Chilli Sauce ($12.5)
Eat this while it’s piping hot - the squid is tender and soft with a crunchy batter. Paired with a generous squeeze of lime juice & a dollop of sweet chilli sauce and it makes for a sublime mouthful.
I love Thai food, and Colonel Tan’s executes it well. Similar to Hanoi Hannah, instead of Vietnamese cuisine, they’re giving good Thai food a spin and coming up with some creative interesting dishes like the Bangkok Bolognaise, complete with a rather unusual dining atmosphere and pairing it with boozy drinks.