Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Tom Phat - Brunswick - South East Asian influence

One of the newcomers to the oh-so-up-and-coming lower Sydney Road area is Tom Phat. They've been around for a good 18 months or more and unlike many of the cafes in the area which do most of their business in coffee and eggs, Tom Phat have made a name for themselves as a relaxed place to get good food at any time of day.

The owner comes from working for 11 years in the outrageously busy Vegie Bar on Brunswick Street in Fitzroy. I have often stared into the hellmouth that is the Vegie Bar open kitchen on a busy night and thought that the pace would certainly not be for the faint of heart. None of this poncy shmoozy television cheffery here: we're talking tightly muscled urban kitchen guerillas. The kitchen at Tom Phat would seem quite restful in comparison, though it's a far cry from retirement for one who has certainly paid heavy dues.

All the dishes feature an asian spin, including cafe staples such as bacon and eggs. I enjoyed the scrambled eggs on roti with bacon, which comes as a deliciously messy pile of the elements mentioned as well as a tomato, basil, spring onion and coriander salsa with a lime juice and fish sauce dressing and two fragrantly spiced fried potato dumplings. These were not mentioned in the menu description and it was a nice added touch to the plate. Coffee was excellent.

Service is usually fast and friendly. On this occasion the waitress forgot to bring (or the kitchen forgot to make?) a side of mushrooms which I ordered. Just as well because I was very pleasantly full at the end of breakfast but it's worth noting especially as the side appeared on the bill.

Tom Phat seamlessly blends breakfast to lunch to dinner which seems to reflect the way we eat. Breakfast at 1pm on a Sunday is served alongside people sharing braised duck and a bowl of sweet thai fish cakes alongside people having cake and coffee. The atmosphere is always relaxed and there are always plenty on newspapers and glossy magazines if you are there on your own.

Scrambled eggs and bacon with roti bread and salsa $9.00

Tom Phat
184 Sydney Road
03 9381 2374


Chai said...

> Scrambled eggs and bacon with roti bread and salsa

I saw that last line and I dont think anyone eats like this. To me, it's like adding tomato sauce onto your pizza.

Another Outspoken Female said...

i want to like Tom Phat - but despite the great vibe, I've usually come away disappointed. The food is well priced, good proportions and the menu an interesting twist. But the dishes I have had (breakfast and lunch) have always been a bit oily.

Also its not all the places to sit are comfy and through winter most of the seats are in a draft.

sublime-ation said...

Wow Fluffy, you are really kicking arse on the food blog. You taught me about coffee now you're doing the Syders Road.
Go SuperFriends!

Also I'm glad the Vegie Bar was only mentioned briefly.

BEVIS said...

Nice work, Fluffster. :)

I didn't think about the last line until I read Chai's comment ... but he makes a good point!

Please explain the roti bread and salsa? (Not that I'm judging you!)

And how much did they try to charge you for the invisible mushrooms? :)

fluffy said...

invisible mushrooms upped the price by two dollars before i let them know they never materialised.

i never pay for immaterial sides.

*kicks ass*

Mel said...

I love Scrambled eggs and bacon with salsa - like the mexican version which is called 'huevos rancheros' consists of corn tortillas i.e Mexican Roti and fried eggs with a tomato–chili sauce. Refried beans, slices of avocado, fried potatoes, and extra chili peppers are common sides - Scrambled eggs can be used instead of fried eggs.
Very yummy my friends - and Chai, tomato sauce on pizza, well it adds a little sticky sweetness, some people like that. :)

elaine said...

chai, you've obviously never eaten pizza in Romania. It only comes with tomato sauce and unsalted and on the side.

Romania is definitely NOT a culinary capital of the world.

Chai said...

elaine, that is where my argument falls apart. Rumania, eh?

Husky Nutmeg said...

I like the sound of that dish. It's a bit like Sunday morning at mine. Fluffy, you write so beautifully.

Anonymous said...

This morning I had the marinated pork chop with crispy fried egg and rice. A superb dish, as was the corn fritters, smoked salmon, rocket and creme fraiche that my wife had. Friendly efficient service too.

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