324 Smith St
Collingwood, VIC 3066
03 9419 0538
I’ve recently learnt that Fatbee isn’t quite as brunch-oriented as myself… *shock*… *horror*! When he isn’t in the mood, he’d look at the entire brunch menu and declare that he can’t find any dish he’d want to have. Yeeks!
This has tweaked my morning play-style from asking him ‘where shall we brunch?’ to ‘do you prefer brunch or Asian?’. So one Saturday morning when I picked him up from work, he said ‘Asian’… hence our lunch here.
MaMaNee looks like a place in Collingwood that has existed for ages, with a dark simple interior and a menu where white stationery labels have been pasted and handwritten over the original dish descriptions in order to describe it better. That’s a sign of possible authenticity… where some of the quirkier dishes require clearer portrayals on the menu in order to prevent non-Thai diners like myself from getting a shock.
Milk Ice Tea $4.00
The menu was pretty fascinating with a Southern Thai style of food, including dishes like Gang Tai Pla – a hot & spicy Southern Thai curry made with fermented fish intestines, bamboo, bean and fish flake. Oh dear… maybe I’ll try that another day! All that said, my neighbouring table ordered a platter of deep fried chicken that looked delectable.
To start with… an iced milk tea for Fatbee, which came typically sweet and not too milky with that medium tannic flavour alongside strong floral hints. That’s quite typically Thai-style, although I still prefer Malaysian style iced teh tarik over this.
Yum Pla Fu $20.00 Crispy minced fish crumb in Thai dressing salad
We ordered two dishes to share with serves of rice. First up, an interesting salad of deep fried minced fish with green apple, onions, coriander, spring onion, chillies and lime.
It was pretty alright, although the spice levels were rather mild even when we’d asked for the dishes to be ‘Thailand’ spicy. Haha… spoken like a true non-Thai!
Yellow Curry Pork (Soft Bone) $20.00 Southern Thai curry hot & sour soup with pork ribs and sour bamboo
Our other dish consisted of a hot and sour curry that does not contain any coconut milk. It was soup-like, moderately spicy and very sour indeed… with lots of thick pungent slices of bamboo shoots. Fatbee enjoyed it, saying that the bamboo tastes pretty authentic and isn’t toned down… but just this once, I sort of secretly wished for the less pungent toned down version!
For those of you who’d rate a Thai establishment according to how spicy their dishes are, I thought that Tom Toon Thai Noodle Cafe serves up dishes that are several notches spicier, but maybe it all depends on what you order. All the same, my nose did end up dribbling a little bit from the hotness.
Chicken Chilli & Basil | Pork Pepper & Garlic ($10ea)
We walked out of the restaurant with $10 takeaway bowls of rice, which we ate for the next two dinners. Yes… that’ one bowl shared between the two of us for each meal. A perfect amount for our nightly food needs. The chicken, chilli and basil tasted pretty good, while the pork, pepper and garlic one tasted pretty Chinese-y rather than Thai.
Disregarding the cheap lunch specials, MaMaNee serves up Thai cuisine that’s quite authentic, as evidenced by the fair numbers of Thai diners that were lunching there that afternoon. The price point is a little bit steeper than your regular Thai takeaway joint but they make it up by giving you larger portion sizes. Despite the not-that-fab dishes we had today, the adventurer in me is keen on coming back to try more possibly authentic Thai dishes. But I’d come back with a bigger group so that we can sample more dishes without having to commit to just a few.