171 Bourke St
Melbourne, VIC 3000
03 9650 7987
When Fatbee and I catch up with a particular group of his friends, he calls it as “Dinner with The Fat Club” -: Fatboo, Fatbee, Fat Pumpkin and Fat Money. Not the politest of nicknames, but it wasn’t me who came up with them… ha ha ha! Either way, that’s how we found ourselves trying out this (newish?) Thai restaurant along Bourke St in the city.
And speaking of bad jokes, when Fatbee first said we’re dining at FOMO Thai, the first reply that came out of me was “how come it isn’t called MOFO Thai?”. Needless to say… he completely ignored what I said… ha ha ha!
The interior’s modern and the waitstaff were decidedly Thai, which got me a little more excited. The concept here is to relax and have authentic Thai food served in the typical new-urban Bangkok setting.
Som Tum Ko Rad Plara ส้มตำโคราชใส่ปลาร้า – $14.00
“Ko Rad” style Som Tum
We started off with the customary serve of som tum, which came confidently tangy and (I’m happy to say this) fabulously spicy! One thing I notice is Thai restaurants have so many variations of som tum on their menu with just minor tweaks in their ingredients, but the dish tends to end up tasting quite the same to me. So the “Ko Rad” style som tum still tasted like a spicy-tangy papaya salad!
Moo Krob Tod หมูกรอบทอดกับนํ้าจิ้มสามชนิด – $38.00
Roasted pork bellies served with three specialty condiments
Here’s a dish that Fat Money enjoyed before, a pile of crispy pork belly served on a board with hoisin sauce, kecap manis and chilli sauce. To me, it’s somewhat similar to having the deep fried pork hock Thai dish but all cut up nicely for you, except that the meat in this case was wonderfully soft and succulent despite how it looks like in the photo. It’s really really good, and my only gripe is how modest the serve is for its price point of $38.
Gang Keaw Look Cheen Pla Grai – $19.00
Green curry with homemade fish dumplings cooked in fragrant lime leaves and green basil
The other main dish we had was a very interesting one where green curry was paired with fish dumplings rather than the usual chicken or beef. I used to gripe about how sweet, mild and non-spicy Thai curries (especially green curry) are in Melbourne compared to its knock-your-socks-off spiciness in Thailand. But this dish finally breaks out of that mould… it was delightfully hot! On first sip, a few of us sputtered… ha ha!
The fish dumplings were like bouncy-soft nuggets of fish cakes, the fragrance of the spices and ingredients was lovely and I liked how they used proper Thai eggplants for this dish and there wasn’t any of that carrots / capsicums / zucchini nonsense.
Muk Pad Kai Kem หมึกผัดไข่เค็ม – $19.00
Stir-fried squids with salted egg
Our final dish turned out to be a ‘palate cleanser’ of sorts because it was light and non-spicy. salted eggs, when overused can be quite overpowering in terms of smell so I liked how clean this version of it tasted. And oddly enough it almost reminded me of the sauce that you’d get with Singaporean seafood hor fun.
FOMO Thai was a bit of a surprise find, especially that lovely Thai green curry. But let me make it clear that this is from the perspective of a non-Thai.
I thought the food here was authentic with a modern twist, making it quite accessible to the palates of discerning Melburnians. And if how the spicy the food seemed to be has put you off, worry not… the friendly waitress actually warns you if a particular dish is very spicy… to which I’d always return with a joyous thumbs up sign! My yardstick for how authentic a Thai place comes from what spice levels they throw at us, but a very recent trip to Bangkok just last weekend proved to me that even the Thais will tone down the spice levels of the dishes for non-local diners. So I’m all the more happy now that FOMO Thai doesn’t do that!