Chock Dii Thai
5/910 Albany Highway
East Victoria Park WA 6101
The restaurant opens out into a second dining section which is humble, tidy and…and…polite. What it gains in care, it lacked in ambience as it seemed like the perfect venue for a Tuscan cafe, rather than a Thai Hide-away. Still, I focus on the menu.
Not a single soul in the restaurant with us upon arrival lead me to p-o-n-d-e-r whyyyyyyy……and I must admit, fear momentarily set in.
Focus. Focus. Focus on the menu, Lydia.
The menu is extensive and with the warning at the beginning of the booklet indicating that all food is made fresh to order, I was beginning to feel excited in anticipation of an authentic Thai foodie experience.
Then there’s that awkward moment, you know?….Kind of like receiving a beautifully wrapped birthday present from your favourite aunt, only to reveal a bizarre item of peculiarity, clearly meant for someone else. That eye jerk moment and shocked stare projecting from your pretend poker face which quickly turns into a head tilt…much like when a dog looks up at its owner all thoroughly confused. Was the menu written in $AU or some other currency..? I’ve seen prices like this before, but not in this neck of the woods, and not with a Tuscan Water feature in the back room. I was expecting what I call a ‘hole-in-the-wall dining experience’. You know…the no frills variety. You eat. The food’s good. You go home. End of story.
Inhaling a breath of regret, I proceed to order- now expecting more of a religious experience instead of (just a) feed.
Entree of Prawn Rolls ($9.90) and Gai Hor Bai Toey…Marinated chicken parcels wrapped in fragrant pandanus leaves ($12.90)
I’m a bit of a hard marker on anything that looks like the ol’ Spring Roll, finding far too many of them without any Spring in them, but certainly with a whole lot o’cabbage. These however were an 8/10 which ironically, was a good score that night. Well cooked an drained, and that all desirable ‘crisp!’ sound effect when you get your teeth into it.
The chicken wraps….well…A large cube of chicken grilled in each wrapped leaf is still a cube of chicken breast grilled wrapped in a leaf. The smokiness having come from the char grilled pandanus leaf offered a promise of uniqueness, but with no moisture in sight or taste to think of, I was left looking for a sauce. Any sauce. Nevertheless, there is always the Massaman and the Barramundi to come, and of course…the Duck Curry. Now who doesn’t love a good duck?
Now curry was my object of desire this evening so I selected the dish that was preordained to me- The Thai Green Chicken Curry. A spicy curry in a coconut milk base with vegetables ($19.90). Served in a standard sized square dinner bowl ($19.90) I found the sauce quite delightful and aromatic so I drank it like soup, and loved every moment of it, particularly as I chose to push aside the finely sliced chicken breast and garden peas; a fascinating variation to authentic Thai cuisine. I’m not quite sure I’ve ever met a thighless Thai Green Chicken Curry.
The Massaman had some version of flavour, but I think I’d have resorted to my trusty Patak’s style sachet base as I prefer a robust, earthy Massaman with the beef rendered down as opposed to lean cubes for the weight conscious. I’m so, so soooo not a weight conscious kinda gal.There’s something about duck that makes me want to eat it every time I go to an Asian restaurant. It’s dark meat and rolling poultry flavours remind me of citrus and aromatics and anise and cinnamon. This Duck Curry had potential: Duck Curry: Red curry in coconut milk base with boneless roast duck strips, pineapple, lychee and tomato.
The flavour was there, albeit masked by enough chili to make my eyes water and render my children hungry. The sweet canned pineapple pieces and canned lychees in the dish were rescued and thoroughly enjoyed however as a refreshing break, and were followed up by the pluckings of the finely sliced duck. What were abandoned again, were the garden peas. I think they wanted to be snow peas but weren’t allowed to be. Poor garden peas. They were only trying to be peas.
The Barramundi ($29.90) was…pleasant. Light and flaky and moist. I wish I had asked if it was Australian, as it tasted more like imported Barramundi to me. Lying on a bed of chinese cabbage and assorted vegetables, the Barramundi was a…a pleasant dish. The broth was sweet, gingery and aromatic…so much so, I wanted to drink that too! Not very eloquent, but I often go for the highlight of the dish and don’t let go like a bulldog on a bone.
I would have prefered the vegetables a little less cooked so as to allow the colours to appear more vibrant, but the broth itself was well balanced and accompanied the Barramundi like sweet ol’friends. Its portion size was modest and somewhat questionable although the unexpected arrival of so many vegetables underneath the fish was another…pleasant surprise. Having 2 waitresses all to ourselves was certainly decadent and the dining room was well maintained and clean. Two important boxes ticked. However, a visit to the Ladies room meant a key and a walk past a few loiterers from nearby eateries and being met with locked entrance to a dark area with a rest room in need of some serious attention. I was greeted by 12-15 clumps of soggy, soiled toilet paper strewn in various parts of the 3 cubicle room, including 3 clumps waiting to converse with me on a soggy soap lalden basin. Not a sight I would say which would typically add a positive spin on any dining experience, but shared toilets in shopping villages can sometimes be difficult to supervise. To finish the night, having ordered 2 entrees and 3 mains that were served in a standard sized square dinner bowl, and receiving a bill for AU$140 was a tad disconcerting.
In terms of portion size, I was expecting more. If you look at what they advertise as a portion size on the Chock Dii Thai website compared to what I received here, you might notice quite a significant difference in volume as I did.
Not to wurry, Thai Curry!…With 2 x 25% off Entertainment Card vouchers, no one’s gonna get hurt. But…on belated inspection I was in fact charged… $115 instead of $105. I wasn’t quite sure how that was calculated- it was all a tad thai-fusing.
A 1.5 litre bottle of spring water was placed on our table before our bottoms even hit the seat and whilst I thought it was a flattering complimentary gesture of hospitality, I did notice it appeared on our bill as a $2.50 unauthorised charge. $3 per serve of steamed rice? Let’s not nickel and dime it….but really folks…that’s what I’d expect from a higher end experience. Your call. Chick Dii Thai with it all.
Chock Dii Thai means ‘Good Fortune’. I feel very fortunate I had a voucher.
Mon: 5:00pm – 10:00pm, last order 9:00pm
Wed: 5:00pm – 10:00pm, last order 9:00pm
Thu: 5:00pm – 10:00pm, last order 9:00pm
Fri: 5:00pm – 10:00pm, last order 9:30pm
Sat: 5:00pm – 10:00pm, last order 9:30pm
Sun: 5:00pm – 10:00pm, last order 9:00pm
Closed on Public Holidays. Delivery & Takeaway-Every day 5:00pm – 9:00pm except Tuesdays (closed).
LINEN? Yes. One of life’s simple pleasures.
ENTERTAINMENT BOOK? Yes. %25 off to the value of $30. Page No: C61
SERVICE: Gold standard on the Sunday night I visited.