...except a menu!
Come on, you didn't think I would grow out of my bad jokes while I was away? I think they are genetic. Anyway, Richard R kindly stopped by the Facebook page while I was on the break to give Sweet Rice a big thumbs up - "the yummiest, fresher best value Thai on this side of the Maribyrnong!"
This strip of shops is normally just a fly-by for us on the way to the beach. Sweet Rice is a little Thai takeaway that has a small eat-in area. It's a bit lonely at first but the staff were really friendly, bringing us chilled water and little paper cups for the kids and turning on gentle, percussive Thai tunes.
Green mango fish
It's cheap as chips with nothing on the menu over $12.90. On a small whiteboard are the specials including this fish with green mango salad. It was great - super-crispy battered pieces of really fresh fish with a fabulous, sweet salad of tangy shredded green mango, delicious whole dried prawns, red onion and lots of herbs.
Soft shell crab, $11.90
A Baklover family must-have - these are baby crabs which have a tender shell you can eat in their entirety. This was great, the crab chopped into two-bite sized pieces with crunchy, curly batter that was not at all greasy. It had a tasty sprinkle of onion and garlic.
Beef Masaman curry, $8.50
Massaman curries are from Southern Thailand and are apparently Muslim in origin (the name is thought to be a corruption of the word 'Muslim'). I wonder if they are Malaysian-inspired as they feature coconut milk and curry spices, not unlike a curry laksa. This was delicious - very sweet and mild with gorgeous creamy coconut, the beef slow-cooked to lusciousness and the potatoes and carrots totally tender. Ostensibly for the kids but they had to fight the adults for it.
Seafood pad cha, $11.90
This was a stir-fry of super-duper fresh seafood including proper fresh prawns, very tender pineapple-cut squid and more fresh, battered fish. The vegies were delicious, again very fresh - check out the authentic pickled green peppercorns too! The ingredients spoke for themselves, just accented by a little soy and chilli. My only quibble is there was a faint taste of gas that can happen when there is a LOT of flame used in cooking - I get it sometimes if I put too much oil on vegies or meat and then the BBQ flames up. Still, we finished the lot.
Jasmine rice, $2
Yes, I know this is a plate of rice, but it was so fragrant I had to mention it!
Sweet rice ice cream, $5.90
The eponymous sweet rice - glutinous rice wrapped around a purple preserved banana and steamed. Served here hot for eating with mango and coconut ice cream, oh my! The sticky rice was delicious, comforting and sweet like rice pudding. The ice creams were great, quite closely textured, the coconut tasting of rich coconut milk rather than the more grated coconut flavour you get in coconut gelati. Loved the contrast of the roasted peanuts and, at the bottom, slippery white syrupy fruits.
I will definitely be back here for Thai takeaway - it only takes a minute to get to straight down
Geelong Road. Everything was quite mild and sweet which perhaps reflects its suburban market, but it was all very fresh, well-made and unbelievably cheap. There are lots of interesting things to explore on the menu like "king prawn chu chee" and "three flavour fish". I am pretty sure the couple who run it are Thai and they are delightful.
"The yummiest, fresher best value Thai on this side of the Maribyrnong!" - Richard, I think you may be en-Thai-rly right!
For Thai ingredients, check out Nathan Thai Video & Grocery, a dedicated Thai grocer in Footscray.
Phone: 9315 3691
Hours: Wed - Mon 11am-9pm (Tuesday closed)