Located at 468 Church St, Richmond VIC 3121, only minutes away from the Richmond railways station lies Café Bangkok.
The colourful exterior immediately reminds you of a café in Bangkok. As you push open the glass door and venture inside, you will be greeted by one of the friendly waitresses and will be swiftly whisked off to a comfy corner of your choice (availability permitting).
The décor is minimum with stylish chandeliers hanging from the ceiling and the tables dressed with plates covered with decorative red napkins. The hustle and bustle of a super-busy restaurant is absent here but instead, the relaxed and mellow vibe allows you to savour your food slowly while sharing a charming conversation with your lunch or dinner partner.
The thick menu has pages of drool-worthy items on offer. Arrested with indecision, it would be a while before you can nominate your selections and proceed to place your order.
You can choose to begin your feast by sampling some lip-smacking appetisers. The Thai fish cake, with their smooth exterior and soft and spice-infused interior, makes an excellent choice as an appetiser. The spring rolls are crispy and crumble effortlessly within your mouth, while leaving behind a tangy after-taste.
The prawn rolls are tasty and have been made from plump prawns, layered with a spicy tempura mix and deep-fried in oil. The accompanying zesty sauce lends itself as a wonderful companion to these tasty appetisers. You will discover to your utter surprise that despite being deep-fried in oil these appetisers lack any greasiness or oiliness.
Once you have eagerly finished off the delicious appetisers you can tempt your tastebuds with a spicy soup. Laden with fresh veggies and plump prawns, this spicy soup is one of its kind. Suffused with spices, exuding a sweet fragrance and loaded with all the freshness and goodness, it will not be long before you have licked off every bit of this amazing soup.
One of the many highlights of the authentic menu is the green curry with prawn. Cooked in coconut oil, the veggies are soft and the prawns are plump and your tongue will experience a nirvana of spices, as it will explore and relish the layers of flavours this dish brings to your mouth. You will find yourself being anti-social and halting conversation of any sort or form as your fingers will concentrate on helping yourself to generous serves of this dish and your mouth will feverishly chew away the food in order to prepare itself for more of this truly delightful dish.
Another delicious item on the menu is the Pad Prew Wan chicken curry. An oasis of flavours and blessed with a lovely array of veggies, this healthy and delicious dish comes complete with tender and succulent chicken meat, melting in your mouth.
The tamarind duck curry is a delicious curry of slices of duck cooked with greens in tamarind sauce. The juicy meat is a pleasure to eat while the somewhat sour taste, courtesy of the tamarind sauce, bestows this dish with an exotic aura.
Finish off your delectable dinner with April's Bangkok. As stated in the menu, this fantastic dessert is definitely something you cannot miss. Think vanilla ice-cream laden with coconut meat and exotic tropical fruits served in a whole coconut accompanied by fresh coconut juice. This enormous dessert is guaranteed to fill you with the freshness of the tropics, while seducing your sweet tooth with the fruit sugar of the coconut and the subtle sweetness of the vanilla ice-cream. This awesome dessert will certainly appeal to your tastebuds, your heart and definitely your tummy.
The authentic Thai food, good service, welcoming ambiance, unpretentious décor, expert usage of spices and fresh and fragrant dishes mean that Café Bangkok gets a pat on the back and a score of 4.5 out of 5 from me.