Nestled at 171 Bourke St, Melbourne CBD, Fomo Thai has been regaling patrons with Thai food for many years. After hearing numerous rave reviews, it was time for me to taste test the offerings of Fomo Thai.
On a cold Thursday evening, I arrived with my friends at the door of this restaurant and we were whisked to a table and handed a menu each.
The enormous menu with its countless options had us debating for half an hour as to what we wanted to order. The amazing pictures of the food adorning the menu made our mouth water. The prices for the mains varied from $15 to $55. Entrees were priced from $4 to $22. There was something for everyone including the ones with an indecisive streak. An animated conversation ensued over the tantalising offerings of Tom Yum Goong Ma Praw Aon (tom yum seafood soup), chicken green curry, red duck curry, crispy pork belly, crispy barramundi fillet, steamed mussels, crispy soft shell crab, seafood fried rice and so on. In the end, we finally placed our order and waited patiently for our food to arrive.
As we waited, I took in our environment and noticed that vibe was low-key, casual and warm. Many diners appeared to be colleagues and friends who were doing catch-up dinners like us. A short trip to the toilet to freshen up before our feast showed me that they have an upstairs dining area. The whole restaurant was abuzz with spirited conversation and giggles and laughter as the aroma of decadent Thai food permeated the air.
Then our food started to appear with a flourish.
The pla meuk tod was an excellent choice for starters. Calamari was deep fried and served in a basket with Sriracha sauce. The crunchy batter gave way to fresh and succulent calamari. Dipped in the hot Sriracha sauce the calamari tasted divine. Unfortunately, it was a small serve so we found ourselves hungrier than ever.
I had the seafood pad thai ($19). The rice stick noodles had been beautifully stir-fried with prawns, calamari, egg, tofu, onion, bean sprout in tamarind sauce topped with a generous serve of crushed peanuts and a wedge of lemon. The seafood was succulent and the noodles were cooked to perfection. It was a simple yet scrumptious dish. I polished off my plate without further ado. This dish is something I will like to replicate in my kitchen. The subtle tamarind flavour gave the noodles an edge over all the other pad thai I have tried before.
Another friend had ordered the Tom Yum Goong Ma Praw Aon for $16.00. There is a larger version for $25. It took some time before her order made its appearance on our table. But the wait was completely worth it. The presentation was beautiful and what really drew our attention was the way they had served the coconut rice in a small bamboo box. Coconut rice was charged separately at $4.50 per serve. While the menu described this dish as a hot pot it was more akin to Malaysian laksa. The soup was sweet, sour and spicy brimming with king prawns, mussels and mixed mushrooms. As I sampled spoonfuls of this soup my taste buds experienced a flavour explosion. The delightful combination of creamy coconut milk, shredded coconut, herbs, spices and seafood delivered a sensory extravaganza which filled me with oomph. This dish was a show-stopper.
We found the portion sizes for the mains just right. Any bigger would have too much and any smaller would have left us starving.
No meal can be complete without desserts. We opted for sago, jelly and banana fritters with vanilla ice-cream. The banana fritters were in one word spectacular. A whole banana had been sliced into 4 pieces, deep-fried in batter making them crispy and served with a scoop of vanilla ice-cream. My tongue revelled in the delicate flavours of this fabulous dessert. Sago with ice-cream was surprisingly tasty with its chilled and sweet flavour. The jelly and ice-cream combo was underwhelming and failed to woo us. Desserts were priced at $7.50 to $14.
We loosened our belts, purred like satisfied cats as we reminisced over the delicious feast we had just devoured. The only thing missing was a comfy bed and then we would have been completely satisfied.
We found the wait staff friendly. Our waiter was particularly nice and with big smiles offered suggestions whenever required. This prompted me to thank him personally for his wonderful service at the conclusion of our meal. Service was a little bit slow but this did not dampen our mood. Delectable food made us forgive and forget. Our meal cost us $90 for 3 people which was reasonable given the amount of food we had savoured.
Things to note:
-Fomo Thai is located minutes away from tram stops and 10 minutes on foot from Parliament railway station. There is Wilson parking nearby if you decide to drive.
-It is advisable to book ahead to avoid disappointment.
- You can select your spice level for your food. So pick mild or go for extra hot, the choice is yours!
- They do lunch specials which are worth checking out.
- They accept cards and cater for small and big groups.
Verdict - So was it good? Yes, it was. Was it good enough to come back with family and friends? I would say so.
For food, Fomo Thai scored a prestigious 4.2 out of 5. For service and ambience, Fomo Thai bagged 3.5 out of 5. For price, Fomo Thai received 3.5 out of 5.
As I sit here finishing this review, I find myself reliving that evening one more time and remembering the exquisite flavours of the tom yum soup, calamari, banana fritters and sago. I look forward to returning to Fomo Thai and explore and experience other hidden gems on their menu.