To be honest, this was not our first choice. We were on our way to a favourite restaurant in Saint Georges Road Northcote but when we got there, there was a note on the door saying that they had gone north for a week to catch the sun. I was envious and disappointed.
Lai Thai was our second choice. Thai is one of the family favourite cuisines so were lucky enough to come across Lai Thai just up the road. Out the front small food samples are propped on a stool. We debated whether they were an offering or for tasting. To be on the safe side we resisted sampling.
Inside the decor is attractively eclectic with large lit up columns. There are Thai statues, painted portraits, exotic light features and wall features as well as booth or table seating. For my son, one of the biggest appeals what is the large fish tank with many well-fed gold fish. He even got the chance to feed them while he was there. The other draw card for him was the free prawn crackers on the table that were replaced three times upon his request.
At Lai Thai you can hear the food being freshly cooked. Mild to spicy dishes are available. You can request more or less spice to your taste.
The serving sizes are very generous and the food in expensive. For example, vegetable noodles from $13.90 or up to $17.90 for prawn noodles. We usually order Pad Thai but chose a chilli noodle dish instead. This was a very different version of the obligatory noodle dish with flat white rice noodles, char grilled mixed vegetables and chilli. This was Sam's favourite.
We started with freshly made very hot Roti - just the way I like it - with a tasty satay sauce. This was Paul's favourite.
We also ordered a sweet green curry that was not too spicy with a subtle taste of coconut. This was my favourite. Tonight we ordered sweet coconut rice instead of plain steamed rice. This was a meal by itself and was served by the very friendly waitress who was at Sam's every beck and call.
When we were leaving, we were surprised that we were treated with complimentary Thai beer and house mint chocolates. My son was most impressed with the friendly and obliging staff and proclaimed as we walked out the door 'I'm definitely coming back here'.
Lai Thai are open seven nights from 5.30 PM to 9.45 PM. if you visit during happy hour, the take away Pad Thai is only $10 and curries $12. For fresh hot inexpensive food and friendly service you can't go past them.