Apart from the Thai statues at the door, the inside reveals nothing about the type of food served inside. It is scantly decorated with Thai adornings.
Formal but relaxed atmosphere
The Payom Thai restaurant is deceptively large. The front street view room has only about half of the seating. This has the effect of making the dining at Payom Thai an intimate affair and, important to me these days, is that I can actually hear the person I am dining with. There is another separate room equal this size out the back and a bar area.
I was surprised that this evening there were only five tables taken. I hoped this was not indicative of the quality of the food. I hate to be totally predictable but after prereading the menu on-line I had already decided on the curry puffs, pad Thai, and green curry. So when I was challenged to throw caution to the wind I reluctantly selected an untried noodle dish and vegetable stir fry. I could not sacrifice the curry puffs that had such glowing reviews. I'm a sucker for a good pastry and was not disappointed. You can't go wrong when you get four pieces for $6.90.
Beautiful colour mix
As a variation on the Thom yum soup we had Thom ka soup. This is a Thai spicy and sour soup in coconut milk with lots of tasty vegetables, coriander and prawns (if selected). There was lots of chili floating on top but it was not too hot- $6.90.
We also selected the Som Tum. This is apparently a famous papaya salad mix with tomato, bean, lime juice and lots of chili. I liked the idea of fruit in the salad, but unfortunately it was way too hot for me to eat. After the first bite my lips started tingling. It was very reasonably priced at $12.90 for such a large serving.
Beware… it doesn't LOOK hot!
My friend commented on politeness of the waitresses. They were very helpful and patient in our selection. When she inquired about the food and we mentioned that the salad was a tad hot she said she would have a chat to the chef about the mains. She told us that usually they put one chili into each dish but that we might like to ask for half or a quarter of a chili next time.
Because the salad was too hot for my liking, the coconut rice was recommended. I don't think I have ever chosen this before. I always select the plain steamed rice. I absolutely loved the combination with the stir fry tofu.
If only I hadn't ordered entree
My favorite pick of the night was the Pud kee mow. This is stir fried rice stick noodles and vegetables, garlic, chili, sweet basil. It's spiciness was perfect and I wish I had more room.
The Pud puk, stir fried combination vegetables with tofu was also tastier than I expected and not too spicy. They had obviously toned down the chili for us. Both mains were $18.90. The waitress offered to package the leftovers to take home. It's not very often I have leftovers.
Delicious stir fry combination
The meals were large and very reasonably priced. The total bill including drinks for all this was only $76.
A stroll down Upper Heidleberg Rd after the meal revealed that there are many restaurants in the street, being grand final night, were also pretty quiet. I think we made a great choice for a tasty Thai meal. Next time someone says they can't get enough of chilli send them to Payom Thai.
Payom Thai also has another restaurant at 586-588 Canterbury Road, Vermont South 9874 7696