Brunswick's home of delicious Asian fusion brunches
An Asian Fusion restaurant is not usually what I think of when I want brunch, but Tom Phat has helped broaden my horizons. Their breakfast menu, available until 3pm, has a fantastic range of brunch options, including sweet, savoury, and that wonderful place in between where you find corn fritters.
Tom Phat is on Sydney Road, just north of Barkly Square. If you didn't know this inconspicuous place was here, you'd probably walk right past. I discovered it through local friends. And by 'discovered' I mean I had to be dragged past Green Refectory and forced to try something new. I'm very glad I did.
Importantly, Tom Phat is great for diverse dietary requirements. They offer LOTS of gluten free options, which delighted me, as well as vegan, vegetarian and nut-free options. Given that today's group consisted of one glutard, one nut-tard and one vegan, it was impressive that we were all catered for, with more than a few options each.
With a table of 12 people, I was able to taste (or get reports on) much of what Tom Phat has to offer. There were several meals that came recommended, and a few new ones we tried. Overall, there were two savoury favourites, and two amazing sweets that I can highly recommend.
My Brunch: I opted for the Sweet Corn Fritters on the breakfast menu (there's a simple starter of fritters without all the frills, but the frills are where it's at). Three deep fried fritters come topped with heaps of smoked salmon, some avocado-salsa, a poached egg, then harissa mayo drizzled over the stack.
Oh me oh my, I enjoyed this. Cutting into the whole stack from the top lets the egg trickle down and mixes the harissa mayo through. The smoked salmon perfectly balances the sweetness of the corn, while the mayo adds a lovely bit of spice to the whole dish. It had several elements of a traditional breakfast – poached egg, smoked salmon, avocado – but the fritter and spiced elements made it interesting and refreshing. This dish really nailed the Asian Fusion Brunch I had been promised.
The other major savoury winner was the Roti Omelette with bacon and salsa. It was large, hearty and tasty. I couldn't try this one, but I got good reports from happy brunchers.
Brunch is that wonderful time when you can get away with having sweets, either as a second or on their own – at least, that's one of our collective rules.
The roti pancake with banana, coconut jam and ice cream was a party favourite; those who ordered it said they couldn't be happier with their choice. The coconut jam was heated to make a crunchy topping over the fluffy roti pancakes. It was a great flavour combination with the banana and ice cream. Sadly, this one wasn't gluten free.
I didn't miss out on sweets though. I cheekily ordered the peanut butter parfait, not because I needed more food, but because the idea of peanut butter parfait was too tempting to miss! While the menu doesn't say it's gluten-free, the chef assured me it was – he's gluten intolerant too, so I was happy to be in safe hands.
I loved this dessert. I love ganache, and I love peanut butter, and I couldn't have wanted anything more. The parfait is a slab of chilled peanut butter fudge, essentially, on a bed of ganache, topped with lots of nuts. I sat well away from my nut anaphylactic friend while I loudly enjoyed my dessert. The serving size was more than enough, as I was able to give a spoonful to each of my companions, and still feel very satisfied myself. Not that I would have been allowed to eat it all myself, even if I wanted to. The eyeballing from all around the table was not subtle.
Lastly, the Vietnamese iced coffee is a great go-to if you like something sweet with your breakfast. We also enjoyed the regular coffee, which is smooth and mild.
While the breakfast menu was what we came for, Tom Phat also offers a full range of dinner and lunch dishes. For later on (or just after lunch) there is an attached bar, called Bah Phat.
I'm very glad to know about this place, as it has options for any time of night and day. Their menu is worth drooling over. I think I'll come back for dinner some time, just to try the chilli-caramel pork belly & seared scallops with asian herb salad… And I know what I'll be having for dessert – peanut butter parfait, we won't be apart for long!