Review: Thai Pothong banquet (Newtown)

Last Saturday we attended a talk in the Buddhist centre by a teacher from Melbourne. The idea was to have dinner afterward in Thanh Binh, but it was fully booked. We went to the good old Thai Pothong instead.

We were expecting to order from the a la carte menu, but the maitre gave us the banquets menu and asked to order from there to make things easier for the kitchen in such a busy night (it looked as busy as usual to me). I would normally get upset in situations like this, but the guy was nice and anybody else seemed to care, so we just chose the cheapest option: the Pattaya Dinner @ $30.95 per person. We had two vegetarians, one of them had the banquet adjusted for him, the other one ordered something from the regular menu.

The first thing to arrive at our table was the transparent sweet and sour dipping sauce with red and green onion bits.

Dipping sauce

Then a vegetable curry puff was placed on each plate. The pastry didn’t feel oily at all and the filling was delicious.

Vegetable Curry Puffs

The next entrée to arrive was the fish cake. I’ve never been a fan of Thai fish cakes, and this was not an exception. I ate it but could have saved that space for later.

Fish cake

Then our dipping sauce was changed for a red, thicker one and the Thai fresh spring rolls arrived. They were very nice and refreshing (as the name implies).

Thai Fresh Spring Rolls

The final entrée was the chicken satay. It had heaps of flavour and there was something in the sauce besides the peanut that gave it an earthiness that reminded me of papa seca (dried potato), used for certain dishes in Peruvian cuisine.

Chicken Satays

There was a brief recess while the waiters took away our plates and cutlery. Then the steamed rice and mains arrived. The first one was prawns with choo chee sauce, one of my two favourites of the night. The sauce was sweet, not too hot and had lots of coconut milk.

Prawns with Choo Chee Sauce

Almost at the same time arrived the beef with black pepper sauce. The beef morsels were thin and tender, surrounded by capsicum pieces and a tasty sauce. Nice but nothing spectacular.

Beef with Black Pepper Sauce

We also had the classic vegetables with oyster sauce (broccoli, carrots, bok choy, mushrooms), a very welcome boost for our daily veggie intake.

Vegetables with oyster sauce

The final (and greatest) main was the BBQ pork, which I couldn’t shoot because it disappeared in seconds.

Our plates were removed and we were given new ones for dessert, the fresh fruit salad (watermelon, rockmelon, orange and lychee). It was arranged as a star but somebody ate one of the watermelon triangles before I could take the photo.

Fresh Fruit Salad

In the end, considering drinks (some of us had beers, others cocktails) plus the teacher’s meal and tip, we paid $40 each. Not bad for stuffing ourselves with very tasty Thai food.

Thai Pothong
294 King Street
Newtown NSW 2042
(02) 9550 6277
www.thaipothong.com.au

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