Restaurant and food reviews from Perth, Australia

Thursday, October 25, 2012

S & T Thai Gourmet Cafe

For a while now, friends and family have been telling me to try out S & T Thai Gourmet Cafe in Northbridge - "The food is good" and "It's just like in Thailand"!  Due to my heavy schedule, I can be a bit slow to try out places sometimes but as of today I can say I've been to S & T Thai Gourmet Cafe a few times and been satisfied each time (but left with a burning mouth on a couple of occasions).

S & T Thai, located on William Street, has quite a simple set up.  The typical Northbridge rectangular layout is filled with move-to-join square dining tables and the decor isn't fancy but kept simple, light and bright.  Suffice to say it's not fancy but it's clean.

The menu at S & T Thai Gourmet Cafe is unsurprisingly filled with a lot of Thai dishes, giving a lot of choice.  With many meat and seafood options available, the menu spans from soup dishes to curries, rice dishes to noodle dishes, and everything from entrees such as fish cakes through to sweet Thai desserts.  To wash it all down, there's a drinks menu that includes different beverages such as coconut juice and special fruit juices.

Green Thai Curry Set (beef) - $12.50

The green Thai curry normally starts at $14.50, with steamed rice charged separately at $4.  However this special set, which is intended to serve one rather than be a share dish, was $12.50.

The green curry was delicious and the sauce was full of flavour.  Whilst the level of heat was relatively normal, perhaps a little more than what's generally considered mild, the sauce itself had depth of flavour from the curry spices, a moderate level of creaminess, and a sweet undertone differentiating it from many green Thai curries.  Though saying that, I was struggling with the heat a bit towards the end of this dish.

In terms of the beef used in this dish, it perhaps could have been cut better as some of the pieces were stuck together - that is, not fully separated so a few slices were stuck together still.  Also, the beef itself seemed a little on the tougher side and drier side so I found myself scooping it up with sauce.

Adding its slightly crunchy texture to the dish, sliced bamboo shoots also featured prominently alongside the beef in this dish.

Larb Set (beef) - $15.50

The larb set was a single serve of a meat (in this case beef) salad served with sticky rice.

The minced beef was made with a dressing that had mostly an acidic taste.  With the herbs and onion throughout, the salad was slightly crunchy and combined with the sauce made the meat salad considerably light and refreshing.

Different to plain steamed rice, this dish was served with rice that was sticky such that it clumped together (though it was perhaps a tad dry) and the starchiness offered a good counterbalance to the acidity and textures of the salad.

Gai Yang and Som Tum Set - $17.50

This set consisted of BBQ chicken with papaya salad and sticky rice.

The centrepiece, at least for me, of the dish was the BBQ chicken.  Large strips of tender and moist chicken had been marinated and barbecued in a flavoursome red sauce that was a sticky sweet and salty sauce.  The sauce, which (for those of you who have had it) tasted similar to the Chinese char siu BBQ pork but not quite as sweet.  Suffice to say that the sauce had infused itself in the chicken enough to not leave the chicken boring.

Accompanying the BBQ chicken was a sweet chilli sauce that had an extra chilli taste - that is, it was quite spicy and made me struggle!

On the opposite end of the dish stood the papaya salad in a bowl.  The salad, which consisted largely of julienned green papaya, was dressed with a sauce that had acidic flavours mixed with red chilli, a light sweetness and salty fish sauce flavour.  The balance of flavours of the dressing, not dominated by any component, worked great with the tartness of the green papaya though the level of red chilli took a bit of getting used to.  On top of the salad were crushed peanuts and dried fish.  Though you have options to top the salad such as squid or prawn, the wait staff recommended I tried the peanut and dried fish version of the papaya salad as it was the normal version of the salad.

The dish also came with some sticky rice that was a tad dry and clumped together quite a bit, and a sliced section of raw cabbage.

Overall this was a pretty big meal for one that I didn't finish (but at least I ate all the chicken).

Guay Teaw Tom Yum (Chicken) - $10.90

This tom yum noodle soup could be served either in a soup or dry, and with pork or chicken.  Further, the noodle options were either rice noodle (s, m or l) or egg noodle.

Apart from choosing the small or thin rice noodles, this Tom Yum came with sliced meat, minced meat, meat ball, liver sliced fish cake and peanuts.  The different components and textures of each of the ingredients made this quite a distinct tom yum, and at the core of the tom yum soup (the soup base) a great depth of flavour was present with saltiness and sourness balanced by a heavy hot chilli flavour.

Again, if you can't eat spicy you might struggle with this dish.

We liked: Good flavours in the sauces; reasonable prices for Thai.

We didn't like: The "mild" versions are still too spicy for the not so initiated;

Other things to note: If you can't eat spicy food, you're probably best to avoid eating here; not licensed.

S & T Thai Gourmet Cafe
Shop 3, 349 William Street
(08) 9328 8877

Trading Hours
7 days a week - 11am to 9pm

S & T Thai Gourmet Cafe on Urbanspoon


WenY said...

Over the last few years things here have change. The food is not as good anymore. Funnily enough for my housemates and I,this is still the best thai restaurant. Simple, cheap and delicious. More importantly, not pretentiously covered by Thai fittings!

Adrian said...

Cool, yeah it's unfortunate a lot of places go downhill but as you say it's still simple, cheap and delicious.

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Alex said...

Great food. Quite close to Thailand in style and flavour. If you cant't handle hot or spicy food ask for no chilli or a very little amount. Chilli and coriander are the signature ingredients for Thai food and their 'mild' is quite hot for western culture.