Tom Phat : 184 Sydney Rd, Brunswick

March 30, 2013 at 1:29 pm (Asian, Breakfast/Brunch, Brunswick, Victoria)

Tom Phat is the place to go when you’re looking for something quite different from the standard fry-up.  A Sydney Road stalwart, serving up punchy Asian-fusion dishes for lunch and dinner, Tom Phat also presents a breakfast menu that combines Asian and Western flavours.

Tom Phat

Some dishes are quite traditional, including Tom Phat’s take on a Vietnamese breakfast favourite, banh mi op la; wok-fried eggs, sunny-side up and crispy around the edges, topped with fragrant fried shallots and served with Hanoi-style baguette bread and a drizzle of chili soy sauce.  Then there’s Uncle Ho’s Brekky with a grilled pork chop and fried egg on rice, if you’re feeling very hungry.

Tom Phat - Viet Fried Eggs

For the remainder of the menu, you can expect to see anything from bacon and eggs to potato hash, fritters and braised beans, jazzed up with classic Asian flavours.  My pick would have to be their signature Roti Omelette; wok-tossed roti bread with egg, a generous serve of bacon, chives and a sweet, roasted tomato salsa.  The scrambled tofu and a kedgeree-style fried rice with smoked trout are also worth a re-visit.

Tom Phat - Roti Omelette

Wash it all down with a banana, apple and yoghurt Monkey Magic smoothie, and you’re bound to be satisfied.

Tom Phat - smoothie

Tom Phat on Urbanspoon

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The food truck revolution > Gumbo Kitchen

March 2, 2012 at 10:33 pm (American, Brunswick, Victoria) (, , , )

Food trucks are all the rage at the moment.  Some of the food is far from cheap ($6 for a ‘gourmet’ taco?) but others are worth a try for the novelty factor.  For a little taste of New Orleans in Melbourne, check out Gumbo Kitchen, which is setting up shop outside Brunswick’s Lux Foundry Cafe on Friday evenings.

A taste of New Orleans

The menu is small; various gumbos ($11-12), Po’Boys ($12), a dish of beef served on chunky fries designated ‘The Dom’ (which I definitely would have ordered if I hadn’t filled up on pork belly at lunch) ($13), and a dessert of lemon ice box pie ($4).

This is meant to be cheap and simple food, so don’t expect anything fancy, but what we did try was pretty tasty.

Chicken and sausage gumbo is served with a bit of rice and a chunk of bread for soaking up the sauce.  It was a little watery but strongly spiced and you get a decent-sized serve.

Chicken and sausage gumbo

The Po’Boys are absolutely massive.  A soft baguette roll encloses a mountain of deep-fried shrimp and is delivered wrapped in paper as a package the size of a football.  Lettuce, tomato, Cajun spiced mayo, pickles and Crystal Hot Sauce accompany the crumbed shrimp, making for a messy yet flavour-packed sandwich.

Po'Boy sandwich

Crumbed, deep-fried shrimp, lettuce, tomato, Cajun-spiced mayo, pickles and Crystal Hot Sauce

My advice is to get there early.  We arrived at about 6pm, were able to order immediately, get a seat and have the food served to us at the table.  A line had started to build up about 20 minutes later and the wait times during a busy service can be quite long.  Plus, you definitely want to get your order in before they run out of shrimp 😛

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