Caulfield East, VIC 3145
Exam Lunch Number Two. As nice as Uzu is, I am glad not to be braving the crowds there today. Instead, we are at Derby Thai, an equally small but slightly less busy eatery right next door. Most people are here for takeaway (which happens to be a dollar or so cheaper than eating in), but the small handful of tables there are have a rapid turnover, ensuring that a seat was available within a matter of minutes of placing our order. It’s impressive how friendly the staff manage to be despite the busyness of the lunch hour traffic.
|Chicken Pad Thai ($10)|
It just ain’t Thai without Pad Thai (chicken, $10), which had a pleasing lick of fire from the wok, and noodles as gratifyingly chewy as well-cooked rubber bands, in the best way possible. The chicken was cut up into large, manly chunks that were well-marinated and trimmed of all fat. However, the flavours in this dish were much too westernised, being excessively sweetened and lacking in sharpness, though it was infinitely improved by the freshness of the sprouts and lemon. At any rate, Chris enjoyed the sweetness, so I suppose they have their target audience right.
|Seafood Fried Rice ($12)|
Unfortunately I had broken my tongue on some m&ms earlier in the week, so I was forced to steer clear of the spices and fun. The Seafood Fried Rice ($12) seemed like a safe bet, as it was described to be ‘soft’ by another blogger. It was indeed soft and comforting, with a generous serve of seafood (calamari and prawn and mussels and scallops and fish balls) and crispy veggies. It was thankfully less sweet than the Pad Thai, though another notch (or two) lower would have been much appreciated.
Derby Thai doesn’t so much serve the authentic Thai cuisine they advertise; rather, they are more of a Thai take-away spot that’s westernised to cater to the masses. That’s not to say the food isn’t nice though. It is, and the portions are generous, especially the amount of seafood you get in the fried rice. You’d be better off going elsewhere if you’re after the spices and heat traditional Thai cuisine offers, but this hits the spot as a quick pre-exam feed.
Rating: 12.5/20 – westernised thai.