THE unassuming Vipa Thai in Myaree comes up in an online survey of the top 10 Thai restaurants in Perth, so the D’Angers headed down to the small shopping centre on Marmion Street to find out why.
Despite the early hour (6.30pm) the place was pumping, and for a horrified minute I thought we were going to be sent on our way.
But pretty soon the uber-helpful staff had whipped away dishes to seat us in the middle of the action.
A tribute to Australia’s multiculturalism, the customers were a league of nations, a mix of Thai, Italian, Chinese — and a very blonde family that surely had to have hailed from Sweden.
I was intrigued by the name, imagining all sorts of Thai-Buddhist meanings, but it’s simply the name of the previous owner. And nothing to do with poisonous snakes at all.
We shared an entree plate of fish cakes ($8) that were spot on for flavour and texture, the chilli sauce wonderfully thick and the balance of sweet, savoury and spicy just right.
The beef salad ($16.90) at an adjacent table was obviously hitting the right note, as had their lemon grass prawn ($19.90).
Continuing a fishy theme we’d ordered the yum pla grob, or crispy fish fillet salad ($17.50) and a fish green curry ($17.90).
While my brother and his lovely wife ordered the massaman chicken curry ($16.90), which got the thumbs up for its rich, coconut flavours. So much so they ordered more steamed rice to soak up the remaining sauce.
Wonderfully crisp, and piping hot, our bread-crumbed fish with the salad was sensational, perfectly topped off by the lime chilli dressing and plentitude of cashew nuts.
The same fish was in the shared green curry, and at first battered fish in a curry seemed a little disconcerting, but once we got past the texture thing, the taste was great.
I’m almost ashamed to admit to ordering dessert, but with such tempters as sticky rice pudding with mango, and the unusual banana spring rolls with ice-cream, what can you do but enjoy.
Which we did, and adding to our contentment, the bill came in at a nudge over $92 for four very happy diners.
Vipa Thai Restaurant
454 Marmion Street, Myaree
open Tues–Sun 4.30–9.30pm