Spicy surprise 

AS the lockdown eases, and we emerge from our middle-class tombs like dazzled zombies, I thought I would review one last takeaway for the road.

They say save the best to last, and Mai Thai is certainly up there with some of the best local restaurants.

We’ve never had a bad meal from the Alfred Cove favourite and that tradition continued on a wet Wednesday night.

 I kicked things off with the Tom Yum soup ($8.90).

A medley of vegetables were bobbing around in the slightly oily soup with mushroom, tomato, cauliflower, broccoli, spring onion and sweet corn vying for my attention.

It had that classic hot and sour tang, and just when you thought the flavours had subsided, there was a vinegary reprise. 

This tasty and very filling entree had a lovely fiery punch (Mai Thai don’t muck about with their chilli so be cautious if you don’t like your food too spicy).

For my main I was feeling adventurous and took a punt on Hor Mok ($31.90) from the “other dishes”.

It was wrapped in tinfoil with a dainty lotus flower made from carrot poking out the top.

As I peeled back the tinfoil, plumes of steam rose upwards and I inhaled a glorious waft of steamed seafood.

The fishy layers were coated in a red curry paste and perched on top of a bed of cabbage and carrot.

I nervously rummaged around for the sauce – but there wasn’t really any.

A quick Google revealed that I had ordered a Thai seafood custard.

Undeterred, I waded though mounds of scallops, white fish, king prawns and squid, which were cooked to perfection and had subtle traces of coconut milk, egg and lime leaves.

It reminded me of a bouillabaisse without the sauce, and while I enjoyed the seafood odyssey, it was a bit hard going towards the end. 

Ironically, while we ate our dinner, River Monsters was on the TV and as I paused for respite, I saw a giant Wels catfish eyeballing me.

But I’m glad I gave the fishy custard a go and didn’t fall backpack on my old favourite (jungle curry $20.90).

 My wife usually can’t resist Mai Thai’s trademark green curry ($20.90) but she was feeling like something a bit lighter and went for the chicken pad Thai ($19.90).

It looked delicious with crushed peanuts artfully scattered over a mass of serpentine noodles.

“The chicken is super tender and everything tastes really fresh,” she reported.

“The bean sprouts add a nice texture, and the chives and tamarind sauce are subtle.”

“There’s loads of it and it’s great value.”

Mai Thai delivered again – but I’m selling the goldfish.

Mai Thai
583 Canning Hwy,
Alfred Cove 9330 5389

by STEPHEN POLLOCK

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