When we heard that a friend had quit his job to become a chef (starting at his significant other’s brother’s newly opened restaurant), we figured it would be the perfect location for our next catch up session.
The menu boasted a plethora of Asian dishes, from Thai to Chinese to Vietnamese cuisines, and it took us a while to decide and agree on what to get. Craig, our friend-chef, cautioned us on not ordering too much as he wanted to try out a couple of recipes on us. Awesome. When we had finally decided, we kicked back with our BYO wines and hungrily waited for our dinner.
Despite ordering quite a bit, our dishes soon sailed out from the kitchen.
There’s something quite compelling about salt and pepper squid with my friends. I notice that more often than not, when they see it on the menu, they have to order it. I suspect I might be the same, but nonetheless, I’m glad they ordered this dish as the perfectly seasoned squid was perfectly chewy and soft. Just thinking about it now makes me horribly hungry.
By the time I could put down the camera to start eating, this omelette was pretty much gone! A testament to its deliciousness. I only managed to grab a small piece, but that morsel hit all the right tastebuds (all thanks to that sauce I think!). Eating it with fried rice just seem to make it even more flavoursome.
I love a good sizzle in my food, especially when it’s still sizzling when it comes out. The lamb was liberally saucy (just the way I like it) and was perfectly seasoned. This was another dish that disappeared quite quickly.
I tend to favour steamed tofu over the fried bean curd for some reason, but that’s not an excuse not to try any (though admittedly, I did eat everything else before turning my attention on to this dish). I was surprised at how much I liked it: its soft, crispy shell gave way to a hot and silky inside. Despite the pepper and chilli components, I was pleasantly surprised (again) to find out that it wasn’t spicy at all! Woohoo! Then again, I did studiously choose a piece that was furthest from the chilli bits.
Being pad thai fanatics, this dish didn’t last long at all with my friends. I’m not quite a pad thai fan (more a pad see ew person myself), but I thought this dish was pretty decent.
As much as I love rice, I simply adore fried rice – especially if it’s a combination! It never gets old, regardless of how much I have it. Some places are a little stingy on the proteins and veggies, so I love the fact that Tamarind is quite generous with the Chinese sausage and seafood. Yum.
This was Craig’s first test dish and although it was a little different to the Singaporean Chilli Crab I’ve had (not as spicy being one of them), it was still very, very tasty.
I loved how the dish also came with bread to mop up all that delicious sauce.
Craig’s second test dish, I have to admit, I didn’t taste at all. I’m not a big fan of mussels and while I sometimes do try to at least taste mussel dishes, often times I don’t feel quite up to it. It was one of those times that night, but the girls seem like they liked it!
The last test dish was Shang Dong chicken. The girls also loved this dish and I couldn’t wait to bite into that saucy chicken… until I did and found out just how spicy it was. It was almost incomprehensible, as it didn’t look spicy at all! No tell-tale chilli bits or chilli redness… Sigh. But before the chilli ran rampage in my mouth, I did get to taste its saucy goodness. It’s not a wonder that no chicken pieces were left.
S graciously provided us with dessert: a Filipino ube cake, which I learnt contains taro and coconut pieces.
We’re so spoilt! The cream was light and the coconut pieces dotted between the taro sponge layers were utterly scrumptious.
Tamarind is in its early days yet, but it’s definitely a restaurant that has a lot to offer. The extensive (maybe too extensive) menu most probably would be streamlined in the near future, as Craig and his team figure out what their customers prefer (insider info! Ooo).
From the wonderful test dishes he’s made for us, I don’t doubt that Tamarind will go from strength to strength (biasness aside).
Shop 6, 368 Hamilton Rd
Fairfield West, NSW, 2165
Ph: (02) 9609 6605