It’s not every day that you get invited to eat at a restaurant that has been endorsed by the first female Thai Prime Minister herself!
We’re welcomed in by chef and owner of The Tall Lemongrass (and it’s little sister The Small Lemongrass) Wendy Khouphongsy – but she can’t stick around to chat for long because she’s got to get back into the kitchen to prepare our food! The Tall Lemongrass is known for its authentic Thai cuisine but don’t expect to get your usual pad thai and fried rice here – Wendy is super creative and innovative with her dishes and we’re pleasantly surprised with what we’re served.
We start with Mieng Khumm – a little egg-net cone filled with betel leaves, raw onion and prawns I think. It’s a fun starter, somewhere between a wrap and a canapé, although I also found some of it quite bitter. We also got some prawn chips, but they were heaps better than your standard prawn chip as they were covered in a tangy, salty seasoning.
Next up were two beautifully presented dishes – Larb Pedt on witlof, a kind of salad but done in bite-sized portions with the witlof as a ‘cup’, and the Aubergine Stack which is one of the famous dishes at The Tall Lemongrass. It was definitely a highlight of the night, really tasty mince in between the thick juicy slices of eggplant. I think I’m becoming a bit of an eggplant fan!
Some of the main dishes also had a bit of a twist – wrapped in the beautiful egg-net is some Prawn Pad Thai! How beautiful is that! Really impressed by the use of egg-nets, it definitely makes everything look next level cool. DS tucked into the Penang Beef Osso Bucco curry which was too spicy for me. I love that they used osso bucco instead of a more regular cut of beef, makes it just that bit more special, plus you can scoop out some bone marrow if you’re lucky!
The final dish of the night was also one of my favourites – Crispy pork with caramel dressing – it’s normally done with a spicy plum sauce but Wendy was nice enough to accommodate my aversion to chilli and created a caramel sauce for us! I love that kind of tailored service, makes you feel special in a restaurant. The pork was super succulent and the crackling perfectly crispy. It also came with some Chinese mushrooms (Asian mushrooms are so much better than Western ones – amirite?). All in all, The Tall Lemongrass is a great neighbourhood Thai restaurant especially if you’re looking for something a bit different and a bit fancy. Crows Nest – you’re lucky to have her!
The Tall Lemongrass
Shop 4, 146 Willoughby Road
Crows Nest NSW 2065
Disclaimer: talk&spoon and DS dined as guests of The Tall Lemongrass, with thanks to Wendy and Elyshia from Missy Mischief.