by DAVID BELL:
Awards adorn the wall at Saowanee’s Place like medals on a dictator’s tunic.
They’re well deserved. The North Perth Thai is a nice little gem on Fitzgerald Street.
Managing to nab a table on a Friday night, we were looked after by staff who made sure the heaters kept us nicely warm on the patio, and who swiftly served drinks from the well-varied beer selection (the Matso’s Mango beer is a great complement to Thai food).
We dived into the red duck curry ($26.50) and were served up a hearty red curry sauce, gently bitey with pineapple and rambutan with lemongrass. The generous slices of duck were juicy and nicely tender—not veering into gamey territory at all.
The crispy chilli prawn ($24.90) comes with plenty of prawns in a soft, light batter and bathed in glistening, rich pad ped scattered with crunchy refreshing green beans. Beautifully balanced.
We picked tofu to go with our stir-fried vegetables ($18.50), and it paid off. The tofu comes in tiny cubes with a perfect consistency: Spongy and chewy and moist instead of snotty or gluey. The savoury tofu is offset by juicy tomato and sharp ginger sprouts adding an interesting woody texture. I’m normally a devoted carnivore but the range of flavours and feels in this vego dish was surprisingly satisfying.
Overall I couldn’t fault a thing about the food we were served: The flavours were strong but balanced and the servings well-sized.
Price-wise, it’s not in “visit every week” territory, but it’s fairly affordable for a nice occasion and compares favourably to the more high-end and experimental “three tiny prawns on a plate the size of Tasmania” stylings of the revered Nahm Thai on Bulwer Street.
Best part: Three dishes plus rice for the two of us meant enough leftovers for lunch the next day.
348 Fitzgerald Street, North Perth
Phone 9228 9307