TOTALLY THAI is on the corner of Oxford and Newcastle Streets in Leederville – one of Perth’s busiest suburban intersections.
But don’t worry, the food here is so good you’ll quickly forget about the heavy traffic whizzing by.
Previously Dome and before that the Leederville Post Office, the new owners have given this historic building a modern makeover with teal hues, giant wicker light shades, cozy bench seating and big cushions.
The restaurant’s centrepiece is a vintage copper-coloured tuk-tuk, which takes pride of place in the middle of the dining room.
Our lunchtime visit was off to a great start with quality service and steaming hot food arriving quickly.
The salt and pepper tofu ($14.90) was some of the best food I’ve ever had.
The deep fried tofu cubes had a fantastic texture with crunchy breadcrumbs and a creamy tofu filling that melted in the mouth.
The spicy Thai special sauce gave the tofu an extra kick and the dried shallots sprinkled on top added depth.
Our second course was the “Thai chicken lover”, a serving of deep fried chicken thigh fillets ($14.90).
This dish immediately warms the soul and is the ultimate comfort food.
The juicy plump chicken was tender, and the coating thick and crunchy with every bite audible from across the table (a sign of perfection).
For her main, my friend Jasmine ordered the chicken satay stir fry.
She reckoned there was plenty of nutty sauce, the vegetables retained their bite, and the dish had plenty of chicken.
Jasmine said it was so moreish she could have eaten another serve.
I’m a sucker for a pad Thai ($23.90) and I couldn’t look past it on the menu.
The sauce-to-noodle ratio is vital for a perfect pad Thai and this version nailed it.
The noodles are bulked out with chicken, prawns, diced tofu chunks, bean sprouts, peanuts and fried egg ribbons.
The lemon wedge gave the pad Thai extra zest.
Leederville isn’t short on Thai restaurants with Six Senses and Sawadee nearby, but Totally Thai’s casual atmosphere and humble food – which is top quality without being pretentious – makes it standout from the crowd.
It’s well worth a visit.
by MATTHEW EELES
156 Oxford St, Leederville
Phone 9242 4034