The Very Very Hungry Caterpillar

YES, this is yet another Melbourne food blog!

Tidlom Thai

Shop C1, 550 Lonsdale Street (Healeys Lane)
Melbourne VIC 3000
+61 3 9606 0991

So I just returned from a trans-Tasman trip. In due course, I will be blogging about a burger joint in Queenstown that’s just as famous as the tourist town’s snow-capped peaks, the birth of The Chimichurri Song and finding a Vietnamese bakery in Rotorua. And while I love and miss New Zealand, it will be a long time before I come within sniffing distance of Bluebird chicken-flavoured potato chips, sauv blanc and meat pies. I will be going on another mini blogging hiatus to concentrate on uni work but I’ll leave you with a post to tide you over.

There are heaps of things that the inhabitants of Australia and New Zealand will disagree on (who has the better cricket team and whether Crowded House are Aussies or Kiwis) but there is one thing that both countries love and that is Thai food. I had some surprisingly decent Thai food in Rotorua, a town with no less than five Thai restaurants in its town centre. However, if the owners of Tidlom Thai were to establish yet another restaurant there, I’m sure the locals wouldn’t mind.

Located in an alleyway just around the corner from my work, Tidlom Thai is a quiet achiever among the bakeries, cafés and Subway stores in my neck of the woods. I’ve walked past it many times on my way to grabbing a duck and pear baguette from Le Traiteur but never thought about going in. That was until I received an e-mail from one of Tidlom Thai’s owners, Top, inviting me to come in and try some dishes that were true to what they cooked at home. Sick of eating pad thai dishes that were way too sweet and so over bastardised Thai food, I decided to take Top up on his offer.

With co-worker Sean in tow, I made my way to Tidlom Thai one Thursday lunchtime when we both had a spare moment to escape the jungle that was level 11 in our building. As you can see, it’s very easy to miss Tidlom Thai for its signage is very tiny.

Top wasn’t in when we rocked up, which was a shame because I would have loved to have a chat with him. However, his team of lovely waitresses were on hand to answer any queries we had and ensure that we were in and out of there within the half hour.

The restaurant itself is simple. It’s pretty much all clean tiles with cute little trinkets dotted around to make it more personalised. Sean thought the Thai pop posters were pretty cool while I liked the wall of Bangkok rego plates near the window.

Top had, in his e-mail, encouraged me to try their Thai iced coffee. At the time, I was on a coffee ban (which has since been broken) so I didn’t order any. Sean did, though, and convinced me to have a little sip. It was sweet and creamy, very much like a Vietnamese coffee but not as strong. Sean did say that he could taste traces of alcohol in the coffee and when I said, ‘Um no duh, it’s being served in a Singha glass?!’ he insisted that it was tequila and not beer. Strange fella.

At lunch time, the menu is limited to predominately noodle and rice dishes. Rice dishes are a consistent $9.90 while noodle dishes are $10.90, with a choice of beef, chicken or vegetable for fillers. Those wanting something a bit different will have to fork out a few dollars – crispy pork will attract an extra $3 while egg options (fried and omelette) are $2 each.

Sean had the pepper and garlic stir fry on white rice, with beef as his choice of protein. Sean found the dish absolutely delicious and while I thought the dish was, overall, a decent dish with the beef being tender and well-cooked, I thought the seasoning was a bit too peppery but that’s just me being fussy.

I liked my chicken pad thai a lot better. Having been displeased with the too-sweet pad thai dishes I’ve been encountering in many Thai restaurants in the city, I was surprised to find that Tidlom’s version was not loaded with palm sugar. It delicious with the right amount of sweetness, tanginess, saltiness and heat, the way a REAL pad thai should be. I will definitely be coming back to order this dish again and again.

Sean and I really enjoyed our lunch and vowed to return, this time with a few of our other colleagues. We were both impressed with the restaurant’s hospitality and the food was pretty damn good too. I also liked that they focused on purely Thai food, with nary a laksa or nasi goreng in sight. I’ve been told that the dinner menu has a wider range dishes so I will definitely be having dinner there at some point to try their other dishes.

Disclaimer: Sean and libishski dined as guests of Tidlom Thai.

Tidlom Thai Antique Restaurant on Urbanspoon

30 Comments on Tidlom Thai

  1. theragingcook
    November 2, 2012 at 20:23 (2 years ago)

    Mmmmm Chicken Pad Thai!!!! I miss lonsdale St, the bakery cafe, piadina’s aaaaargh stupid ass end of Collins St!!!!

    Reply
    • libishski
      November 3, 2012 at 15:23 (2 years ago)

      Not to mention Nama Nama. GARRRR!

      Reply
  2. Choc Chip Uru
    November 2, 2012 at 20:44 (2 years ago)

    A place to return ay? I would agree considering my stomach growls seeing your photos :)

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

    Reply
  3. Em
    November 2, 2012 at 20:46 (2 years ago)

    Looking forward to your NZ posts! Good luck for your end of year uni stuff.

    Reply
    • libishski
      November 3, 2012 at 15:23 (2 years ago)

      Looking forward to your Auckland posts too!

      Thanks Em :)

      Reply
  4. Sophie Wang (@aecliss)
    November 2, 2012 at 21:38 (2 years ago)

    The chicken pad thai does look good! I agree with your view on too sweet dishes – ew.

    Reply
  5. winstonthehungryexcavator
    November 2, 2012 at 23:51 (2 years ago)

    Omg I LOVED Tidlom Thai. The place was engrained in my mind after seeing Bryan’s post of the place. And you’re right, the quality was great and the hospitality was truly superb. Felt so relaxed and welcomed there. Will be back too! =D

    Reply
    • libishski
      November 3, 2012 at 15:22 (2 years ago)

      Yay for Tidlom Thai! Yep, I saw a few pics of the yummy dishes that Bryan had for dinner – I so need to give them a go!

      Reply
  6. Vien
    November 3, 2012 at 06:06 (2 years ago)

    hmm.. looks like the pad thai’s missing a little greenery :P but I love the sound of it!!!

    Reply
    • libishski
      November 3, 2012 at 12:05 (2 years ago)

      Haha you’re right! Still tasted good, though :D

      Reply
  7. yummychunklet
    November 3, 2012 at 12:44 (2 years ago)

    I love chicken pad Thai. Glad you found one you enjoyed!

    Reply
  8. Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella
    November 3, 2012 at 20:07 (2 years ago)

    Hehe also don’t bring up where pavlova originated! Apparently both countries lay claim to that :P

    Reply
  9. cquek
    November 3, 2012 at 22:56 (2 years ago)

    Wow dear that looks so fabulous and so delectably presented :)

    Reply
  10. Catherine
    November 5, 2012 at 16:02 (2 years ago)

    My friends and I used to frequent their previous restaurant (appetiser club something) before relocation and I think we liked it alot better even though the service was not so great. I visited Tidlom Thai 2 weeks ago and we thought it was okay unfortunately, loved the beef jerky thing and would go well with beer.. but don’t think I would go back! :( The waitresses were lovely and helpful though and did enquire as to how we knew about this place.

    Reply
    • libishski
      November 6, 2012 at 14:25 (2 years ago)

      Oooh was the Appetiser Club (or whatever it was) a Thai restaurant as well?

      It’s a shame your experience wasn’t as good but I love jerky so I will definitely give those a try :D

      Reply
  11. squishymonster
    November 6, 2012 at 13:25 (2 years ago)

    Pad thai is literally my favorite food—looks amazing and eclectic! I wish there were places like this here!!!

    Reply
  12. msihua (@msihua)
    November 6, 2012 at 18:48 (2 years ago)

    I just can’t seem to find the time to go when they are open :( Wants to try!

    Reply
    • libishski
      November 10, 2012 at 12:28 (2 years ago)

      Not 100% sure if they’re open on weekends but you can go after work during the week? :)

      Reply
  13. Daisy@Nevertoosweet
    November 7, 2012 at 14:39 (2 years ago)

    Ohh I’ve seen quite a few people post about Tidlom and have put it onto my ‘City to go list’ but haven’t had the chance to go damn lol too many places and WAY too little time as I’m sure you will agree with me!

    the beef looks lovely and thank gosh the pad thai isn’t too sweet :P even though I’m a sugar addict there are some things that need to remain SAVOURY hehe

    Reply
  14. foodvixen
    November 7, 2012 at 22:39 (2 years ago)

    Looks forward to your post about a well known burger establishment in Queenstown (I wonder what that is called) :P I have wanted to go there ever since I heard about it many years ago. I travelled to Brisbane last week and went to Taro’s Ramen and Cafe. Had the Red Tonkotsu Ramen and it was delicious!

    Reply
    • libishski
      November 10, 2012 at 12:41 (2 years ago)

      Mmm wouldn’t mind a bowl of Taro’s ramen right now!

      The burger place in Queenstown is called Fergburger :)

      Reply
  15. Ming @ sweetandsourfork
    November 10, 2012 at 17:08 (2 years ago)

    You must return for their dinner fare! Calamari in salted egg! Thai sausages! Soft shell crab in dry curry! It’s some really good stuff, especially considering the dessert-sweet green curry I recently had from Thai Yim, yeuch!

    Reply
    • libishski
      November 17, 2012 at 23:42 (2 years ago)

      Oooh the calamari in salted egg sounds delicious. Yep, will definitely come back for that – thanks for the tip :)

      Reply
  16. hotlyspiced
    November 11, 2012 at 08:59 (2 years ago)

    I love Thai food and it’s so good when you find a place that serves authentic Thai food. Some Thai restaurants are no better than those Chinese restaurants we had back in the 70s with their beef and black bean and sweet and sour pork xx

    Reply
  17. Maureen | Orgasmic Chef
    November 11, 2012 at 20:30 (2 years ago)

    Is there such a thing as too sweet pad thai? :) I love visiting restaurants through your eyes!

    Reply
    • libishski
      November 17, 2012 at 23:42 (2 years ago)

      In Melbourne there is! :(

      Reply
  18. ChopinandMysaucepan
    November 12, 2012 at 23:20 (2 years ago)

    Dear libishski,

    I dislike pad thai because of its sweetish taste, reminds me of Singaporean style char kway teow which tastes horrible with that sweet black sauce.

    Reply
    • libishski
      November 17, 2012 at 23:42 (2 years ago)

      Do you mean kecap manis? If so then yuck, that DOES sound horrible!

      Reply
      • ChopinandMysaucepan
        November 21, 2012 at 06:31 (2 years ago)

        Yup, Singaporean CKT is sweetish compared to the savoury taste of Malaysian CKT.

        Reply
  19. Mr C @ The CK Diary
    November 13, 2012 at 15:47 (2 years ago)

    I haven’t had pad thai in so long =[ Even though I have Thai so often, I always end up ordering curries or some other dishes to go with rice.

    Reply

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