223 Brunswick Street
Fitzroy VIC 3065
+61 3 9419 2095
One Saturday night, not dissimilar to the one Melbourne is experiencing now, my friend Aaron gathered his crew for a night of jazz, booze and more booze. We were heading to Fitzroy’s Uptown Jazz Café so naturally we wanted to eat nearby.
Unfortunately, the task of finding a place that suited everyone’s tastes, budgets and ability to walk in heels turned out harder than being able to keep quiet during the jazz set without a grumpy Jewish woman shushing us. In the end, we did manage to narrow it down to a Thai and a Vietnamese place, both within walking distance of the jazz café. Because Dave wanted something with a bit of spice, Thai won. Barely.
The place we ended up at was called Red Chilli (subtitle: Thai O’Cha, whatever that means). It was quiet when we arrived just before 7pm and it remained that way when we left – pretty unusual for Fitzroy on a beautiful Saturday night. You’d think that it meant that we’d get top service but unfortunately, our dishes came out very slowly all throughout the evening. Thankfully, the waitress and the owner were lovely though.
To sate our appetites before our mains, Dave suggested we order a few servings of golden bags (four for $5.90). Each little wonton purses were filled with pork, corn and beans – they were okay, but nothing out of this world.
Three of us, including myself ordered the prawn pad thai ($11.90). What I found odd was that Dave and I got ours first but Carol had to wait a good half an hour for hers to arrive – and she ordered the exact same dish.
We were given some chilli powder and lime wedges to spice up our noodles. Given that our noodles were a bit on the bland side, we greedily welcomed those condiments. However, I thought that four little lime wedges to share between three pad thai-orderers (and one serving needed AT LEAST three wedges of lime) was a bit tight.
Those who didn’t order pad thai ordered some sort of curry. Ed, who was sitting across me, ordered a green chicken curry with coconut rice on the side. I wouldn’t have ordered a hearty curry on a warm night but I have to say that it was better than my pad thai. The curry was rich and the chicken pieces were tender. Ed’s normally a big eater but even he had to concede that this was enough to fill his usually massive stomach.
The way I felt about Red Chilli was on par with what metal head Will felt about the jazz performance: not fantastic but was glad to give it a go. There are a multitude of Thai restaurants I’d set foot in before I’ll visit Red Chilli again. In the meantime, I’m still chiding Dave for choosing Thai over Vietnamese that night.