This modern establishment is restaurant and bar that serves Thai food. Not to be missed if you happen to be in Melbourne. The establishment itself is hidden away from Swanston St with only a small doorway and sign to guide you in up a couple flight of stairs to Cookie. Last Thursday I decided to try this place out with my friend after work. This place gets busy. The establishment is divided to two areas, the restaurant dining to the right and a bar to the left, however you can still order normal food from the menu in the bar area. One many thing you have to realise when not being able to book a table in the restaurant part is that when ordering from the bar side, expect to place the order at the counter yourself and pay. The service is also less attentive on the bar side, because well its a bar. Simple as that. This is where my friend and I ended up at on a Thursday evening for dinner because the place was just completely packed. We arrived early enough to avoid the rush but it didn’t take long before 6pm came and the place began to fill up. The venue is beautiful and the interior architecture of the place quite stunning. There were small balcony ledges to dine at which gives it quite the unique experience. You don’t really feel like you’re in the city when you come up to the Level 1 of this place.
After being directed to the seating area we were each given the menu and advised to head to the bar counter to place our order. My friend and I both didn’t know what to order considering all the very appetising options they had available. A quick little search on the urbanspoon phone app showed the Egg Net Salad and Pad Thai to both be quite popular dishes so we decided to give those a go.
My friend went to place the order but came back a little frustrated at the lack of staff at the counter. The wait for the food to arrive wasn’t too bad and both our meals came at the same time. We have a tendency to share and split meals so it gives us both a good chance to try a bit of everything. First up was the Pad Thai (above). Now I’ve had Pad Thai at Chin Chin’s before and for my first Pad Thai it was amazing. This was a Chicken Pad Thai, and even though the serving looked about just the right size we soon realised that you can actually pack a lot in that dish. The lemon added a good tang to the pad thai to help balance any saltiness or oil. It was quite enjoyable but at this stage still second to Chin Chin, in my opinion overall but still great. It’s nice in a different way. I might have to go back to Chin Chin to check on that. The noodles were cooked well and couldn’t really ask for more. Serving size between two was perfect.
Next up we tried the Egg Net Salad which contained chicken mince meat, cashews, coriander, herbs and some sort of fish sauce dressing. The flavour was very strong for this one, not entirely bad but a bit too overpowering for me. If it I were to eat it on it’s own, it would really work. What made it palatable was eating it with the pad Thai. I’ll be unlikely to order it again, simply because it’s a bit much for me and the lack of salad or something to balance out the saltiness? or the strong flavours. The chilli garnish on top was grilled and had a mild flavour to it.
Now I would definitely come back to this place, but try and get a table in the restaurant side of the establishment just to see how the dining experience would really be like. I would also probably like to come back with a larger appetite to try some of their other salad dishes or ask what the most popular items to order on the menu are. Price wise, Cookie does stretch the wallet just a little bit and if you don’t know what to order, it might be entirely worth it throw from $15-$30 on a random dish to try. Make sure you get recommendations from people who you know have been there, or as the waiter/waitress to help filter out the options.