Wed – Sun: 8am-11pm
Coffee: Organic fair trade coffee Supreme
“Brunswick is known for being alternative, being its fashion, people, the abundance of ‘vintage’ stores or its eclectic collection of restaurants. Tom Phat is no exception to such standard. Cleverly positioned on Sydney Road Brunswick, this cafe takes the normal and somewhat plain cafe menu and has infused Asia inspired dishes to provide a unique eatery.
The ambiance of Tom Phat is cosy and intimate. There is a lounge area at the front, with a long alignment of tables adjacent to the barista and cooking station. There is a real Asian feel with its artistic drawings on the wall to the red lanterns which are found at the very end of the cafe. This in itself gives brunch goers an experience not to forget.
The coffee blend on offer was Supreme Coffee, roasted in Melbourne with the aim of creating a quality blend. I had the house blend, which tasted like a standard good coffee. It was a little bitter with a crisp taste. However, there was no exciting or explosive flavour that left an addictive taste. Rather it was just a good coffee which sustained me and complemented the meal well.
On the outset the menu does look amazing. Especially for lunch and dinner and in my all honest opinion I would love to try them here. Their brunch menu on the other hand seemed to be hit or miss. Miss SL will cover some exciting dishes to which I had brunch envy, but my dish from the special board, Asian herb omelette w/ prawns & pork, basil, coriander & mint [$13.90] didn’t live up to my expectation. The plating of my dish looked impressive, with the Asian salad dress on the top. However, the serving size was a little small for me. I did enjoy the attempted ‘surf and turf’ mix, but in all honestly, I prefer a strict separation of the two as I find the flavours to be overwhelming. The sauce was nice and the eggs were cook well, but there wasn’t that Asian brunch experience that I was looking for. Sure, there was an attempt with good produce, but it just felt that the dish was conservative and lacking that flavour.
I may have just selected the wrong dish, and this wouldn’t be the first. With that said, I do like Tom Phat for its concept and I would come back for a second attempt. Would it be a Brunch? Maybe not. I would be more interested in the ‘unch’ side of brunch.”
“It was a lazy Sunday morning when we left to catch up with friends at a place which has turned up in many of our favourite brunch bloggers ‘top 10′ lists. Known for taking a different approach to breakfast, Tom Phat injects an Asian influence into its cuisine.
When we arrived our friends were already there, seated in front of an Asian inspired wallpaper, immediately impressing its theme amongst food-goers.I started off with an Almond & maple banana milkshake [$7] and let me tell you, it was worth the price. The maple syrup cut through the flavour of the milk and it took a little bit of resistance to stop myself from drinking it all before my brunch arrived. I’d ordered the Viet Salad w/ lemongrass and grilled beef [$12].
The salad was much larger than I expected – especially in comparison to Mr LBs! I started off with the beef on top, which was beautifully cooked with some mild marinade. The salad was juicy and fresh – the sheer volume of cucumber and carrots made this dish dense. The lemongrass dressing was powerful, but quietened when combined with the roti which was perfectly cooked. Crunchy but cooked so that it tore away perfectly, the roti was still warm when served. Roasted peanuts sat nested atop the beef, adding a magnificent crunch and aroma when eaten. This completed the dish perfectly – making it powerful, textually interesting and overall well executed.
Mr D had ordered the Tom Phat Breakfast w/ eggs (poached or scrambled), crispy bacon, roasted tomatoes, grilled mushrooms, avocado & hollandaise [$16]. We joked that it was the “whitest” thing on the menu.
Miss M ordered the Claypot w/ tofu, pumpkin & steamed rice [approx. $16]. She really enjoyed it and said that next it’s something I should definitely try.
While Mr LB wasn’t that impressed with his meal, I really enjoyed mine. Would I come back for brunch here? Maybe… Would I come back here for lunch or dinner? For sure. Everything on the menu looked tasty, and maybe it’s because I’m a roti fiend, but I’d really like to come and explore the various dishes on offer here.”
Final thought: “An Asian inspired brunch”