Phone: 03 9533 8813
Cuisine: Thai, Asian
Overall Impression: 8/10
It is a Friday night on Chapel Street and Ayatana is bustling and vibrant. Filled to the brim with diners, we were lucky to get a table.
Melbourne is filled with Thai restaurants but Ayatana manages to stand out from the crowd. The decor is modern and relaxed, with grey and white dominating the colour scheme. Pictures of Thailand hang proudly on the walls, as do decorative rows of wine bottles, which is no surprise given Ayatana professes to be a wine bar and restaurant.
Sweet crunchy roasted tamarind rice - crushed cashew nuts, green apple, bean shoots,mint, coriander, red onion, crispy noodles, mixed salad
The entree salad of sweet crunchy roasted tamarind rice had an intriguing combination of crushed cashew nuts, green apple, bean shoots, mint, coriander, red onion and crispy noodles. All the dazzlingly fresh ingredients blended harmoniously, resulting in a clean and bright dish with a perfect salt-sour-heat balance.
Crispy soft shell crab in yellow curry , bamboo shoot, green bean, white cabbage and kaffir lime leaves
The soft shell crab curry showed balance and style, with an appetising level of chilli power. The curry was luxurious, thick and exhibited a marvellous aromatic lift.
Twice cooked crispy pork belly, stir fried with chilli jam, sweet chilli sauce, long beans and kaffir lime leaves
The pork belly was excellent, with a crispy but well proportioned layer of fat sitting atop a succulent layer of tender, juicy meat. The balance of sweet and salt exhibited great skill.
Slow cooked lamb shank masaman curry, roasted peanut, sweet potatoes, cinnamon stick, star anise
The lamb shank in the masaman curry had been cooked gently, the tender meat falling off the bone and combining wonderfully with the sweet potato pieces and kaffir lime.
Tasting platter- steamed banana, black sticky rice pudding, warm coconut tapioca pearls, Ricketts Point mango sorbet
The desserts are simple and relatively light, providing a pleasant end to the meal.
Given the quality of the food served at Ayatana, we will surely be back.
Gastrology bloggers dined courtesy of Ayatana.