Thursday, March 22, 2007

Papaya, Military Rd, Cremorne

Papaya, Military Rd, Cremorne
Thursday 22 March, 2007

I have admired this place from afar for several months and received several recommendations to visit. Tonight, our group of 8 arrived prepared for a feast. We all live locally and are on a mission to try some of the best local offerings. To date we have been to The Oaks, Koume Japanese House and Go Zen. Tonight's offering Thai cuisine.

From the outside looking in Papaya is appealing - dark wood, dim lighting and colourful bench seats and cushions. We arrived and were directed to our table at the front in the large open window. This was well received as it was a balmy, steamy evening.

We arrived and were warmly greeted by the staff - there was a buzz of eager diners and the staff are rushing around the restaurant to meet demand - it's frantic but everything falls in to place. Papaya is also located next door to a Bottle Shop which makes it super handy for BYO.

We looked at the fabulous menus and were spoilt for choice - where to begin? So, we decided to draw on the expertise of the Maitre'd. We spoke with him about what we liked and didn't like so much and then left it in his capable hands. The best thing was we were thrilled with the food that arrived at our table, we couldn't have picked such a sensational feast if we tried!

We began with Chicken pieces wrapped in banana leaves and Fish cakes. The chicken was incredibly tender and was browned on the outside by the banana leaves. The Fish cakes were moist and light and the accompanying side sauce was like sticky honey - delicious!

After a much needed mini break the feast arrived in quick succession:

- Duck salad
- Chicken & potato yellow curry
- Tofu, chicken and vegetable stir fry
- Pad Thai

The presentation of the meals was fabulous - each dish came on a different shaped plate and everything looked so fresh and incredibly appetising. We tucked in immediately and were not disappointed. A large bowl of steamed rice also arrived which was perfect to soak up the lovely yellow curry.

The chicken curry was lovely with large chunks of chicken and a whole potato that we cut up at the table - it was a mild curry and very tasty. The Pad Thai arrived wrapped in a pancake and was bursting with flavour and vegetables. The stir fry was piled high with fresh vegetables and a good mix of chicken and tofu plus ginger that added a wonderful zing. The Duck salad was delightful - small-ish pieces of tender duck mixed in an Asian salad of shallots, lemongrass and vegetables all served in a large iceberg lettuce leaf.

Just when you thought it was not humanly possible to eat another mouthful a chocolate cake arrived with candles. It was one of the dinner buddies birthdays and Papaya were happy to accomodate.

This place is a serious find and I'll be back for takeaway and to eat in again soon.

Papaya - Shop 7, 307 MilitaryRd, Cremorne - (02) 9953 8992


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