I’ve been coming to the Thai Pothong for years now. I’ve been here for several birthdays, or just a nice night out in Newtown for dinner with friends. I think that it’s fair to say that it’s been giving pretty consistent results throughout the years. The food is good, the restaurant atmosphere is nice (with the most gorgeous Thai decor) and the service is highly efficient.
One of my favourite things about the Thai Pothong (aside from the fact that it’s the closest Thai restaurant to Newtown Station and its enormouse size – it used to be three separate shops;) is how efficiently they seat big crowds. I’ve turned up here on busy Saturday nights with a crowd of 8+ people and they have always managed to seat us at a decently sized table with no booking. What’s more, even though the restaurant is always busy with customers, you are constantly getting excellent customer service – water and rice being constantly refilled by the friendly staff. Customer service is one of those things that you don’t realise is missing until you’re somewhere it isn’t… It’s then that you realise what a big difference it makes to your dining experience – it can often mean the difference between an unpleasant night or an entirely pleasant one.
The only downside about this place is that it’s not the cheapest place for Thai that you will find in Newtown, but considering the rest of the perks you get (i.e. the service and comfy space in a nice air conditioned room) is a considerable trade-off. The old adage you get what you pay for certainly applies here, but hey, who’s complaining?
I still remember my first visit here with a group of church friends. We played a prank on one of my oldest and dearest friends by singing “Happy Birthday” to her when she returned from the bathroom (much to her surprise). We managed to get a large chunk of the rest of the restaurant singing along with us. We even ended up ordering the special ‘Birthday Dessert’ (fruit and ice cream) which compelled everyone to sing again (one dude on the table adjacent to us managed to remember her name while singing and then turned to me and said brightly “I remembered her name!”) Good times. I’m pretty sure I have that on film somewhere…
The classic chicken cashew nut (Gai pad mamoung himmaparn) $17.95 – Chicken with cashew nuts, chili jam, water chestnuts, lotus seeds and shallots
Roast Duck Salad (Pla Ped Yang) $20.90 – Sliced roast duck with spanish onions, coriander, roasted ground coconut, mint leaves and lemon juice, yum!
Another Thai classic – Massaman Curry, except this time with lamb! Instead of the usual beef..
Gang massaman gae, $19.95 – a mild lamb curry with roasted peanuts, thai herbs and crispy onions
I ordered this one, mostly because I’m a big fan of mock-duck products (one of my faves is a brand called “Lamyong”). Another one of my fave restaurants is called Green’s Gourmet (another Newtown one, although they also have a restaurant in St. Leonards). Wasn’t the greatest dish of the night and nowhere near as good as the stuff Green’s Gourmet brings out. If you want to try good roast vegetarian duck, go to Green’s!
Vegetables with Roast Vegetarian duck (pad ped ja) $16.95 – Seasonal stir fried vegies with roast vegetarian duck
To summarise… Thai Pothong is a great restaurant to visit with a big group of friends for a special night out. Good food, good service and its nice and comfy in there! You’re looking at about a meal cost of around $25-$30 (this is including an entree/main and of course, depends on what you order). They also have a wide range of Vegetarian dishes and adjustable banquet options if those suit you.
Oh and if you’re visiting the Thai Pothong, you can’t help but take a gawk at some of the cool Alien theme sculptures in the window.. So cool!
Check out the Thai Pothong website here. You can check out menus, prices, location and all kinds of other handy information online at their site.