Manamee Thai Smith St Collingwood

“I love Thai food” RM gasped. “Me too” I replied, nose streaming.

Regular readers will know that I have an aversion to Anglofied Asian food (check out my review of the insipid Patee Thai). Fortunately, Mamanee is run by Thai people so when I requested that our food be ‘Thai hot’ they knew exactly what I meant. Although the cashier did look at us dubiously and asked “Have you been here before? Are you sure you want it that hot? Even I think it’s too hot.” and as he handed us our takeaway containers he parted with a solicitous “Let me know how you go.”

We started off with some pork spring rolls dipped in a light vinegar ($6.60 for 5 rolls). I tend to avoid food like spring rolls and samosas as they are generally greasy, refried and full of crappy leftovers, but these rolls were fresh and properly crisp. Then we uncovered our prawn pad thai flecked with chilli seeds ($15.50) and the red curry tofu with rice  bathed in a layer of bright red chilli oil ($13.50). Yeehah!

The pad thai was gutsy, full of the pungent flavour of shrimp paste with noodles that were just the right consistency of chewiness. The tofu curry was a little bland, could have done with more fish sauce/salt. And yes, they were both very hot. Not unbearably, unpleasantly so – more of a spreading heat all around our mouths that inhibited our ability to eat quickly and which had to be counterbalanced with regular sips of milk and panting for air. About a 7 on a heat scale of 1 to 10 (10 being RM’s experience with deathly Sichuanese food).

We’re excited to find a proper Thai restaurant so close to our house and we’ll certainly be back for more ‘Thai hot’ food. Eating hot curry is about as close to an adrenalin sport as I get.

Update 18 October 2009: I keep all my promises. The next weekend we returned for more ‘Thai hot’ food (served with milk, natch). This time, I recommend the richly flavoured Penang beef curry.

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