252 Swanston street, Melbourne
This month it was Kieren and Sam’s turn to pick the restaurant and they went with Cookie. I’d heard about Cookie but never been, and what I didn’t realise was that even though it’s a restaurant, it has much more of a bar vibe to it. So if you go expecting restaurant-level noise (like James and I did!) you will find it way too loud. We had to talk really loudly to be heard by the person next to us, which I don’t really like doing.
The service was friendly, but man it took forever. They were super busy, so it took about 45 minutes from when we sat down to when we first got to eat. Luckily they had a pretty comprehensive beer list.
James ordered a Hitachino Nest white ale, which was really expensive – something like $12 – but he really enjoyed.
I ordered a blackcurrant and apple cider. Everyone thought it tasted like blackcurrant juice, but I liked it! You can see Howie holding up the menu to try and provide me with a picturesque background. =)
For his main James ordered hot pork sausage, pork belly, relishes, vegetables and sticky rice ($26.50). James really loved this (though to the left you can see that there was a mysterious giant lump of cabbage as a garnish), especially the hot pork sausage. He gave me a nibble of the pork sausage and OMG it was so spicy.
He wasn’t overly impressed with the sticky rice portion of the meal though. It wasn’t as soft as the sticky rice you get at Chinese restaurants, and it’s a bit disconcerting just having plain sticky rice. He didn’t finish this.
He also ordered some roti ($3.50) which was standard roti, though the portions were smaller than you’d get at most Malaysian/Thai restaurants. I guess that’s the price you pay for going to a trendy restaurant!
I ordered the soft shell crab with garlic and pepper and fish broth ($29.50). I’m a sucker for soft shell crab – if I see it on the menu I have to order it. This was full of flavour, and a surprisingly decent-sized portion.
The broth in the fish broth was nice, but the actual fish was really dry and unpleasantly old-tasting.
I also ordered some coconut rice ($3.50). Since three of us ordered coconut rice they put all of it on one plate (so don’t get too excited about how much of it there is). This was good coconut rice – much better than the coconut rice we had at Omah’s, but not as good as the coconut rice from Ying Thai 2.
I wanted dessert afterwards, but looking through the dessert menu, pretty much all the options were uninspiring. I’m just not a fan of Asian style desserts I guess.
While the food was nice, Ying Thai 2 remains my favourite Thai restaurant – the food being both better and cheaper. I wouldn’t be opposed to coming back to Cookie for the bar – at least then I’m prepared for it to be loud and crowded and for the service to be a bit slow. But I like to chat and be relaxed at restaurants, and Cookie’s not really the sort of place you can do that.