Everyone has an old, safe, reliable restaurant in their cache...and the delightful Colonel Tan's is mine. Ever since one of my best friend's introduced me to the charm of Colonel Tan I have been spreading the love to everyone I know...
I'll admit this has been the restaurant of choice for a few first dates and I recently introduced one of my food partners in crime (mum) to its delights when we were looking for somewhere tasty, cheap and cheerful to kick off my 30th birthday celebrations.
On first glance one might reconsider entering the infamous Revolver on Chapel St, but don't let the location put you off! Walk straight past the band rooms at the front and usual assortment of punks and rockers and step into something straight out of the 60s or 70s. From the mismatched chairs and tables, to the various couches and chairs dotted haphazardly through the room, old school computer game consoles, quirky lamps and light fittings Colonel Tan's has a charm all of its own. Tuesday night is Trivia Night, Wednesdays provide mid week relief with a Golden Ticket Treasure Hunt and Thursdays is Locals Night offering all residents in the 3181 area 50% off the already reasonably priced menu! There is even a resident DJ spinning the decks on Friday and Saturday nights.
"Created by Karen Batson, head chef of renowned inner city gastro-bars Cookie and The Toff In Town, the affordable menu combines traditional Thai cuisine with a cheeky American diner aesthetic. The name is a tribute to Revolver co-owner and legendary Thai pop star Tan Punturaumporn. Years ago, Tan’s kitchen staff took to calling him the Colonel when they started serving a Five Spice Chicken that brought to mind a certain chicken-loving colonel from America’s deep south." As Karen says on the website “We wanted to reflect the Revolver club environment with something a little kitsch and playful. It’s the American diner hits Bangkok.”
Yes it is popular so I always try to book, yes it can be noisy at times and sometimes service can be slightly below expectations...but what you really come here for is the amazing food.
Mum and I started our gastronomic feast with the Pork and Prawn Donuts...delivered two-a-piece deep fried on a popsicle stick with a side of chilli jam. Very cute! These are juicy and full of pork and prawn mince with just the right amount of crunch and hit of chilli!
Next we both decided to try the Pumpkin, Prawn, Coconut and Coriander soup. I'd never noticed this before on my previous visits, but I was so glad I finally found it. The perfect combination of creamy pumpkin and coconut with chilli and coriander adding freshness, heat and colour. Highly recommend!
For main I couldn't go past the Penang Lamb Curry...every time I order this it is always so tasty. The delicious rich creamy lamb curry comes with a serving of rice and an eggplant and chilli side salad.
To go with the lamb curry we decided to try the Pad Thai with tomato and greens...though the decision was quite difficult with such gems as Fat Duck Noodles, Bangkok Bolognese and The Colonel's Five Spice Chicken (highly recommend this leaves KFC dead in the water!)
The Pad Thai was actually really tasty...a good balance of rice noodles, crunchy peanuts, fried tofu, bean shoots, shallots and tomato.
I generally find Colonel Tan's desserts miss the mark...so generally skip the dessert menu. Though they do have some pretty interesting dessert "cocktails" on offer. Mostly I am usually too full from stuffing myself on delicious entree and main dishes to fit in dessert!
Cannot recommend Colonel Tan's highly enough...I have never once been disappointed on my numerous visits and best news of all is the bill does not hurt the hip pocket. It even comes in a pretty little garden box complete with quirky toys and charms!
229 Chapel Street Prahran VIC 3181
(03) 9521 5985