Gastrology bloggers dined courtesy of Middle Fish.
Middle Fish brings the vibrancy of the Thai café culture to Melbourne. With a focus on authentic, Southern Thai cuisine as well as an emphasis on interior design and service, Middle Fish offers something distinctive for Melbourne’s café culture.
Pla (Siriporn Liamthong) and partner, David Holtum, are the driving force behind Middle Fish. Pla’s vision for Middle Fish is to highlight the freshness and authenticity of Southern Thai food, including breakfast and lunch dishes, sweets and cakes.
Gastrology bloggers were privileged to be invited along to a Thai brunch where we indulged in Middle Fish's new summer menu and enjoyed a cooking demonstration to celebrate the launch of their brand new shop featuring works of international designer Khun Hern and the restaurant’s third birthday.
Located in a warehouse in the centre of Carlton, a significant feature of Middle Fish is its design - a fusion of industrial and contemporary art, including a large steel bench top and exposed brick walls juxtaposed with decorative security screens, handmade in Bangkok.
A carpenter by trade, David has been responsible for the design and fit-out of the café; a creative, handmade space inspired by a fusion of industrial and traditional and contemporary Australian and Thai influences.
Our brunch featured an array of delicious delights.
We started our morning with little noodle boats that we topped up with decadent curry. The curries were stunning and showcased the customary punchy flavours exhibited by South East Asian curries.
Of particular note was the Kang Tai Pla curry - a fish maw curry with grilled mackerel and melt in your mouth sweet potato. It was an outstanding curry which had a unique flavour and ample spice.
We also loved the vegetarian mushroom spring rolls which were beautifully crisp on the outside and delicately moist and flavoursome on the inside.
The salmon salad was our favourite savoury dish. Perfect for summer, the salad was an intriguing combination of bean shoots, mint, coriander, red onion and beautifully cooked salmon. All the dazzlingly fresh ingredients blended harmoniously, resulting in a clean and bright dish with a perfect salt-sour-heat balance.
After our savouries, Pla took us through a delicious cooking class which she presided over with her beaming smile as she shared her secrets of Thai home cooking.
Dessert time was particularly fun. We adored the cute little sweet mung bean dumplings that had been made into different adorable shapes.
Our favourite dessert from our visit was the water chestnut dumplings, jackfruit and palm seeds which were served in decadently sweet coconut milk over ice. It was an especially gratifying dessert that concluded our afternoon at Middle Fish on a sweet high.
Middle Fish provides a new dimension to Thai cuisine in Melbourne by focusing on a specific region as well as drawing on the ‘night market’ influences that are a big part of Thai life, and highlighting the café culture that exists in Thailand.