Foodie Partners: Ting Tangy
Nestled amongst the hustle and bustle of Chapel St; where all the cool hipsters go to shop eat and drink coffee, lies a sophisticated and contemporary Thai Restaurant and Wine Bar – Ayatana. Forget your usual Tom Yum Gong and Pad Thai, at Ayatana, Tony and his team will bring you a contemporary version of Thai Cuisine.
To start, Ting Tangy and I shared a bottle of my favourite alcoholic drink – Moscato by Innocent Bystander. Back in 2011, Nick and I visited Innocent Bystander, and I fell in love with the fruity and light taste of Moscato. So when I spied Moscato amongst their long list of wines, I knew I had to get a bottle to share with Ting Tangy.
For food we start off with a dish from their vegetarian section. At Ayatana they have a separate section in their menu that caters for Vegetarians. I’m not a vegetarian, but from time to time I like to have a light dish and make myself feel healthy (haha).
The dish we ordered was their Crispy Tofu with fried shallots, sesame seeds and sweet tamarind sauce. It was beautifully plated and garnished with sprouts and carrots.
Both Ting Tangy and I enjoyed the dish. They used firm tofu and deep fried it until crisp and served it with fragrant shallots and sweet tamarind sauce – this really opens your appetite for more dishes. I was expecting a bit of tangyness for the tamarind sauce, however I did welcome the sweet taste, as it went well with the tofu.
The next entree we ordered was the sweet crunchy roasted tamarind rice. First hand look at the dish, your head starts screaming OMG and the abundance of ingredients in one dish. But the moment you take a spoonful of dish, you really do appreciate the skills of the chef – creating a dish that is full of textures and flavours. I love the crispy noodles with tangy green apple, cashew nuts and the the tamarind sauce. I generally don’t like bean sprouts, but in this instance, I would have been happy to eat the whole dish again. It was amazing :)
After some deliberation, Ting Tangy and I decided to go for the twice cooked crispy pork belly, stir fried with chilli jam, onions, green beans and kaffir lime leaves.
The dish overall had a good balance in flavours with a bit of sweetness, and a spicy kick from the chilli jam. The twice cooked crispy pork belly was however a little over cooked making the meat tough at the bottom.
For the vegetarian dish, we chose steamed fresh tofu & mushroom with wild ginger, spring onions, cauliflower, broccoli, and light soy.
Here they used a soft tofu and lightly stir fried it with mushrooms, onions, cauliflower, broccoli and light soy sauce. The dish it self was very light and great to go together with the heavier pork belly main.
We did however find the cauliflower and broccoli to be slightly over cooked, as we prefer to have a crunch in our greens.
The steamed coconut rice was a great accompaniment to our mains, a subtle coconut flavour and a little different to the usual plain white rice.
The first dish we had was the steamed banana, roasted honey macadamia and vanilla bean ice cream and garnished with cinnamon and star anise.
We both dived for the roasted honey macadamia and found it to be crunchy and sweetened by honey.
As for the steamed bananas, it was steamed till soft. The bananas weren’t too sweet, which is great with the vanilla bean ice cream, making it well balanced. Whilst I couldn’t sight any vanilla beans spots in the ice cream I did find the ice cream to be creamy and lightly flavored by vanilla.
The next dessert dish was our favourite – Black sticky rice pudding with egg custard, coconut caramel and freshly shredded coconut.
The black sticky rice pudding, is made out of black glutinous rice, which is highly nutritious, high in antioxidants, fibre and reduces inflammatory. It wasn’t overly sweet but with the sweet egg custard it was perfect.
I love the shredded coconut in this dish and gave the dish lots of texture.
1. A great take on contemporary Thai cuisine at a relaxed fine dining setting.
2. Recommended dishes: Crispy Tofu, sweet, crunchy roasted tamarind rice and black sticky rice pudding.
2. Tony and his staff were friendly and helpful.
Disclaimer: Peach and her guests dined in courtesy of Ayatana. The meal & drinks were complimentary. My reviews are 100% honest and is based on how I felt about the food & service at the time of visit