Isthmus of Kra
A big fan of this strange little building, now dwarfed by the massive apartments that popped up next to it, the Isthmus of Kra looks like a dark red, den of delicious and we always take friends and family on the promise there will be blue dumplings.
And blue flower dumplings there were! The Lotus Blue Dumplings, six little individually crafted, blue dumplings, dyed with Butterfly pea-flowers, filled with peppered, caramelized minced beef. Incredibly delish and so quick to chomp on and all of a sudden – poof! There are gone!
Six lightly grilled oysters served in a specially fired Thai celadon dish. They are topped with laced herbs, medium spiced lime and lemongrass dressing. Always so sad when you keep picking up the hats but the oysters don’t keep refilling!!
The fragrant prawn cutlets are flattened and rubbed with a spice salt of pepper, garlic, galangal and Kaffir lime leaves. Not my favourite dish of the night.
The red roast duck curry is sooooo good! Star anise roast duck pieces in red curry stock with pineapple, miniature eggplant, melons, brocalli, red capsicum and lots of Thai basil. Lots of juice and lots of duck, this is a winner!
The beef massamman with slow cooked rump beef in a spice-infused coconut onion curry stock flavoured with bay and curry leaves with added fish sauce, palm sugar and roasted coconut. Again heaps of thick, gorgeous sauce and lots of succulent beef.
The wok tossed Venison with eye fillet of venison direct from Michael and Jill Vella’s Gippsland Venison farm. With cashews, snowpeas, green beans and Isthmus own Thai basil chilli paste and lime juice. Arriving in a dish on top of a little terracotta tea light pot to keep everything hot, or to look nice! Either way this is such a good dish, rich, deep venison with spices and crunchy vegetables.
All you need is rice and roti and this is quite a feast.
Desserts are too tempting, the black rice pudding with caramelised seasonal fruit and shredded coconut is my favourite all time dessert dish. Thick, earthy black rice with creamy sauce and tangy fruit, just beautiful.
The pandan barvarois with Kahlua syrup is perfectly wobbly and yummy, a great, not overly sweet dessert with the tang of the pandan.
We are all completely stuffed, I think the extra roti and rice did us all in! The service is great, friendly and quick and it’s a great place to relax and enjoy a good glass of local vino with some awesome authentic Thai.
Last published 10th December 2011
Based on the St Kilda Road side of South Melbourne, Isthmus of Kra has been around for a long time and behind the door is a wonderful restaurant which as per their website ‘showcases creative and unique Thai cuisine in a beautiful,peaceful setting.’ And it really does! We sat just near the window into the kitchen and I was enthralled by the chefs in the kitchen, they were peaceful! They worked around the kitchen with gentle smiles and once in a while held their faces up to the fans to cool before moving on to create the next dish. So nice – no screaming Ramsey’s here!!
The menu is fantastic, so much to pick from we were already negotiating the next visit! The Monsoon Oysters arrive in their special clay dish with their little hats and the flavours just blow me away!
‘Six lightly grilled oysters served in a specially fired Thai celadon dish. They are topped with laced herbs, medium spiced lime and lemongrass dressing.’ They are fantastic, fat, creamy and married in a dressing thats zingy and spicey!
But the most amazing dish of the night is the ‘Lotus Blue Dumplings’, I have never seen anything like them! Blue flower dumplings….
They are stunning, six steamed, individually crafted, blue dumplings, dyed with Butterfly pea-flowers, filled with peppered, caramelised minced beef. Just gorgeous!
The Roast Duck Nonya Style is a fresh light dish with plenty of yummy duck, crunchy sliced cucumber, juicy green mango, snow peas and mint with a tangy sesame plum and soya bean sauce.
We also indulge in the venison “Slivers of eye fillet venison direct from Michael and Jill Vella’s Gippsland Venison farm” Juicy slices of venison wok-tossed with lots of crunchy cashews and snowpeas, lovely green beans and their own Thai basil chilli paste and lime juice.
With plenty of rice and crispy roti we are happy munching our way through to full tummies and through a nice bottle of pinto grigio.
We did maybe get a little forgotten with dessert menus never appearing but the service and the food were so lovely it didn’t really matter and we’ll be back anyway to try the tofu caramel with crushed toffee pistachio!!
Overall a thoroughly lovely night, definitely worth the trip in the rain!!
Also worth mentioning is the beautiful way they present the bill,
So pretty, nice touch!
See you soon Isthmus!