The signature dish at smart new Thai restaurant Tummour is spicy papaya salad, and they do it well. A taste test this week found the palm sugar, chilli, lime, garlic and fish sauce all doing their bit to make for a sensational som tam, proving the old adage that good Thai cuisine is all about the balance of sweet, spicy, sour and salty flavours.
At lunch time, we found the two-storey Street 63 restaurant bright and airy, light streaming through the floor to ceiling glass on two sides.
A Thai chain with locations in Myanmar and Laos, the design is contemporary but not ostentatious or tacky. The tables and timber and seats are upholstered in black and red, while wooden shelving that divides the ground floor contains what looks like urns, jars and oversized chess pieces.
The staff – again in black and red – are numerous and attentive, quick to provide large, glossy menus with plenty of high-quality food photos. Many of the items are som tam varieties, with everything from the standard dried shrimp and crab to fish, salty egg, meat and seafood.
However, everything else non-som tam on the menu we tried was excellent, too. The green curry was creamy – and again well balanced between the four main flavours – the grilled pork neck fatty and tender with a deliciously spicy hoisin-style sauce and the basil and chilli chicken was spicy and fresh with plump pieces of poultry. The sticky rice was, if anything, a little too sticky.
The prices aren’t outrageous. Most of the plates come in about the $5 mark, while the most expensive thing on the menu the $17.50 fried whole sea bass with fish sauce.
Overall, the balance between quality of food, setting and cost at Tummour is pretty much spot on, which is what you want in any restaurant, Thai or otherwise.
Tummour is located at #249A Street 63 (corner of Street 400). Tel 069 259 777.