Set amongst apartment buildings in a relatively quiet street off busy St Kilda road, the unassuming cafe space that is Kwan’s Table is easy to miss. But, on entering, one would find a quaint, humble and homely cafe that combines Thai flavours with a cafe style eating and a gorgeous Thai influenced patisserie selection.
The owners comprise of a chef and a pastry chef, which makes for a rather exciting and innovative menu. One can sit and watch their lunch or dinner being made in the open kitchen at the front of the space, or pick a decadent pastry from the cabinet that combines both French and Thai flavours. The food is fresh, zesty, innovative and reasonably priced, along with generous serving sizes.
The restaurant is simply but tastefully decorated, and the seating area includes a very cute little courtyard in the rear for those who prefer outdoor dining. Lunch options include Thai inspired burgers, sandwiches and salads, along with smaller offerings such a rice paper rolls, or chilli cheese ‘soldiers’. The dinner menu becomes a little more formal, adding some curries and rice dishes (all under $15, a steal).
The rice paper rolls are a great way to start- stuffed with crunchy vegetables, delectable grilled prawns and a dipping sauce. I
The stand out dish would have to be the Pork Belly salad; the dish you would definitely return for. Juicy pieces of pork belly lightly battered in almost a rice batter, crispy and not oily at all, accompanied by a light and fresh Asian style salad and a balanced Thai dressing, those sweet, salty and sour flavours that work so well together. The salad cuts through the rich decadence of the pork belly so well and we were all left raving about this salad.
The beef salad was also impressive with perfectly cooked pieces of tender beef with a Thai style salad and slippery rice noodles.
Soft shell crab burgers are big in Melbourne at the moment, and work well for me as I find soft shell crab on its own usually too greasy, but sandwiched in a good bun with some salad and it is perfectly balanced. This was a good burger, with a great sweet brioche bun, crab that was in a light and crispy batter and not greasy at all, and an Asian salad.
As well as serving cafe style food with a Thai flair (and a Thai style brunch menu coming very soon) another thing that makes Kwan’s Table unique is its patisserie offerings, something that is probably yet undiscovered as many would probably overlook it as a place to have coffee and cake. The patisserie window probably needs to be somehow placed closer to the front of the window, as it would be easy to miss and Kwan’s beautiful offerings shouldn’t be missed or ordered as an afterthought… one should leave room to try desserts such as Mango and Sticky Rice Macaroons, Young Coconut Cake with coconut jelly pearls, Pandan Eclairs or Black Sesame Cake.
Have a delicious day,