Right in the heart of Manly.PROFILED BY DEGROOTS MEDIA
The first time I tried Manly’s newest Thai restaurant, Mortar and Pestle, I ordered home delivery and the food was fantastic, even after 20 minutes of sweating in its plastic casing. The second time, I picked-up, and unexpectedly came across what I will go so far as to call the best looking dining room in Manly. It manages to exude a tropical-resort-in-Thailand vibe despite residing on a busy Manly street. The third time I, of course, ate in. At 6.30pm on a Tuesday night I found myself dining in a restaurant packed to bursting point with happy patrons, smiling staff and desperate punters who weren’t lucky enough to nab a table.
The first dilemma arose upon entree selection. Do you go for the stuffed chicken wings, Thai fish cakes, prawn and chicken steamed dumplings or Vietnamese spring rolls? Answer: Try them all (but the dumplings are the best). Things don’t get any easier for the main course. The menu includes every Thai dish you’ve ever heard of, along half a dozen you haven’t. Try the hunglay moo (pork belly marinated in chilli and slow cooked with palm sugar, tamarind and pineapple). Dessert is slightly easier, but only because there’s less of them. You won’t go wrong with mango and sticky rice served with sweet coconut cream. Definitely one to stick on the to do list.
Shelley Hepworth, December 2008