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Cafe Michael2

December 21, 2009

204 Rundle St
Adelaide SA 5000
(08) 8223 3519

Open everyday for Dinner, Mon – Fri for Lunch
Read their full menu here

Cafe Michael2, it doesn’t sound like a Thai restaurant but almost everyone I’ve spoken to this week has been here before! I’ve been recommended the Green Chicken Curry, Red Beef Curry and the Pad Thai by multiple people, but of course I will be letting the waitress choose my meal for me! It’s also the last review for the calendar year, so Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all you readers out there!

Final Score: 9.1/10

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Nam Tok

Two weeks in a row on Rundle St and I’m looking forwards to putting Cafe Michael2 into the ring against the other Rundle St restaurant fighters! This is probably the most popular Thai restaurant in the area … I tried to get bookings for last week but got denied outright, they were full up everyday!

This place is directly opposite the Austral pub, so you can go grab a quick brew after work before heading to dinner. The store front is small and gives you the impression of a small  cafe or “quick-eats” diner but once you walk inside the place opens up with generous amounts of floor space. We were setup at the back near the kitchen and from what I could see the front diner area was a bit cramped, but we had no problems out the back at all. The interior sported a colour scheme of shades of brown and walls were neatly decorated with assortments of Thai paintings and traditional masks which added a nice flair. Overall a neat place, decorated to suit modern chic city office workers with a splash of Thailand here and there.

Service here is all green lights, no problems at all. The waitress who attended to us was cheerful and enthusiastic, and knew what she was doing. She recommended a few dishes, but being newly employed here she suggested that the head chef make the decision for me! This was quite exciting, as I wouldn’t have a clue on what I was going to be eating … whatever they bring out is what I will review! Half of tonight’s Thai Review patrons shared a top value 6-person banquet, and they got their food lightning quick. In fact, everyone got their meals reasonably quickly and considering it was a Friday night with a house full of hungry patrons it was a great effort!

So far on this tour when I’ve asked for the best dish recommended it’s often been some kind of red, green or yellow curry. Tonight however was the night of Nam Tok, something which I had never heard of before but I was really looking forwards to trying. Being the head chef’s recommendation just had to make it a specialty! The Nam Tok was a really nice surprise and not only did it look appetising, but it smelled fantastic. I was told it was a tender beef dish, mildly spicy with mint and coriander … and I have to say this dish is right up there with my favourites. They were right when they said the beef was tender – perfectly cooked medium-well done strips of meat which were still a bit pink in the middle. The sauce was a clean, crisp and tangy blend of what tasted like Vietnamese salad dressing … lime and lemon juice, white vinegar, mint leaves, red chili, sugar and a touch of fish sauce. It really was like a party in my mouth, and the serving size was generous enough for a pretty hungry eater!

When I sit back and think of the night, I really can’t put a finger on anything negative. The place was nice, the service was great especially considering the number of people we had on a Friday night, and the food was pretty damn awesome. I can see why this place is so popular and why I was told to do a review here by so many people … sounds like this place has been impressing people on a constant basis! I think this place is going to be my new inner-city favourite, highly recommended.

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  • Service [8.9/10] : Friendly and proficient, really fast service on a packed Friday night!
  • Quality [9.6/10] : Almost on par with Tongue Thai’d eggplant, and that’s saying something.
  • Venue [8.8/10] : Neat, nice, modern with a tasteful touch of Thai, very pleasant.
  • Value [9.1/10] : Large serving, top service, inner-city dining under $20 inc. rice, very nice!

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. December 21, 2009 1:26 am

    Sounds like a wonderful resturrant!!

  2. December 21, 2009 8:40 am

    I’d agree with your service and quality rating – as your dish was very nice compared to the rather standard banquet I was involved in. However your rating for the venue is way out of scale, given that the walls were grease streaked, we were right next to the kitchen and the smells of the back alley kept coming in through the door to the toilets right next to us.
    Overall the environment wasn’t exactly bad, but it wasn’t much better than average.
    My 2c.


    Brad

  3. Chow permalink*
    December 22, 2009 1:43 am

    Ah, I must have been sitting far enough away not to smell the back alley odours, and I don’t mind sitting next to the kitchen either. Also those streaks were paint streaks not grease, I had a closer look to confirm Nathan’s comment 🙂

    I rated this place similar to Parade Thai which I thought was comparable in venue. FYI any score in the 8’s is regarded good/great and anything in the 9’s is excellent, so I think this place falls within my scoring system ^_^

    Glad to see you noticed these things though!

  4. Claire permalink
    December 22, 2009 4:23 am

    Actually, I didn’t think the value for the banquet was particularly good. The quality was great, but none of us were really full afterwards, which you should be for $25! Consensus was that if there had been a second plate of pad thai to come out, we would have been happy.

    I will concede, however, that if I’d been sharing the banquet with five other girls, instead of five Josh-and-Brads, it would have been plenty!

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