Combine Southern Thai cuisine, a shop, and a cooking show, and what do you have? An (a-)typical morning at Middle Fish.
To celebrate the opening of the new in-house shop, Hern, and their summer menu, Ruki and I were invited to spend the morning at Middle Fish. Tucked away in an industrial area of North Melbourne, it’s worth the cycle or drive to just off Queensbury Street.
Pla and her partner David specialise in showcasing Thai cuisine — but the Southern variety. David explained it to Ruki that Thai food is similar to Italian: there are all sorts of regions, with completely different types of recipes and flavours. They’re trying to wean people away from ordering pad thai every time.
Let’s get this straight: Pla is freakin’ Adorable-with-a-capital-a. You can see her infectious enthusiasm in the Middle Fish TV YouTube channel, where she shows you how to make everything from a Thai omelette to curries. She demonstrated her knack for presenting (seriously, someone give her a show already) with a mini demonstration for the guests. She effortlessly put together Kang Kati (a spicy yellow curry), so that even the least culinary-inclined feel that we, too, could do it.
Which is great, because one of the best parts of the new shop inside Middle Fish is all of the Thai sauces you can buy. We all went home with gift bags stuffed with recipe cards and materials to make Kang Kati (the yellow coconut curry Pla made), with Kang Prik Curry Paste; and Kang Som (Orange Curry) with Kang Som curry mix. I can’t wait to rip off a few kaffir lime leaves off my tree and get going.
The shop also now sells the cutest designs by Middle Fish’s Thai designer, Hern. It’s all about cute (and cheeky) lamps that you can imagine in your coolest friend’s house.
Alongside food bloggers and friends of Pla’s, we were introduced to some of the items on the new summer menu. With an Australian twist, the Thai flavours really come through. The mini fish cake burgers were moreish, and I was enraptured with the pyramid-shaped desserts wrapped in leaves. (I seriously need to book a trip to Thailand and learn the names of everything.)
122-128 Berkeley Street
Carlton VIC 3053