SKEWER with TAN THAI: A Review
They are located inside some old townhouses that have been renovated and look amazing. There is the restaurant Skewer I am reviewing which is Thai and next door is a Japanese restaurant with a review soon to come.
I have been wanting to eat here since I read the menu and saw how affordable it was and also I fell in love with a restaurant that would make skewers as their focus and specialty. Do not get me wrong - they serve every type of Thai food but also the skewers - which are mind blowing.
The restaurant is run by Tan Thai which also run Campsie Herbs and Spice Restaurant.
My stepfather and I decided on a mini Manly pub crawl and were going to end with a pub meal somewhere but I suggested we try this new Thai place as we are both obsessed with spices and Thai food so off we went.
We walked in on a Saturday night and were told we could have a table in about 5mins - perfect timing to run to the bottle shop as we discovered it was BYO. This restaurant is still cool and only known by the foodies of the area - it is a place that is still cool before it becomes "cool". I will hopefully but unfortunately ruin this with this article hahaha. The place only seats about 20-30 people so it is quick and exemplary service in an intimate surrounding - we sat right under the counter for the open kitchen so we could watch everyone work like machines - it was clinically artistic!
Firstly - the service - it is THE BEST IN MANLY. It looks like a family business and we were attended to so much I wanted to ask the waiter to join us. He was the most enthusiastic waiter I have ever seen - 5mins after we ordered he came to tell us it would be less than 5mins until food arrived and said "You call me if you need anything, I will do anything for you, just ask". This place was a treat and something the pretentious "I have my head up my ass" restaurants of Manly should take an education from. It set a bar for me on the level that should be expected and it cost them nothing - it was just courteous and friendly and the patronage responded - there was never an empty seat and the meals were served quick but not rushed and you happily left when your meal was finished - perfect for them to put the next set of waiting bums on seats.
Secondly - the food - it is the BEST THAI FOOD IN MANLY. It stomps over all the other Thai food I have ever eaten in Manly - there used to be one a few years ago at the bottom of Darley hill that closed down (I think) that was great and cheap, but SKEWER is great, friendly, has the location, is stylish and welcoming.
The meal we had was pretty simple - I wanted to try every skewer and then we selected a main each. At only $3.90 per skewer this was easy to do. They had 7 skewers plus a special - we skipped the vegetarian one and took the special instead and shared each skewer - think of it as Thai tasting plates but nicer. There was:
1) Marinated King prawn skewer with chilli, garlic, coriander served on home made spicy lime (I think it was lime) chilli sauce
2) Fish Paradiso - grilled kingfish on stick served with grilled sweet corn and chilli mayo - this was nice but out of all of them my least have and probably most bland - but still desirable - I am scaling all of the 8
3) Lobster big ball - Deep fried lobster ball on a stick with a chilli peanut sauce - this one was my 2nd fave and has me mouth watering just thinking about it - and we ordered two of these
4) Scallop Paradiso - grilled scallops served with sweet chilli, seaweed, mayo sauce and finished with basil oil - heavenly
5) Octo Baby - grilled baby octopus with turmeric and sweet chilli sauce
6) Nue Yang Skewer - grilled scotch fillets with capsicum, cherry tomatoes and onion served with BBQ chilli sauce
7) Easily the BEST - it was a special of the day and I want to request this next time I go there - they were deep fried (in some form of tempura like batter) Bantam Eggs with a sauce inside the batter. I literally moaned in foodgasm over this!!!
We then followed the skewers with a Phuket Fried Rice - it is stir fried saffron jasmine rice , pineapple, sultanas, cashews, eggs, shallots and soy. And we added to this some Crying Tiger - which was a medium rare marinated beef in a spicy sauce.
Two big eating men were both full of complete food satisfaction. And we only ate about 10 different things - the menu covers about 70 items including some insane desserts I missed first time round!
The joy of this was the meal and corkage were just over $50- and my stepdad even left his bag there - no worries - they put it aside for later collection.
I cannot rave enough - one of the best food experiences I have had in Manly since Jah Bar. I now have a new fave and local for affordable and divine food. Best news ever - they also do breakfast and lunch on selected days, takeaway and delivery - sign me up for membership!! The restaurant webpage is still under construction and they are at 46-48 East Esplanade Manly - right opposite the wharf and their number is 9977 4139 - get thee there!!