D’Gusto Thai (122 Ormond Road) is one of the many restaurants in Elwood Village. It serves a huge range of freshly prepared Thai food, including all the usual favourites: soups, curries, stir fries and a great range of entrees.
The restaurant is an average size and is mostly just clean and simple, with dark wood tables and light walls (there were a few random rubber ducks and balloons scattered around, which I personally think they should get rid of as they don’t seem to fit the tone of the rest of the restaurant, or Elwood in general, and just looked messy). It has the great advantage of being able to open up the whole front, keep the restaurant cool and bright. We arrived pretty early and the place was empty, but soon busied up with couples and a couple of families with teenage children. I would advise booking if you are a larger group as most tables seemed to only seat two.
Service was fair. If I was rating the effort the young girl put into serving us, she’d get 5 out 5. Unfortunately she was the only person actually out front in the restaurant so she was juggling greeting people, taking orders, serving food, answering the phone and dealing with take away orders! She was very aware she was stretched and was constantly looking over in an effort to ensure people they weren’t forgotten. However, it did mean, despite being the only people in the restaurant when we arrived, service was slower than we would have liked. When we left, there were at least six tables of people seated and she was still alone, so I wouldn’t recommend popping in for a quick bite if you are in a hurry.
I was starving so we ordered prawn crackers (guilty pleasure) vegetarian spring rolls (which I have to eat all of because Mr Boring OBVIOUSLY doesn’t like them) and chicken satay (which I get to eat none of, because I just ate 6 spring rolls). For mains we had Lamb Curry and Thai Red Curry (with chicken) with sides of jasmine and coconut rice.The prawn crackers were nice and came with a gorgeous peanut dipping sauce (M.B. didn’t like it with the prawn flavour, so this might not be for everyone, but I loved the change from the usual sweet chilli sauce). My spring rolls were gorgeous, they had a great crisp to the outside and the veggies were well cooked and mild flavoured (which I like, I hate spring rolls with celery and things in as the taste lingers and overpowers my main).They had the perfect texture, and while they probably weren’t much different to the vast majority of spring rolls, this did enhance my eating experience. Chicken Satay was “sticky coated in something good” apparently. The skewers had a good amount of chicken on and looked delicious.
Both the mains had a spicy kick (despite mine being mild), and to me that’s exactly how Thai food should be – bold flavours and high spice. I’m always a little disappointed if that first bite doesn’t give my taste buds a little shock. OH had no complaints about his lamb curry, the lamb was beautifully cooked and fell apart as he was eating it, and for him adding potatoes to a curry is always a win. I have to agree, they were soft and fluffy and offered a nice contrast to the lamb. My chicken curry had a lovely flavour. I liked the thin strips of chicken but I was a little disappointed with the veg. Now normally I love curries full of veg, but this was just overkill. I counted 10 different kinds of vegetables and most of them seemed like they’d been poured out of a bag of frozen veg. 3 or 4 fresh and well chosen vegetables would have served much better. It just made my curry over-complicated with far too many textures, and while it didn’t ruin it, it certainly tempered my spirits on what could have been a truly excellent meal.
Overall, D’gusto Thai is a good choice, for just over $70 for all that we ordered, I think it was fairly reasonable too. The flavours were authentic Thai and well thought out. My gut feeling is that if you choose the right meal, you will enjoy an excellent example of Thai cuisine, however, my experience with the chicken curry suggests that it could be hit and miss, so choose carefully.