Little Thai Cafe, East Bentleigh
Food: Spring Roll, Curry Puff, Pla Rad Pik, Larb Gai, Duck Gang Dang, Banana Fritters
So firstly, let’s make it clear, Little Thai Cafe is most definitely a restaurant. It’s comfortable, small and does a great take away trade too. Being a feature of East Bentleigh’s Centre Road for nearly 20 years, you don’t need me to tell you they must be doing something right. As with many restaurants in the Bentleigh area, it was fairly quiet when we dined early in the week, but its small size means even with a couple of tables filled up you get a nice vibe.
The menu is extensive for what is maybe a 30 seater venue and we particularly liked how you can choose the meat for your curry as opposed to a smaller set of fixed dishes. Alongside the curries there are salads, noodle and rice based dishes and all your usual entrees and sides. The team at Little Thai Cafe selected a great menu for us, starting with spring rolls and curry puffs.
We enjoyed both of our entrees and particularly loved the beautiful plates and attention to the little details. It’s not fine dining, nor is it food that’s easy to make look great, but the stunning crockery gave the dishes a nice aesthetic. The chicken spring rolls had a great crunch and were very light while the curry puff had a mild spice, which I think suits its role as an entree. They were great little bites to start off the meal, the only complaint I could possibly have is that they were a little simple, but the flavours of the rest of the food make up for that so you won’t be too disappointed (and to be honest, I definitely think playing safe is the way to go with entrees).
We then tried the Larb Gai (minced chicken salad). This was really my kind of salad: a traditional Thai dish it was well garnished with plenty of chilli and coriander, with an added kick from the onions. Mixed with nuts, it’s a real tasty dish. The spice builds as you eat it, but you know it’s there, especially when you grab a bite of that fresh chilli.
We then had the duck gang dang – a red curry. The duck was thinly sliced with the skin on. When it arrived it looked a little overcooked, but I was clearly mistaken as it just melted in your mouth alongside the spicy, yet creamy curry. The curry itself was stuffed with plenty of veggies and fruit (yes!!!), including lychees, which I’d never tried in curry before. I have to say I loved them – they just help gently pull back on the spice. This curry was a big win for me!
Our final main was the Pla Rad Pik – a battered fish in sweet chilli sauce. This was not what I expected at all and it looked absolutely gorgeous from the minute it hit the table. the batter was really crispy, and I would drink sweet chilli sauce so I was again very happy! The softer chilli from this sauce worked better with the lighter fish. It was almost a Thai take on fish and chips and I’d definitely go back for more.
We also managed to squeeze in some banana fritters, which, while a little dry when eaten on their own came with chocolate sauce, syrup. icecream and whipped cream, so there’s plenty of choice to supply that needed moisture, and as a combined dish they were just a simple, yummy way to end the meal.
Address: 699 Centre Road, Bentleigh
Mon 6pm to 10pm
Tue 6pm to 10pm
Wed 6pm to 10pm
Thu 6pm to 10pm
Fri 6pm to 10pm
Sat 6pm to 10pm
Sun 6pm to 10pm
Parking: There is parking on Centre Road (Little Thai Cafe is in the quieter East Bentleigh part), and you can usually find a space somewhere, but if you can’t be bothered with that, there are carparks running behind the shops on that side of the road.
Getting here on PT: It’s a fair walk from Bentleigh train station (maybe 30 minutes), but it is on the 703 bus route.
Disclaimer: We dined as guests of Little Thai Cafe, Bentleigh. Reviews are honest and based on our own personal experiences. We cannot guarantee things at a cafe won’t change including, but not limited to, menu items and opening hours, so please confirm any details with the venue before visiting.