Review: Colonel Tan’s, Prahran

Review: Colonel Tan’s, Prahran

Colonel Tan’s
(03) 9521 5985
229 Chapel Street Prahran
Prahran, 3181
Colonel Tan’s online

The blog’s been a little quiet. A little too quiet, if you ask me, but sometimes it’s hard to find time to blog. There’s just so much going on and my blogging schedule is in tatters while I’m trying to get everything under control. It’s never going to be under control so what the heck, let’s have a go at blogging.

There are many places in Melbourne that I’ve been meaning to get to. Much like blogging, it does get a little “when I have time”. Being away from Melbourne for most of the time also means that when I’m actually back in Melbourne, I cram too much in. And by cramming, I actually do mean physically cramming of food. So much eating was done in my two weeks back in Melbourne. Too much, my diet would say.

Colonel Tan’s has been on my to-go list for awhile now. I first heard of it when the housemate and I were trying to find other american diners that wasn’t Misty’s. We made an agreement that we’d go check it out as the housemate loves american diners. But it was one of those things that never got done. Then K started hanging out at Colonel Tan’s, and I wanted even more to check it out…..

I guess the important thing is that I did finally make it to Colonel Tan’s. And I wish I had a whole lot earlier. To be honest, I very nearly didn’t turn up for that dinner date because I was sick and having a sore throat and generally feeling quite ill. But I hated the idea of abandoning my friends so popped a couple of pills and headed out. And I was so, so, so glad I did.

Those chips! I had a sore throat but even I couldn’t stop eating them. I had to restrain myself so I wouldn’t end up ruining my throat more than I already did. But they were addictive and boy do I wish I had them right now. Yum. Do yourself a favour and order them when you go. You will thank me.

I’ve always liked beer. But I never drank a lot of it till I came to Murrayville. Then boy, BOY did I drink beer. Even so, being so far away from all the fancy bottle shops and what not, the beer you get up in Murrayville is crap like carlton draught. You learn to drink it and not complain about its crap-ness because if that’s all you’ve got… then that’s all you’ve got. (To be fair, we do have Cascade light and Coopers as well. But I get picked on if I drink Cascade Light up here. Hurdedum.)

Handcrafted beers is not something I’m terribly familiar with. But good beers are something I can most definitely appreciate (especially after Carlton Draught) and boy was this a good beer. I really should have picked up a six pack somewhere along the way before heading back up to Murrayville, but that’s okay. I’ll pick some up on my next trip back.

The sweet potato and cashew dumplings were sublime. I really really liked them. I can’t think of what else to tell you other than, I really liked them. It was a pity there was only enough for one each. Darn. I could have eaten a whole lot more. Definitely ordering more.

The rendang chicken curry dip with roti bread was okay. The rendang was a lot nicer than I was expecting it to be, so that was a nice surprise. But as far as blowing a person away or wowing them… this was about average.

In my opinion, this was the star of the night. The fat duck noodles kicked me straight back to nostalgia lane and the greasy goodness was just greasy enough to be delish and not overly so. Incredibly tasty, incredibly flavourful, every mouthful was a pure injection of happiness and joy into my veins. (Along with an injection of cholesterol, but let’s not think of that) Much like the dumplings, I’d have loved more. The portion wasn’t big, and we shared it out between 4 of us which was just nice but I’m being greedy and I would have liked more. More, more, more!!

This. Definitely order this if you go.

My next favourite would probably have been this. The Bangkok Bolognaise. Little surprise that my favourite dishes are of noodles, I’m noodle obsessed! Still, it was lacking a bit of wow factor. I’m still going to try it at home tho. I’m pretty sure I can come up with something with a little more zing in it.

Vegetable and Coconut Yellow Curry – mmhm. You can move along.

And lastly, The Colonel’s Five Spice Chicken with Sweet Chilli. K did warn that they are a bit inconsistent and we must have hit an off day as I was quite unimpressed by it. Tough chicken, not yummy skin. Pass.

All in all, an absolutely enjoyable experience. While some of the dishes weren’t wow, they were nonetheless of a very decent quality and coupled with the environment and atmosphere definitely puts a very different spin on the typical asian dishes that I know. Would I go again? Hell yeah. That fat duck noodle has my name all over it!

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Recipe: Pineapple Fried Rice

Recipe: Pineapple Fried Rice

My apologies if you came here looking for the post for the recent Lavender International Incident Party. I’m really late and really sick currently, and my creations came out quite… well let’s just say they aren’t quite what I wanted. I do plan to try again, so hopefully I will get the post up within the week. But it will be late, for that I truly am sorry.

To somewhat make up for it, I bring to you today a hilarious post of a tiny kitchen mishap. It didn’t affect the taste, but definitely did affect the look of the dish. What did I do? Well…..

See that radioactive orange rice? I meant to add a tinge of saffron to my rice to give it a nice yellow tinge for the pineapple rice. I might have added too much. Like way too much. When I went to check on the rice, I collapsed on the floor, weak from laughter. I couldn’t stop laughing. It’s all still very edible and very tasty of course, but it did add a lot of colour to dinner. Lots of radioactive orange!

I remember my first encounter with Pineapple Fried Rice. I was in primary school, and my parents had brought us to a steamboat restaurant that also did Thai on the side. It was my first taste of Pineapple Fried Rice but it was love at first taste. The fact that it came in a pineapple made it even more magical. I developed a huge crush and an insatiable appetite for this dish. Unfortunately it was the only place that did Thai Pineapple Fried Rice at the time and when the restaurant finally closed down, I was heart broken.

Years went by and I grew up and forgot all about my first crush. Then I got a pineapple in my vegie box delivery from Aussie Farmer’s Direct. I stared at it, and felt something stir within me. Feelings that were previously buried and forgotten came rushing back up to the surface. I had to, I had to see and taste my first crush again.

So I did. Thank you to Ellie’s recipe who reunited us. I have since met up with my first crush many times over, and I plan to keep to the relationship this time. Pinky promise. (I did have to skip the prawns unfortunately. The housemate really doesn’t like them)

Pineapple Fried Rice


2 cups rice, cooked in rice cooker or pan
250 g chicken thigh fillet, diced
1 cup fresh chopped pineapple (from 1 small fresh pineapple, reserve the shell)
1/2 cup frozen green peas, thawed
1 brown onion, finely chopped
1 tbsp curry powder
2 tbsp fish sauce
2 tbsp soy sauce
3 tbsp oil
Salt and pepper to taste


1. Heat oil in a wok or a large frying pan until very hot.
2. Add onions and stir fry until lightly brown.
3. Add chicken, continue to stir fry until it changes colour. Add curry powder, fish sauce and soy sauce and mix well.
4. Add rice, green peas and pineapple. Continue to stir fry until well combined. Adjust seasoning.
5. Serve fried rice in pineapple shell and garnish.

It’s quick and easy to do up, we did spend a bit of time over the carving of the pineapple but no matter. It was very worth it in the end! Don’t you think?

Okay, maybe orange rice doesn’t look quite so enticing. My next few versions weren’t orange, I promise you that. I should also point out that I added raisins to the fried rice. It adds nice little sweet spots that compliments the sweetness from the pineapple well. Very yummy!

I also want to take this opportunity to thank the folks from yesterday’s cookbook gathering. Thank you April, Kat, Emma, Michele and Thanh for your understanding. I was unable to attend like originally planned due to this very pesky flu and cough, but they very kindly allowed Michele to bring over takeaway of the awesome feast for me. Good food cures illnesses like no medicine can, and I didn’t even cough once through my feast! So thank you, very very much. I feel guilty as I didn’t contribute, but I’ll make sure to contribute heaps next time!

If you’d like to read what the first cookbook addict gathering got up to : do check out Michele’s write up!

Recipe: Mushroom Pad Thai

Welcome to another segment of The Magic of Shrooms! If you are new to this segment, please feel free to browse our previous mushrooms recipes.

I love pad thai, so when I saw a recipe for Mushroom Pad Thai in the Mushrooms: the great all rounder book, I knew I had to cook this.

Not too many process photos, the cooking process itself is quite straightforward as well, but definitely a good recipe to have up your sleeve especially when you want a quick and tasty dish!

Mushroom Pad Thai
Serves: 4 ; Cooking time: 10 minutes

250g dried rice stick noodles
1/4 cup fish sauce
2 tbsp grated palm sugar or brown sugar
1 lime, juiced
1.5 tbsp cooking oil
100g cup mushrooms, sliced
3 eschalots, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 small red chilli, finely chopped
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1.5 cup roasted salted peanuts, chopped
125g beansprouts, trimmed
coriander leaves and lime wedges to serve.


1. Soften noodles according to the packet directions. Drain and refresh under cold water.
2. Combine fish sauce, sugar and 2 tbsp of lime juice, set aside.

3. On high heat, stir fry the cup mushrooms till golden. Add the oyster mushrooms and stir fry till just tender. Remove from wok.

4. Add eschalots, garlic and chilli to the wok and stir fry for 1 minute. Working with one side of the wok, add the egg and cook till slightly set. Scramble, then add noodles, mushrooms, fish sauce mixture and beansrouts and mix well. Stir fry till thoroughly heated.
5. Serve with coriander and lime wedges with a good sprinkling of peanuts.

Okay, so my first issue was that I couldn’t find peanuts. What is going on, Coles and Woolies? I couldn’t find peanuts and I didn’t want to buy a whole pack for a tiny bit of peanuts anyways, so I went without. 1st fail.

I also think that adding things like capsicum and carrots would have coloured up the dish a lot nicer and added more to the visual effect. Taste wise, it was pretty pleasant and I quite enjoyed it.

You will also see a lot more parsley than other type of garnishing herbs in my photos from now on since I’ve started keeping a parsley plant in my kitchen… which is hopefully the start of my herb garden!
But I’m rather doubtful as to whether or not I possess a green thumb. Right now I think… no.

Till the next spot of mushroom magic, keep eating them shrooms!

What are your favourite mushroom recipes

Destiny Cafe @ Richmond, Melbourne.

During the recent Food & Wine festival, a friend and I attended the Thai Food Festival (More on that to come!). Amongst the many stalls that carried incredibly delicious foods and drinks, we found a stall named Destiny Cafe that had Pad Thai selling like hot cakes. We bought a plate of it ourselves, and our love for it was sealed upon the first bite.

Hungry for more, we decided to hunt down the actual restaurant. It turns out that Destiny Cafe was one of the tiny cafe-restaurants in Richmond. A dodgy looking exterior and very few tables. Not typically the kind of restaurant I would normally have gone into if I were walking by and looking for dinner. It was also not situated on a main street where all the other restaurants and cafe were, but along a very tiny block of shops somewhat away from the main shopping area. And after my numerous visits to the restaurant, I’ve never seen more than one to two other tables being occupied. More often than not, the place was deserted. And wrongly so.

The food. Oh, the food! Let me tell you about my most recent visit.

Destiny Cafe: Duck Salad.

Duck Salad (Larb Ped)
Sliced roast duck cooked with red onion, ground toasted rice, kafir lime leaves, lemongrass, lemon juice, fish sauce & coriander

The duck salad was exquisite. There was no other word for it. The meat was tenderly soft and cooked just right. The salad tossed together with just the right balance. And while I’m normally not a fan of red onions, it was not an issue this time round, for it added to the salad to create a beautiful harmony of taste dancing upon my tongue.

Destiny Cafe: Green Chicken Curry

Green Chicken Curry
Exotic Thai green curry cooked with chicken, lemongrass, kafir lime leaves, coconut milk, bamboo shoot, bean, capsicum & basil

Paired with coconut rice, this dish was an utter delight to behold. The curry was gentle and mild, perfect for the non-spicy lovers. The meat was tender, and the helping generous. While the dish of curry itself was small, it proved to be surprisingly filled with little delights and we found ourselves constantly going back to it to fish out little chunks of chicken and capsicum. The coconut rice that we got was another bit of heaven. Indeed, I dare say that I have never really tasted good coconut rice till trying it here. It was worthy to be a dish by itself!

Destiny Cafe: Pad Thai Prawn

Pad Thai Prawn
Traditional Thai rice noodle dish, cooked with prawns, broccoli, cauliflower, egg, tofu, bean shoot, garlic chive, chili, tamarind sauce & crushed peanuts

When one eats out often enough, you start to learn a few things. One of those things is to have low expectations of seafood dishes in terms of quantity. Usually something that claims to have prawns will have either tiny ones, or very very few prawns. However this was not the case with Destiny Cafe. Their Pad Thai Prawn was covered with the coveted King Prawns, each and every one fresh and juicy to the bite. The helpings were generous and every bite an explosion of flavour. The mixing of the lemon juice and the crushed peanuts through the Pad Thai only served to enhance the taste. It was absolutely divine, and every friend that I have brought to that shop since have coveted this dish, praising it for its capability in giving us the pure enjoyment in dining in such delicious ways.

It gets better. Destiny Cafe does delivery to the Richmond areas! So if you are staying in that area, don’t hesitate. I wish I did, I’d order from them every day. The service is friendly and very fast, and my only complaint is that their toilet is not very accessible, and reminds one of Alice in Wonderland. But that is no reason to stop going there, I for one, will definitely be back at one of their tiny tables very soon.

BTstars: 9/10

Destiny Cafe
71 Church Street,
Richmond East, VIC.
Phone: (03) 9429 2722

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