Review: Chum Tang, Chatswood

There’s a scene in the movie P.S. I Love You where Lisa Kudrow’s character says, “After centuries of men looking at my tits instead of my eyes and pinching my ass instead of shaking my hand, I now have the divine right to stare at a man’s backside with vulgar, cheap appreciation if I want to!” That’s the approach I like to take to watching movies like Magic Mike XXL – I’ll leer at men with delicious abs if I want to.

I went and saw the movie last month with my friend Sarojini, on the very first day that it came out. I’m just that dedicated to watching men gyrate on the screen in sequinned thongs. But first, I needed food to fuel me through a few hours of catcalling at the screen so we stopped in at Chum Tang in The District Chatswood Interchange for a quick dinner.

Fresh Mandarin juice, $5
Fresh Mandarin juice, $5

I love ordering some fresh fruit juice so I jumped at the Fresh Mandarin Juice as soon as I saw it on the menu. The mandarins have been so lovely this season that I had really high hopes for the drink. Unfortunately, they had added too much sugar to the juice so that it almost hurt your teeth to drink it. I ended up diluting it a bit with water to make it more drinkable.

Jackfruit salad (green jackfruit, roasted coconut and chilli jam), $13
Jackfruit salad (green jackfruit, roasted coconut and chilli jam), $13

The Jackfruit Salad which we shared was probably the highlight of the whole meal. It normally comes served with shredded chicken, but as Sarojini is a vegetarian, we got it without the chicken. It still works incredibly well, with the roasted coconut a particular highlight as it adds a real crunch and toasted flavour to the salad. The jackfruit was so fresh that we begged the waitress to tell us where they source their jackfruit from – apparently there’s a Thai supermarket near Central station that’s excellent for fresh jackfruit!

Vegetarian Pad See Euw (Wok fried flat rice noodle, Chinese broccoli and dark soy), $12
Vegetarian Pad See Euw (Wok fried flat rice noodle, Chinese broccoli and dark soy), $12

Sarojini originally wanted to order a vegetarian Pad Thai, but they were unable to accommodate that as they had already pre-prepared the sauce which included fish sauce which she can’t eat. So she settled for the Pad See Euw with its glistening fried rice noodles. I think it was adequate, but certainly no match for the depth of flavour found in my dish.

Ka nom jean (Thai vermicelli noodle with green curry chicken, Thai basil, beansprouts, pickled mustard greens, and egg), $13
Ka nom jean (Thai vermicelli noodle with green curry chicken, Thai basil, beansprouts, pickled mustard greens, and egg), $13

My choice of the Ka nom jean, proved to be particularly inspired. Full of fresh crunchy beansprouts, a soft tamago-style egg and a multi-layered green curry sauce with curry leaves and chillies galore, this bowl of noodles looked small from the outset, but quickly filled me up with its rich sauce. A real winner for a cold winters night.

Not that I needed any warming up given the movie we were going to see…Magic Mike XXL is a really fun movie. The other women in the session that we went to were laughing, catcalling, and whooping throughout the whole movie. It’s definitely one to see with your girlfriends if you haven’t already! (And as for Chum Tang, Thai food still isn’t a preferred cuisine of mine, so I probably won’t be back any time soon! I may try their sister restaurant Khao Pla though.)

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