229 Chapel St, Prahran
03 9521 5985
Dr Ben and Mrs Hot Guns have a new hangout, and they wanted us to try it. Colonel Tan’s has been around for quite some time and have earned fantastic Urbanspoon reviews. Dr. Ben tells us it’s an offshoot of Cookie, and being the biggest Cookie fan I was keen to try it.
Situated in a small doorway on Chapel St, it was a steep climb up a flight of stairs to Colonel Tan’s which I was certain that it would be hazardous when drunk. At 6:30pm on a Friday night the joint smelt like toilet, and I began to wonder whether I am in Collingwood or Prahran. Just as Hubby and I wandered uncertainly around, a dude actually came out of the toilet in time to greet us. He ushered us into the bar area and we were seated quite quickly with drinks and food menu. Although we are quite far away from the loo at that point, the toilet smell lingered and I deathly hoped that it will be replaced by food smells soon. Like VERY soon.
Dr. Ben, Mrs Hot Guns and Ahmanda were late, so we decided to order drinks and chips to start with, when the waitress comes around to give us water. When, became if as the waitress bypassed us a couple of times, but I finally caught her eye and she came over. First downer of the night: Service was lacking at this joint. Understandable if it was busy, but at 6:30pm this place ain’t pumpin’ yet. Drinks were forgotten and water was not refilled. Later, at some point in time Dr Ben’s alcohol was missing in action, Ahmanda was drinking from her water bottle and Hubby was drinking my water.
Anyway, back to our food. Chips came with a slight and very welcomed chilli kick to it, and if you can’t handle it, you can always dip it in mayonnaise. $5.50 for chips were quite reasonable I think and there’s plenty to share around by the time our friends came along.
Dr. Ben asked the waitress whether we can have the “Feed Me” option, which is about $30 per head. The waitress ummmed and ahhhed about that we need to have at least 6 people to order that and said something about different price point, but didn’t tell us how much it would be and never offered to check with the chef/manager. Thinking that it was just too hard, we let Dr. Ben and Mrs Hot Guns order for us, although Mrs Hot Guns did take into consideration that Hubby desired the beef basil with cashews and beans, which I thought sounded boringggg.
Next up was the Rendang chicken curry with roti bread $9.50. I must admit I can’t really find any chicken in mine but nonetheless the hot roti bread was nice with the peanuty dipping sauce. Be careful about consuming the chilli sprinkled on top of the peanut sauce though- it has a huge kick of chilli that will leave you gulping down water (which you wouldn’t have because your waitress didn’t refill your glass).
Our last entrée was the lotus and mushroom salad $14.50. The enoki mushrooms were all clumped together, and we weren’t given serving utensils so we kinda have to use each other’s forks to separate the mushroom. I don’t mind this dish- the mushroom are really salty but it goes well with the bland lotus roots and Thai Basil. I just wish they would maybe mix the salad so you won’t grabbed all the lotus roots and left the salty mushroom clumped at the bottom of the dish, only to discover it later that the dish would have been wonderful if we ate them together.
Our mains (or bigger sharing plates) arrived, Hubby’s beef basil with cashews and beans $15.50 was actually one of the best dish out of the lot. The beef basil was salty, but it goes really well with the rice.
The eggnet salad was also fantastic $15.50, although we should have ordered 2 to share between the 5 of us because I actually wanted more. I would say this eggnet salad is better than the one at Longrain.
Fat duck noodles $16.50 (not pictured) were wayyyyyyyy too salty, although the texture of the noodles were fantastic and the duck was tender.
The last dish I tried was the Fish Curry with green papaya, rice and shredded omelette. We were warned that this curry is not a thick coconut based curry which we are fine with, but the worst thing about this dish was the fish was overcooked and it had a really bad fishy flavour to it.
I would love to try their dessert, like the Pumpkin & Coconut Custard with Taro Ice Cream $9.50, but Mrs Hotguns said desserts are not that great in Colonel Tan’s. We were not offered dessert anyway, as we were being kicked out for an 8:30pm booking. I wasn’t sure whether Mrs Hotguns was advised that at the time of booking, but we certainly weren’t told when we are seated. Fair enough people are waiting but chucking the bill on our table and mumbling “I will just leave this with you because there’s a 8:30pm booking” and walking away was kind of a rude shock. 5.5/10