Madame Tuk has presided over Sweet Basil for seventeen years now, and her original cooking utensils have made it into frames on the restaurant walls – along with a couple of pugs in chef’s hats, and tins of mackerel. Don’t let the quirky decor fool you, though; Madame Tuk is serious about food.
This little Thai gem just off Chapel Street isn’t cheap, but the menu won’t disappoint. All the Thai favourites are here – pad thai and a really delicious sour tom yum soup. Then there’s calamari stuffed with prawns, moneybag dumplings, quail with peppercorns and garlic, duck in basil and fruit sauce and a whole rainbow trout in ginger, plum sugar and tamarind.
Sweet Basil’s dining room, green-tinted by a large lightbox fixture, is full of pictures and cosy wooden fittings. Upstairs is a second dining room in yellow with a smiling buddha. Or, for really intimate dining, have them deliver the food to you.
209 Commercial Road, South Yarra
(03) 9827 3390, www.sweetbasil.com.au