Before I even begin this review, I am going to apologise for the quality of the photos! Cute little tungsten lights from NY look great, but create havoc for taking photos!! I feel like we’ve gone back 2 or 3 steps as far as our photography goes. Let’s hope next time is better…
We arrive a bit late to Muum Maam, around 8:30ish, but it is still busy and has such a beautiful warm glow shining through the front window that we just can’t wait to sit down and tuck into some yummy modern Thai cuisine. The name Muum Maam translates to ‘little glutton’ in Thai slang, and we plan to be just that tonight!
Perched on cute little wooden stools we look at the delicious menu. First things first, I dive for the wine list and order a bottle of the Rockford Alicante Bouchet Rosé 2011 from the Barossa Valley, South Australia ($46). It arrives not long after and is everything we were looking for. Soft and juicy, with aromas of apple and cassis and a palette of delicate cherries, it has little acidity and is very, very drinkable.
The Rosé pairs perfectly with my favourite Thai starter, Beetle Leaf, topped with smoked trout, trout roe, sweet coconut, lime, ginger and tamarind ($4 each), not to mention the spicy Turmeric Grilled Spatchcock and Green Papaya Salad ($21) that we order. Both are delicious and light and we gobble them down very quickly.
We also order the Crispy Pork Belly and Snake Beans Stir -fried with Phrik Khing chilli paste ($19). It looks lovely and the flavours are great, but the texture of the pork is a little weird. The skin is more chewy than crispy, and the meat has somehow dried out, which is strange as there is a wonderful sauce that covers everything. Overall, the dish is so rich and fatty I can only eat a few mouthfuls and leave the rest for Oscar, who is happy to polish it all off as he has just played a game of soccer.
Inside the restaurant is a warm glow with these great little tungsten lights from NY. There is little other lighting, except for in the kitchen, but you don’t need it (unless you’re trying to take photos!!). The wallpaper in vibrant reds builds on the warmth, as do the little red tea-light holders on the tables.
The ceiling is exposed concrete with a trim of bronze mirrors above the kitchen reflecting lights, tables, wallpaper and happy diners. Timber lines the kitchen and servery, tables and stools, but is grounded by the polished concrete floors. This could be a very noisy restaurant, for all it’s hard surfaces, but it isn’t for some reason. Perhaps it is because everyone is too busy eating and greedily munching on their dinners.
Billed as traditional Thai street food, the lunchtime offer is aptly named “Tuk Shop”. I haven’t been at lunch time yet, but one might assume the little cart above might be used here? Muum Maam also squeezes their own coconut milk and water twice a week, so you can be sure you’re getting the real deal here.
The crowd here is mixed. There are a group of four business suits, a birthday party, a few dates, and a few mixed groups. Everyone is in a relaxed mood, as is the music, which to be honest doesn’t even register, and there are no loud posers or whip lash trying to see the who of whos. The staff are amazing. Friendly and genuine. Even offering to help when I just can’t get the photos right on the lights. “Why don’t you try those ones… further in…” So cute… Love.
Truly, I love this restaurant, despite the Pork Belly. Delicious traditional Thai cuisine served in a friendly modern manner, at a reasonable price.
LOVIN’: Beetle Leaf Starter and genuine friendly staff
NOT LOVIN’: Pork Belly and Snake Bean Stir-fry
HOW MUCH: $$$$$
WHERE: Shop 1, 50 Holt Street, Surry Hills
WHEN: Tuk Shop Lunches
Mon – Fri 11:30am – 3:30pm
Muum Maam Dinners
Mon – Sat 6 – 10:30pm
CONTACT: (02) 9318 – 0881
Also check out the SMH review here (which I don’t think gives it justice, sounds like the writer was in a grumpy mood).
PS – Am trialing the urbanspoon link below. Let me know if it works…