13 October 2008

Trinitas Thai

955 Burke Rd, Camberwell
Ph: 9813 1565
Open: lunch Thu to Fri; dinner Tue to Sun

Trinitas Thai will change the way you think about Thai food. It will raise your eyebrows, broaden your horizons and delight your tastebuds.

It will also make you want to book a trip to Bangkok. Of course, traveling halfway around the world is an extreme reaction and, on second thoughts, unnecessary when Trinitas is just around the corner. The more sensible thing would be to simply return to Trinitas and sample something else from the menu. Then return again. And then perhaps pop back in for some take away.

Because Trinitas is a shining light in the black hole that is the Camberwell dining scene. Not to mention a standout when it comes to this town’s mostly mediocre Thai. And clearly I’m not the first to work this out. The current wait for a Saturday night booking is about a week. And now I’m on this bandwagon, the wait’s not going to get any less.

I think my favourite Trinitas moment was when I had my first mouthful of yum scallop ($13), a succulent scallop in the shell with a tiny salad of apple, mint and onion and a dressing of herby tamarid sauce. Before this dish, I thought I liked my scallops done on the barbie with a bit of lemon juice. Not any more. The crispness of the salad and the sweetness of the dressing was classic Thai and the perfect accompaniment to lift the tiny mollusk.

Our other entrĂ©e of prawn spring rolls was fresh, crispy and served with a sweet chilli sauce. Better than anything I’ve had on Victoria St, which is the only other place I order spring rolls. After those two delights, it was time for mains – easier said than done. Trinitas has divided its menu into traditional, contemporary and fusion dishes. It sounds complicated but it actually helped us understand the style of each of the dishes on the menu.

From the contemporary menu we ordered the triple salad ($21) of spicy crispy squid, prawns and fish salad with a Thai lime dressing. This dish came piled high on our plate and featured a similar apple and mint salad to the scallops. Divine.

Then, for a taste of curry, we choose the red curry duck ($20) from the traditional menu. For me, this was a highlight comparable with the scallops. Served with a creamy coconut rice, the curry had large chunks of duck with pineapple, cherry tomatoes and Thai vegetables in a creamy red curry sauce. Had the dish in its entirety not been so damn good, I could have happly eaten a bowl of just the rice and sauce. My new favourite curry.

Throw in a decent bottle of semilon sauvignon from Margaret River (it’s also BYO), some top-notch service and an electric vibe in the small-but-modern dining room and you’re sure to have a great night.

It’s not Bangkok, but it’s damn close.