From what I hear, working in Docklands is the dumps. The extra hassle of jumping from train to tram to get to work, limited tram services and a barren wasteland with limited food choices - I'm just grateful my workplace never ended up relocating there. Unfortunately for Mr A, he has recently moved offices and the only saving point is finding a few gems to make life in Docklands much easier, one of them being Pok Pok. Set in a modern and fun space accentuated by bursts of pink, Pok Pok serves delicious Thai street food with a modern twist.
The menu is rather large, so the bigger the group, the better to sample everything and prices are affordable and offer excellent value.
Considering the large menu, I was overwhelmed with all the choices so with the recommendation from our friendly waiter, we ordered the Bangkok street style fresh spring rolls. Inside the soft spring rolls, there was a jumble of fresh ingredients of different textures and with the sweet tamarind relish and tangy dijon mustard, it was simply beautiful to eat. This was almost exactly like the Malaysian dish, Popiah.
My dish from the wok had a distinct green curry taste to it although without the creaminess and with plenty of whole & sliced chillis scattered throughout, there was a nice fiery heat to the sauce. The pork belly was covered in sauce yet retained a lovely crunch to the crackling and the fat made it nice and tender. A really tasty dish and I especially liked it with the crunch of the green beans.
We decided to indulge in some dessert and went for the coconut ice cream brioche sandwich. A little nibble of the coconut ice cream revealed that it was delectably light and flavoursome with shards of young coconut meat swirled through. Although the brioche was on the dry side, all the elements married nicely and made for a great way to finish our meal at Pok Pok.
We enjoyed ourselves so much, we returned again on the weekend with a bigger group so we could try more from the menu. Bookings are advisable as it was quite full when we arrived at 7pm on a Saturday night.
The grilled chicken papaya salad was littered with chopped chillies and very fresh. The julienned papaya and carrots were crunchy and the dressing left our tongues tingling from the spiciness. The chicken was nicely charred and tender.
The tom yum soup was incredibly flavoursome and spicy, and the sizable king prawns soaked up the soup. Everyone was exclaiming how delicious it was and I liked that it lacked the usual MSG dregs that I sometimes witness.
The red duck curry had a good heat to it without killing our taste buds and the duck was crispy which worked well with the curry.
We had to order the Massaman lamb curry again so the others could try it and again, it was fabulous and the lamb was lucious and delectable.
Initially, we ordered two extra serves of roti to soak up all the lovely flavours of our dishes but our friends loved the roti so much, we ordered another three serves. The roti was just as amazing as our previous visit and with the sweet peanut-y satay, it was scrumptious and moreish (although one friend found the satay too sweet).
The egg noodles did well to carry the coconut curry and I really enjoyed the crunchy texture the fried wonton crisps added. The flavour of the mild curry was delicious and the chicken was extremely succulent. One friend likened this dish as being very similar to a Sri Lankan white curry which is typically flavoured with cinnamon.
The pad thai had a distinct prawn flavour and they weren't shy with the bean shoots which added freshness. With a spritz of lemon, we thoroughly enjoyed the pad thai and the king prawns were plump and tender.
The dishes came with some complimentary bowls of rice, great with the curries and soup. Our friends were raving about how great the food was, at such excellent value, so a few business cards were passed around. For a group of seven people, some hungry and some not so much, the total bill came to just under $120 - tell me that isn't value for money. Service is friendly and they are helpful with suggestions; considering they had four other large groups and a few other smaller tables, our food came out within fifteen minutes of ordering so the kitchen can certainly keep up with the demand. Pok Pok has become my new favourite Thai restaurant and despite the awkward location, I'd make the trek down to Docklands any day. Please do yourself a favour and check it out for yourself!
Will I return? Yes, food was tasty and great value.
803 Bourke Street
Docklands VIC 3008
(03) 9620 4580
Mon to Wed 7am - 4pm
Thurs to Fri 7am - 10pm
Sat 6pm - 10pm