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Sunday, February 10, 2013

Pok Pok

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.

 Bangkok Street Style Fresh Spring Rolls - soft spring roll wrapped around tender chicken, lap cheong (chinese sausage), marinated tofu, steamed bean shoot, finely sliced egg omelette and fresh cucumber served with tamarind relish ($7.50)

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.

Roast Pork Belly and Dry Green Peppercorn - crisp pork belly stir-fried with green peppercorn curry paste, crunchy green beans, kaffir lime leaves, chilli & basil served on Thai jasmine rice ($13.50)

Mr A was swayed by our waiter's recommendation of the Massaman lamb curry and after devouring it, we both agreed that it was a stand out dish and definitely one of the best Thai curries we've ever had. The curry was on the sweet side with a subdued heat; complemented beautifully by the fall-off-the-bone, fatty and tender lamb shank. The dish couldn't get even better if it tried, oh wait, it could. The accompanying roti bread was crispy and utterly buttery and fluffy, soaking up the delicious curry sauce. The roti bread came with a sweet vinegar which was nice, but I felt the roti bread was best saved for the curry.


 Massaman Lamb Curry with Crisp Roti Bread - slow-cooked lamb shank, waxy potatoes, onion, fried shallot and crunchy cashew nuts served with fresh cooked roti bread, sweet vinegar ($14.50)

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.


Coconut ice cream with sweet brioche sandwich topped with palm seed sweet corn and roasted peanuts ($6.50)

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.

Green Papaya Salad with Char Grilled Marinated Chicken ($14.50)

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.

Tom Yum King Prawn ($12.50)

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.

Roasted Duck Curry ($14.50)

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.

Massaman Lamb Curry with Crisp Roti Bread ($14.50)

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).

Roti Bread ($6.90)

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.

Chiang Mai Curry Noodles “Kao Soi” ($13.50)

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.

Pad Thai King Prawn ($14.50)

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!

Food: 8.5/10
Service: 9/10
Value: 9/10
Will I return? Yes, food was tasty and great value.

Pok Pok
803 Bourke Street
Docklands VIC 3008
(03) 9620 4580


Mon to Wed 7am - 4pm
Thurs to Fri 7am - 10pm
Sat 6pm - 10pm

Pok Pok on Urbanspoon

14 thoughts:

  1. Thanks for the post - unfortunately I work in the docklands so will check this out

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  2. I must that I am quite surprised! I feel that Sydney does far better Asian food than Melbourne which always seem to only have the bastardised versions. Melbourne does better fusion though. Might give this place a go...the dessert looks like a real treat! :)

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    Replies
    1. I must agree and say I feel the same. Melbourne doesn't seem to pull off 'street food' quite as well and usually in dank and dingy fitouts, whereas Sydney does it well in a modern setting. I'm hoping we see a trend with more authentic food coming in :)

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  3. Wow... impressive!!! Especially the dessert!

    Sadly, I wouldn't travel to Docklands, because it's so quiet and boring there LOL. Who knows, perhaps that bit of Thai within me would convince me to visit :P

    x

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    Replies
    1. Hehe I'll travel anywhere for good food!

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  4. I've been wanting to visit, but yeah... Docklands is kind of annoying to get to. It does sound like it's worth it, though!

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    Replies
    1. I think Docklands is one of the worst places to get to in Melbourne, the traffic or catching public transport there is a PAIN! But I'd make the trip again for Pok Pok :)

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  5. All the dishes looked so yummy and my mouth was watering while watching them.

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  6. YAY Delicious food in Docklands :D Mr Bao and I always go to the Docklands cuz we shop at Costco but there's nearly nothing good to eat there, so I'm glad Pok Pok looks and sounds promising! That coconut ice-cream brioche is making my mouth water so badly!!!!

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    Replies
    1. Haha ooh Costco, how I miss having membership to that place but I'm waiting for the Ringwood store to open. Make sure you drop by next time, Pok Pok is so good!

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  7. check out bang pop for better thai street food highly recommended

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Thanks for your comments!

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