Rock Sugar brings Eastern Thai vibes to South Yarra
When you combine authenticity, passion and amazing culinary skills together it’s a recipe for success in the form of the latest Thai restaurant to open in South Yarra, Rock Sugar. This restaurant is one of the best quality cheap eat options in Melbourne.
The dream team behind this new gem are owner, Nikon Souphan, front of house manager, Simon Tammesild (formerly of Mr Miyagi) and distinguished chef Kam McManamey (formerly of South Wharf's BangPop and Brotherambo). This powerhouse trio brings together the best of the best when it comes to culinary skills and customer service and the heart behind it as Nikon Souphan once called the shop front home as a youngster. We've followed the career of Kam McManamey and he is one of our favourite chefs in Melbourne - a chef who doesn't compromise on taste and quality and who displays considerable flair.
So what makes Thai cuisine so special? Thai food is laced with exotic flavours and fragrances from lemongrass, Thai basil and kaffir lime to coconut milk, fish sauce and a host of other herbs and spices that create such memorable dishes. One of the best things about Thai cuisine is the flexibility so those with diet restrictions are able to get some tasty options which Rock Sugar caters to.
The World Loves Melbourne was fortunate to be treated to a Rock Sugar feast. The menu is compelling but you’ll want to pace yourself to be able try a good portion of the dishes. The selection of small and medium size dishes range from fresh seafood straight from the Spencer Gulf in South Australia to classic chicken satay. Some of our top picks are the chicken satay with turmeric and peanut nam jim, the Hiramasa kingfish with chili, pomelo and salmon roe or the short ribs with tamarind nam jim, pickles and chili salt.
No Thai menu is complete without a good authentic curry. There are more than five curry options on the menu and the Massman Curry was spectacular! Think 18 hour slow roasted beef shin, peanuts, potato, coriander and pickled shallots. This is a rich, aromatic curry and the meat is stunningly tender.
Rock Sugar not only appeals to your nose and mouth, but the presentation of the food is picturesque! The whole baby snapper stole the show sitting perfectly upright on the plate. Watch out Angry Birds as this #angryfish could start a new trend.
The drink list is as funky as the menu. Aside from fabulous food, Rock Sugar has signature, made to order ‘rocktails’ including Blue Bird (sake, lemongrass, lychee, Violette and citrus) or if you’re feeling adventurous, the Chilli Chocolate Martini (chocolate sorbet, cognac and chili) is an mesmerising combination of sweet and spicy (not for the faint at heart). Just for added kicks, almost all the ‘rocktails’ are served in bubble tea cups even including the massive straws! You’ll still be able to get traditional Thai beers and there is a killer wine list as well.
For dessert, be sure to try the turmeric crème caramel with blood orange goodness or the chocolate mousse! Both are a light and delicate and a perfect way to finish of the evening.
Rock Sugar has captured the fresh and fragrant essence of Thai food and the team’s passion will no doubt keep this restaurant as one of the most sought after venues for Thai.
477 Malvern Road, South Yarra