Botherambo Authentic Thai With Innovation
Botherambo is about authentic Thai and Vietnamese cuisine with innovation and surely one of the best Thai restaurants in Melbourne. Botherambo have entered the bamboo belt in Richmond/Abbotsford where Asian food dominates the scene. Botherambo is a standout from the crowd with the distinct influence of maestro chef Kam McManamey (ex BangPop). This is a classy fit out and the food shows flair and technique while honouring the main ingredients. You're likely to have food experiences here you won't get elsewhere. The World Loves Melbourne has now visited twice, once for lunch, and then for a major group lunch with 7 friends. Both visits have been ultra rewarding.
Dishes are full of flavour, super fresh, not too heavy, and contain the right amount of spice. The Salted Prawn and Crispy Pork Salad featuring crisp pork, green mango, banana blossom, rice paddy herb was a triumph, and we're suspecting all the salad options are a success. The World Loves Melbourne enjoyed a generous portion of pork, delightful amount of salted prawn, and great balance of sweet and sour. Just the sauce/dressing is superb in itself ( a story we repeat for every dish). The menu is divided between small bar serves, to shared plates and then larger shared plates - we enjoy the shared style of dining. We also ordered a mix of Jasmine rice and the Sticky rice.
Chicken and chive dumplings were a revelation, featuring a killer broth with preserved cabbage broth, coriander, fried garlic. We order two serves of these dumplings, but longed for more. The broth is compelling with the coriander setting it off, and we found ourselves consuming it like a soup after picking out the dumplings.
The Chargrilled Chicken ribs with turmeric, lemongrass, green chilli nam jim, pickled shallot, herbs were hugely popular with the green chilli sauce providing some kick. Delicious chargrilled ribs served hot were so rewarding.
Service here was impressive with waitress saying she'd worked a stint with Jamie Oliver. The attention to detail was excellent, including replacing plates and cutlery and serviettes as our meal progressed. The wait staff were also on point with recommendations, combinations of dishes and will even tell you if they think you've ordered too much!
We enjoyed the Fried Squid Tentacles featuring sriracha, kewpie mayo, lime. Even though we ordered 2 servings, the squid disappeared quickly. The kewpie mayo is a superb accompaniment. Again, the fried squid was served satisfyingly hot.
Botherambo has a contender for best Crispy Pork belly in Melbourne, featuring sticky rice, nam prik pla raa, crispy shallots, lime. This is perfectly cooked pork belly with crackling, and featuring a superb sauce with kick, from the nam prik pla raa, over delightful sticky rice.
Presentation of all meals is in the vein of fine dining. We took our good friends here, and it's the perfect place to take people who enjoy honest food with innovation and superb service and presentation.
The World Loves Melbourne loves the vibe of Botherambo, with its long bar and spacious elongated restaurant area, plus mini courtyard overlooking eclectic Swan St. Kudos to owner Nathan Peck, who has a successful hospitality history in Richmond. Our sleuth work revealed the nearby street is called Botherambo, so we conclude the name of the restaurant is a nod to the local.
The fit out is modern with exposed brick, naked bulbs, chic furniture and bar, and a sensational colourful jungle mural. The feel is of a contemporary modern restaurant.
Curries are a strongpoint at Botherambo. This Green Tofu curry was a hit with all, featuring elephants ear, wing bean, cloud fungus, green peppercorns, coriander. The green curry sauce was a highlight, and the wing bean a masterstroke. (And it's not everyday you eat elephant's ear mushroom).
Botherambo serves up this hot Jungle curry, which proved rewarding if not challenging for some of our table. The World Loves Melbourne respects the fact they haven't "dumbed" this curry down, with full heat hit (no coconut cream in sight). The chicken has absorbed the heat of the curry. But you also need to enjoy the broth.
A highlight for The World Loves Melbourne is the Red Duck leg curry featuring baby corn, wood ear, snake beans, krachai, thai basil. The sauce on this is a medium heat but so compelling. The Duck leg was cooked perfectly in the broth.
All ingredients are sourced locally.
We washed the dishes down with Mornington Peninsula Pale Ale, Quiet Deeds Kolsch and Napoleone & Co. Pear Cider. (Also to note coffee is excellent here).
A surprise dessert in counteracting the heat of the curries is the Coconut Sorbet featuring choc kaffir lime ice magic, peanut sesame salt. This dessert was a highlight of the meal, despite being only $4.
Another talking point dessert is the Mango & Sticky Rice featuring pandan coconut cream, mung bean. So refreshing.
Botherambo is a walk in style venue, although they take bookings of 8-12 people for 6.15pm timeslot for their large table.
Botherambo delights at every level in terms of ambience, superb food and drinks with nuances of heat and spice, and standout service. We are keen to return for the signature Wagyu Beef Cheek.
If there was one Thai or Vietnamese experience to be had, you wouldn't go wrong visiting Botherambo...