Easy Tiger – 96 Smith St, Collingwood (@easytigersmith)

On Friday night I finally got to the new kid on the Smith Street block, Easy Tiger, for modern Thai fare. The setting is cool, a kind of ‘sustainable-retro’ feel with casual dining in the front window, a communal table running down the left side, and a few round tables of four on the right.

This is local dining for me. I’ve walked past it a few times and have been tantalized by Joyce’s review on Mel: Hot or Not. So, one re-scheduled booking on and we (my fellow diner L and I) were nothing short of delighted by the full flavours and fresh dishes. Also ran into a friend there too who saw my pre-dinner tweet and said she too would be there! (got to love Twitter)

We snacked on spicy Taro Chips – yes, you can think slice and deep-fry anything to make it a ‘ship’! – and I ordered a vodka, soda, fresh lime while L had a beer, just as the rain poured down.

Then we made ‘the food is incredible’ noises as we were blown away by the food. We ate this (*taken from menu):

  • betel leaves with prawn and fresh coconut 5 ea.
  • hot and sour thai beef salad, cherry tomatoes, coriander and fresh lime 24
  • coconut braised beef brisket with pickled cucumber 28
  • chocolate (monsieur truffe) and pandanus leaf dumplings with melon 14
  • sago pudding, coconut jelly and fresh finger banana 14

L and I agreed we would be back to try the rest of the menu but if you only go once we highly recommend these options – all delicious, fresh and packed with flavour but not in a ‘it stays with you all night’ kind of way.

Would recommend some Easy Tiger action but make sure you book if you’re there on the weekend.

Note: I would have taken more photos but, as I’ve said before, I’m a terrible ‘food blogger’ … I get so excited by the food and am so caught up in the culinary experience that it’s usually eaten before I remember to take pics.

Easy Tiger, 96 Smith St, Collingwood +61 3 9417 2373


Turkish small plates at Gigibaba (102 Smith St, Collingwood)

My dear sister has been visiting from Sydney this week and we’ve managed to get around to some tasty places in Melbourne. On Tuesday night we wanted something light, quick and close to home so we strolled to Smith Street and fell upon Gigibaba. I’ve read only positive reviews about this Turkish delight and we were not disappointed.

The warm, quirky interior and comfortable armchairs set the scene; it was almost like sitting in someone’s aunty’s living room. From decided to share some small plates and chose lamb sausages, garlic broadbeans, baked salmon and an eggplant dish. The flavours were strong and sizes just enough although if you’re hungry you may like to follow the small plates with a main or double up on the amount we had.

A great Turkish experience although it didn’t grab me enough to go back there when there are so many other places I haven’t tried yet. Our waitress was a little abrasive – I’ve worked for many years in hospitality and an detect even a whiff of forced ‘niceness’ in service staff.