Food review

Week 40: Colonel Tan’s


Colonel Tan’s is the restaurant within Melbourne’s party institution, Revolver – the newest venture from the owners of Cookie. In case you’re wondering, food service ends well before the debauchery of Revolver reveals itself. The laid back Thai street style food is reasonably priced and packs a punch of flavor. How did such a hipster Thai restaurant find it’s way onto Spaghetti Blogenese – it had to do with their ‘Bangkok Bolognese’.

This Bolognese was by far the most outrageous and unique I’ve tasted to date. The dish was like no Bolognese I have eaten before as it had heavy thai flavours built around a beefy-tomatoey base – a subtle fusion between Italian and Thai cuisines. Though I could taste the origin of Bolognese, it didn’t resemble much of the traditional kind, and took a backseat behind the prominent Thai flavours.

The presentation was all about the sauce – When the dish arrived to the table, I didn’t realize there was pasta beneath the sauce, so much so that before hoeing in I asked the waiter for some rice to accompany. She made me aware of the rice noodles under the mountain of colorful sauce. Note: rice noodles were used, not spaghetti to tie in with the Thai influence.

What was most obvious with this one was the spice factor – it was HOT, and I really enjoyed the dish overall. It has lovely Thai balance – spicy, sweet, sour and salty and that Bolognese note was subtle but definitely there.

I realised when eating this one that I have a near impossible task of scoring it. As mentioned, I really enjoyed the dish, thought I liked it more as a Thai dish than a Bolognese. From a Bolognese standpoint, the dish missed the mark on a few elements for me as it was Thai flavoured making it hard to judge. For me, it resembled more a Thai meat stir fry – it was a Thai dish I enjoyed, but not a Bolognese I would crave. For the sake of this blog to find Melbourne’s best Bolognese I rate it as mediocre, however as a non-bolognese dish, it would rate higher. I do suggest trying it when eating at Colonel Tan’s – it’s whacky!

Price: $15.50
Score: 13/20

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