Eating @ ... Kum Pun Thai
Recently (welcome!) back on the city's dining scene after an extended post-quake refurb last year, Kum Pun Thai have most definitely used that time well to up the wow factor of their restaurant, with their leaf-covered ceiling creating an intimate, calm, almost Zen-like atmosphere in which to relax and enjoy their tasty menu of Thai classics and special signature dishes.
We settle in and kick things off with a house special, the Kum Pun sea star, a Thai-inspired take on a wonton in which tasty, tender minced chicken awaits beneath a star-pool casing filled with Thai red curry sauce with a hum – it's an ingenious, tasty little package that positively screams out “Have more than one!” in an insistently elbow-your-friends-aside tone.
The battle over the delectable entrée completed, we head onto Tom Yum soup, opting for the prawn option to add a seafood flavour kick to the sour and spicy broth and its heady mix of chilli, lemon, galangal, lemongrass, lime leaves and mushrooms.
Together with the sea stars, it’s almost a meal in itself, but we’re not calling time yet; the prawns were such a hit that we order up more in the form of the chef-recommended Choo Chee, with Bangkok style king prawns cooked with lime leaves, chilli and coconut milk, as well as a tasty house take on the classic Cashew Nut Stir Fry, some Pad Thai (because how can you not?), and Kum Pun’s own rather special version of Massaman Curry, which features an entire slow-braised lamb shank (positively melting off the bone) served up with a sweet potato mash and – joy! – crispy noodles, all in the delicious traditional sauce.
It’s a very full group that staggers out into Victoria Street – the problem was that it was just too hard to stop eating!
Kum Pun Thai Restaurant
73 Victoria Street, Central City
Lunch Mon – Fri 11.30am – 2.30pm, Dinner Mon – Sun 5pm – late