So following on from the Risotto we had on Sunday, DW, WW and I decided to take a break from our study session and head to dinner at Chilli Jam in Concord. It was a well deserved break as we had been madly slaving away at our assignment all afternoon and had pretty much fried our brains by the time dinner ticked around.
The place was picked by yours truly, purely and simply because I was the host and knew my area. (Makes sense right?) I'd been eyeing Chilli Jam for some time now as a target for my foodieventures, and on Sunday, the timing just felt right.
Money Bags - $7.90
The place was pretty quiet in terms of number of customers for a Sunday night. There were plenty of empty seats and we were quickly seated despite not having booked earlier. The design of the place is visually pleasing with dim lights and dark wooden furniture, spiced up with different seating arrangements around the large venue. It was also spacious, helped along by its high ceilings. On the downside were the concrete walls, which meant that noise reverberated straight off the walls, making it considerably loud given the number of people inside.
Deep Fried Soft Shell Crab - $12.90
We began our night with a serve of Deep Fried Soft Shell Crab and Money Bags. I personally love Money Bags (haha, get it?), but these ones were rather disappointing as they tasted like they had either been double-fried or just overdone. The filling itself left much to be desired as it just looked like a brown paste with an occasional pea somewhere inside.
The Soft Shell Crabs were also disappointing. DW loves her Soft Shell Crab and claims that these ones came nowhere close to the level of quality you get at Thai Pothong. There was a strong taste of fishiness, which suggests that the crabs were not very fresh at all.
Pad Thai (Beef) - $12.90
Luckily there was a change in our luck once DW's Pad Thai appeared before our eyes. The noodles were soft and delicately flavoured. I found the dish to be a tad on the sweet side, which made the additional mound of sugar provided on the side between the chilli flakes and bean sprouts (not visible in the picture) rather bizarre. I generally enjoy a squeeze of lemon/lime on my Pad Thai, but DW happily went without.
Oh, and as you may have noticed, the pricing is a little weird in this place.
Stir-fry Prawns in Garlic and Pepper Sauce - $16.90
The above picture is WW's Prawn in Garlic and Pepper Sauce. I will tell you now that when this dish came out, I had an inkling of regret in me for not having picked it. If heaven had a smell, this would be it.
And as such, it is reasonably foreseeable that DW and I both started picking away at the plate, possibly to WW's dismay. The prawns were bursty and full of flavour, and the vegetables still retained their crunch with vibrancy in colour. And the sauce? Well, we all agreed that we couldn't really tell where the garlic or the pepper came into play, but it was still incredibly delicious nevertheless.
Massamun Curry - $12.90
Roti - $3
Next up was my Massamun Curry, served with Roti. I'm a huge fan of massamun curry - the tenderness of the beef and potatoes, all served with a generous serving of jasmine rice, is simply to die for.
This time, however, I decided to give Roti a try. I had never tried one before, but in my mind I had always pictured it to be somewhat like a cross between an Indian Naan and a Shanghainese Shallot Pancake. I guess I was somewhat right when I finally bit into it. It was just so flaky and full of flavour, yet soft and complimented the curry very well.
The beef chunks in the curry at Chilli Jam were a bit disappointing. Due to the INCREDIBLY large pieces of meat they have, they were pretty tough and incredibly hard to eat. I didn't end up finishing my bowl, but the serving sizes at Chilli Jam are quite large, and each serve could have easily fed two people.
Overall I believe the 6.5 average score for Chilli Jam on Eatability was pretty much spot on. Some things about the place were great, while others were huge let downs. I would probably come back for the Prawn stirfry.
104 Majors Bay Road
Concord, NSW 2137
Tel: (02) 9743 3400