Really, the most awesome places to dine at are usually at the oddest locations.
That’s how we came across i Spicy.
If you are out looking for cheap, authentic and deliciously mouth-watering Thai food, just head to the nearest Safeway outlet in Hawthorn.
Yes. In the middle of the Hawthorn arcade sits a little cafe painted in bright green and red colours.
Sometime in June, after the Good Food and Wine Melbourne show, a couple of my fellow bloggers decided to pop somewhere for a quick, cheap and delicious meal.
Katspat and April nominated iSpicy. Thanh, Allan and I trudged along warily as we have never ventured there before, but were reassured several times that it was worth the drive and visit.
We left the ordering to Katspat in fear of her “death stare” should we unfortunately order the wrong Thai dishes 😛
I’m so glad she did, as I could sit back, relax and enjoy all the amazingly good food coming out of the kitchen.
We started out with a rather spicy Tom Sap, which was rich with chilli, lime and pork. Just the way I like it. To me, it was somewhere between a Tom Yum and a Sup Kambing.
Out came the Deep Fried Barramundi with Som Tam. Another enticing dish and it was very well-balanced. I know, an over-rated and highly used word when defining Thai cuisine, but it really was just perfect.
We also had some Soft Shell Crab, which was okay.
Highly recommended, Katspat ordered the Roasted Pork Shank for us to sink our teeth into. Unfortunately, it was a tad dry, and although Katspat kept saying it’s usually more tender and juicy, I probably will skip this the next time I return.
The winning dish for me (and Thanh especially) had to be the Crispy Pork with Red Curry. Everything about this dish was a win.
The sweet, crispy, succulent, and spicy pork belly was just too good.
For some reason, we also had a dish of Pad Thai with no bean sprouts. I blame April 😛
It was quite a good Pad Thai, but without the bean sprouts, I just didn’t enjoy it as much.
Lastly, we had the Stuffed Calamari Lemon S which was also another fantastic must have from this place.
I’m not quite sure what the S is either, but let’s not go there 🙂
I can’t believe how much we ate and ordered! More unbelievable is that we finished everything that we ordered.
I guess the good thing about that was that there was no wastage, but once again, I think we over-ate and over-estimated our eating capacities.
Too much “eyes bigger than belly” going on.
But, it was so worth it.
For an alternative review, read Allan’s post about it here.
*Disclaimer: All food ratings are purely based on my own experiences and how I feel about the service, food and quality at the time of visit
Food/ Cuisine: Thai
Dining Style: Restaurant
Overall Food Rating (Based on the Dining style): 8.5/10 (would have gotten a 9 if it wasn’t for the pork!)
Restaurant ambiance: 6.5/10
Service/ Attitude: 8/10 (they were friendly enough)
Value for money: 8/10 (I can’t really recall how much we spent exactly, but I think it worked out to be less than $20 per person)
674-680 Glenferrie Road
Hawthorn VIC 3122
Tel: (03) 9818 4828
How to get there:
Yay for new discoveries of good local eateries around Melb! Thanks for sharing. I absolutely LOVE pork so I think I’ll be enjoying the soup and curry very very much. Nice one!! I need to explore and venture into the realms of Hawthorn more often! Love it there!
I know! The best ones are usually all the hidden local gems 🙂
Hey.. the food looks good! I’ve lost interest in Thai taste in Collingwood so have not eaten Thai for ages. Thanks for sharing this place with us.
We’re planning a second session… wanna come?
Haha I think I always overestimate my eating capabilities. That being said, I’d really like some of that pork in red curry!! And I bet I could finish the barramundi with som tam as well 😉
Man… eating with my eyes is the main part of my blunders!
April ordered the pad thai. Neither am I responsible for the pork shank! anyway we went to the other secret Thai in the city and we’ve decided we want to go back iSpicy soon.
iSpicy is such a quirky name for a restaurant. I don’t really like fried stuff but the mangoes on the fish looks too difficult to pass.
I’m not sure about leaving Kat up to the ordering – she did the ordering last night and some of the dishes were duds. Plus her chilli tolerance is crap! I’m not sure she’s really Thai. (Hahahahaha)
Really?? Damn! She’s a wuss then 😛
The food looks pretty good considering it is so reasonable! Love the pic of the pork and red curry.
That was too delicious… more delicious than the pic makes it looks!
That cripsy pork def looks like a winner. Shame about some of the others
More hits than misses though!
Sounds like an unexpected success! And proof is in the fact that nothing was left behind! 🙂
I know… clean clean clean plates!
Oh how I long for Som Tam!
And I DO want to know what the S stands for. Surprise? Spectacular? Soggy? Salacious?
OOOOOOOOOHHHHH!!! I eat all Som Tam? 😉
U did all eat som tam 🙂
I like the location of this one, but did they have any good looking vego food? Mmm, love Thai food. My fave.
I’m not too sure about vego options, but I’m sure you could try to get them to cater for it 🙂 Som Tam is always vego really 😛
Ha, you beat me on this! I have a blog pending on I-Spicy, but the one I went was in Richmond, Victoria Street, their second shop 🙂 Glad to see that you get to enjoy other Thai dishes apart from the Thai green curry and others..guess going with another Thai – Kat was an awesome move!
Ooo.. we just went again the other day to revisit and had a whole lot of other spicy dishes! ROCK ON! Are you Thai as well?
Yes, i am indeed 🙂
ispicy is the restaurant that I usually go when I have a crave for exotic Thai dish 🙂 Love the fact that they serve up other dishes that you can’t find in other (usual) Thai restaurants.
I love it.. Can’t wait to get back!
Hahaha, I did the ordering so I could ask for no bean sprouts! 😛 The pad thai and the crispy pork in red curry are my favourite dishes. I must schedule a visit soon since I missed out going for Round 2 with you guys!
We must go again! And again! And again! 😛