Thy Thy 1 is one of the most anticipated restaurants for the Chopstick Chowdown Challenge members. Thy Thy is familiar to Melbourners for its good cheap food. Some people have even been known to travel from interstate just for a fix of Thy Thy...but how would it stand up to the Chopstick Chowdown formula?
The entrance is simple sign garlanded by neon lights. It would be easy to miss, were it not for pink doorway. This leads to a narrow staircase, which might dazzle you with purply pink walls and flashing lights but this is part of Thy Thy's charm.
The decor is a wonderfully kitsch combination of pink, purple and maroon. Foilage, illuminated paper lanterns, yellow flowers and a checkboard pattern on the far wall complete the image. Even the bowls have colourful designs on the outside. Vinyl chairs make it a sweaty concept on a warm summer night.
The communal atmosphere is alive and well at Thy Thy as recommendations fly at us from the (slightly odd) blokes leaving the table next to us: "rice paper rolls, rare lemon beef and squid", one declares as we blankly stare back. There are rules to this challenge, people!
The rice paper rolls are of the green chive tail variety and contain Vietnamese mint making them quite refreshing. Spring rolls are of the extremely thin variety and have no discernable filling aside from a grey mince.
Number 27 lands us on chicken sweet corn soup for the second time during ChChCh. With 7 people sharing we get a spoonful each and I feel it is up there as far as chicken sweet corn soutp goes. I have high expectations for the pho and it is pretty good. I notice the noodles are different, instead of thin and flat we have square-shaped ones. Interesting...maybe...
Famous lawyer Scotty T ("you know...the one from that case with the woman and the baby") has joined us for the first time and shares his experience of travelling in Vietnam and how pho there is a staple breakfast food. He responds to Niki's barrage of questions, identifying Vietnam as the choice destination if travelling around South East Asia.
Niki is pouring out the tea in professional style ("high teeeea or low tea?"). High tea, I reply. I like my tea to be aerated. Later when Andrew fumbles with the teapot, Penny suggests men should stick to what they are good at. I assume that mean building stuff and not pouring tea or attempting child birth.
From the specials, mango chicken hits the spot. Crispy battered chicken with a bright yellow sauce, topped with mango slices. It is light and not too sweet. Also from the specials we take the salt and pepper prawns. We have them shelless and they come in a light, white batter and delicate flavouring. The same can't be said for the pieces of chilli that get caught up in the prawn eating and have some of our eyes watering.
There are no complaints about Thy Thy. The food is light, tasty across the board. The atmosphere is jovial and gaudy. Best of all only sets us back $11.50 each. Bargain!
Rice paper rolls 6.3/10
Spring rolls 6.1/10
Beef pho 8.5/10
#27 (chicken sweet corn soup) 7.3/10
Special (mango chicken) 7.5/10
Special (salt and pepper prawns) 8.1/10