It’s been at least three months since Tom Tom first opened. On my recent visit, the seats were still packed. That’s telling, isn’t it?
I have to say, the mod Thai eatery has left a great impression on me. Suffice it to say that it’s got nothing to do with how warm and vibrant the ambiance was (wood-accented furnitures all over, teal and primrose chairs as highlights, plus a long, open kitchen). The only defining factor I’m going to cover is taste.
We hit it off with Larp Kai (IDR 40,000), which is a big bowl of Thai chicken salad.
It’s GREAT stuff. And yes, you’re hearing this from a health nut, but if you must know, I never order salads when eating out. This salad is far from a waste of your dime – the chicken was cooked just right and was sliced into pieces tiny enough to blend immaculately in all that spicy goodness. A spoonful of this was fresh, hot, and juicy all at once. There’s also a big punch of fragrance that’s signature to Thai cuisine.
Since I’m one of those who can’t stand chili for long, I was glad that this dish is served with big-ass veggies on the side, which are super fresh, by the way. Trust me, you won’t get enough of those basil leaves. They smell like the sweet onset of summer.
Then we opted for Taley Pad Pong Karee (IDR 78,000) from the a la carte menu. It was simply smashing.
As it was written on the menu, this is “savory Thai red curry mixed with egg as a sauce on top of mixed seafood”. The description did justice to the plate in front of me, and I can’t emphasize enough of the “savory” part.
I mean, when was the last time you went to a restaurant that serves such generous helpings of seafood (excluding seafood restaurants, of course)? And eggs, OHMYGOD eggs. Egg whites and egg yolks are the very reason I swear to never become a vegan. Because if you put a couple of eggs in a jumbo plate and then go on making them into one massive pudgy sauce, you would certainly win my heart without question.
Oh, and did I mention how generous they were with their seafood? I’m sure you’ll agree that most affordable Thai restaurants in town are stingy with their meats and seafood. In this case, amidst the sea of leeks, basil, and onions, you can always bite on the sea munchies squirming through your tongue on every mouthful, so you don’t have to “save” the good stuff for the last to truly savor them, especially if you’re eating this with rice.
Next up is everyone’s favorite, the one and only Pad Thai (IDR 48,000). Been a really long while since I’ve eaten a good one (and at such a portion!), the kind that brings massive peanuts, sugar, sour lime and soy sauce to mind.
I won’t say Tom Tom’s Pad Thai is the best I’ve ever tasted, but it’s certainly one of the most authentic ones in town, considering how tart and zesty the shrimps are and how well-seasoned the rice noodles are. Also love the fresh produce on this dish, particularly with the crunchy sprouts. They make one harmonious complement to the flaccidity of the noodles. When blended, the texture of those sprouts, green onions and the minced chicken was altogether enriching to the extra-delicate base of the dish.
With everything served on our table coming in size XXL, we heaved huge sighs of fulfillment and remained seated till everything went down in our belly for business. Despite all that bloating, you can’t argue with the fact that there’s always a separate room inside for dessert. Everything we’ve had so far was good. What makes the dessert here any different?
So we had Khao Niaw Ma Muang (IDR 45,000), or mango with sticky rice, to tame our sweet tooth. By the looks of it, it’s one modest dessert, but boasts minimal ingredients and worldwide fans to boot. Best of all, it has everything that I love in one plate: Coconut cream, coconut milk, and mangoes. Dear God, I’m obsessed with mangoes. If you’ve been following me on Instagram, you already know that I habitually snack on the king of fruits.
The cream tasted so fluffy and good with the tender mangoes, not to mention that the milky goodness felt like a match made in heaven on top of the sweet-sour-tasting fruit. I just wish the rice was stickier so they won’t crumble whenever I grab a spoonful of it. Either trim down the portion of the sticky rice or add more of the cream to balance the whole dish. Other than that, a few sprinkles of sesame seeds would be a pleasure for this classic dessert.
Needless to say, Tom Tom was a pleasant surprise for me, considering the impressive amount of attention to details they’ve put for all their dishes. If I have to be nitpicky about anything at all, I’d say the service was slow, as friendly and as helpful as they were.
I’ll be coming back, that is, whenever I’m craving real Thai, but at the same time am borderline on my budget.
Grand Indonesia Shopping Town
West Mall, Level 5, Unit ED2 2A
Jl. M.H. Thamrin No. 1
Jakarta Pusat 10310
(021) 2358 0412
Follow @tomtomjkt on Instagram
M – S 10:00am – 10:00pm