There are people, who upon first meeting you instantly connect with. Truc was one of those friends for me. We met during Chemistry tutoring in year 11 and from the first time I sat next to her we just started chatting. If you will pardon the cliche, we just naturally “clicked”.
Truc and I finally found a time to meet up this holidays for some much overdue catch up. She is the one who suggested we eat at Cookie for lunch. I’ve heard of Cookie before, but for some reason it always left me an impression of being expensive, so I’ve never visited. I was also very surprised that it was just located on the 1st floor of Curtin House on Swanston St. It’s the place I’ve walked past thousands of times during the day, assuming it was a bar that only opened at night.
We arrived about 15 minutes before they were due to open for lunch, but the lady at the bar was kind enough to let us take a seat by the large, airy open windows and leisurely peruse through the menu. The menu was conveniently split into small, medium and large dishes. Truc said that a medium and a small dish with some rice to share would be enough. Deciding on how much to order was the easy part. What to order was the problem.
We couldn’t resist the curiosity of finding out what “firecracker” was. So we went with the prawn & glass noodle firecrackers with avocado and coriander sauce.
When it arrived at the table we were quite disappointed. The firecrackers were basically just spring rolls I really hoped that they were something whizz-bang, whacky,amazing. Disappointment at the appearance aside, these were textbook spring rolls. The skin was delightfully crispy, shattering to review the innards of flavoursome prawn and soft glass noodles. However, the sauce was the true hero. It was psychedelic, bright green; silky and smooth; the avocado gave the sauce its richness contrasted by notes of coriander bursting with freshness. An absolute delight. Would I pay $14.50 for the 3 spring rolls? No. Would I pay that much for a jar of that sauce? Absolutely yes!
Before we got started on this dish, Truc painstakingly took all the visible chili out, which probably was a wise choice, seeing how much chili there was. I enjoyed ladling spoonfuls of this curry over my rice. It was rich with coconut milk, but I liked how the coconut milk didn’t overpower the whole dish. I appreciated the delicate flavours of the herbs and spices, which made this curry deliciously addictive. I loved the different textural elements created by the variety of vegetables. However, I really didn’t like the chicken and corn dumplings. They were dry, stringy and flavourless. If these were super bouncy and juicy chicken meatballs studded with sweet corn kernels, it would have lifted this dish to another level.
I felt that food at Cookie was of a good standard. Not great, not fabulous, not special, but just good. The price is a little on the expensive side for me, but still affordable. I especially loved the friendly service, quirky atmosphere and their sense of humour. All of those things added together makes Cookie a restaurant with decent food and just a little bit of something special. Oh and your bill comes in a picture story book. How cute!