Saturday, 9 November 2013

The Piano Restaurant & Bar

he says:

With the recent arrival of our little man Burt, dinners out have been as rare as an uninterrupted night's sleep. So when the we were offered the chance to come and review the recently opened The Piano Restaurant & Bar we jumped at the chance.

Just outside the CBD at the beginning of Bridge Road, The Piano Restaurant & Bar is headed up by ex Longrain chef Tommy. And it isn't hard to see that Tommy has taken some of what he learned at Longrain and applied to this new venture.

Before I go into detail about the dishes served I can't help but point out that the Thai cuisine served at the Piano is probably what Thai people would refer to as Thai fusion but most Westerners would just call delicious upmarket Thai. Really what I mean but this is you won't get a whole lot of spice and the seasonings are definitely adjusted to the sweeter side to accommodate the western palate. Given the success of most popular modern Thai restaurants in Australia it's not hard to see why Tommy (and others) have taken this approach. Personally I can enjoy both styles of Thai cuisine (Authentic and Fusion) and I certainly don't think that the Thai have adjusted their cuisine to suit the western palate to the extent that the Chinese have, Honey Chicken anyone?

After a selection of delicious entrees the first main to come out was what one of the two signature dishes, The Piano Crispy Duck with Spicy Soy Dressing. Beautifully presented with a delicately shredded chilli and crispy fried basil leaf garnish and served with julienne bamboo and snake beans this crispy skinned tender duck in sticky sweet sauce is super rich and absolutely sublime. At $22.50 for a very generous serve, it's also great value!

The second signature must try dish is The Piano Slow Cooked Beef Ribs in Chilli Soy Sauce. Quite similar in appearance to the duck, the beef ribs dish is slightly spicier and as you would expect with beef, even richer and deeper in flavour.  I just love slow cooked dishes and felt that beef ribs are a wonderfully fatty alternative to pork belly in this style of dish. I can't write a review of a Thai Fusion style restaurant without mentioning what it seems is the flagship dish of these establishments, Crispy Fried Pork Belly. I first tried this dish at Red Spice Road, then Longrain and of course Chin Chin and after reading a few of the thousand or so reviews of these restaurants it seems like this dish is pretty much ordered (and loved) by everyone who dines at any of these establishments. I felt that The Piano Beef Ribs was a great interesting new take on this classic dish and again, the pricing of $20.50 is incredibly good value.

For some reason Lamb isn't particularly prevalent in Thai cuisine, I've never really worked out why that is. Perhaps it's partly because pork is just the best protein you can eat! Once again on the fusion theme, another very popular combination is Lamb Shanks and Mussaman curry, why do we love it so much? Cause it tastes so good! How can you go wrong with the nutty creamy goodness of the Mussaman sauce combined with tender braised lamb shanks? You can't! $20.50!!!

By this stage I was just about losing feeling in my legs but the lovely owners of The Piano insisted on bringing out just one more dish. I love eating but am just not able to easily consume great volumes of food, I'm often amazed when I read of the monstrous banquets that some reviewers frequently post. Given my state of fullness, this was a nice dish to finish with, Pla Sam Rod or Three (Sam) Flavour (Rod) Fish (Pla). So what exactly are these three flavours you ask? It's no great secret, they're sweet, salty and sour like so many classic Thai dishes. The toasty cashew nuts and the base of fried spring roll wrappers add a lovely texture and interesting twist to this classic dish.

I normally don't go on much about the prices of meals in my reviews but the value proposition at The Piano Restaurant & Bar is just too good to not mention. With a beautifully modern styled interior, excellent convenient location, great flavours that will appeal to a wide audience and super competitive pricing I am confident that The Piano Restaurant & Bar will become a very popular addition to this end of the Bridge Road shopping strip.

The piano restaurant & bar on Urbanspoon

I dined as a guest of the restaurant who knew in advance that I would be dining there, and selected the dishes they wanted to showcase. This review may be reproduced on Please visit the ‘Thailiciouz’ website for information on how you can receive hot deals from various Thai eateries, massage parlours and other contemporary Thai businesses.