Farewell The Sharing House – Welcome Bangpop :)

I feel a little sad as I write this blog post about Bangpop, not because I don’t like it or had a bad experience, oppositely Mr Bao and I had a great meal and enjoyed the dishes there. But I am sadden by the fact that The Sharing House has now closed down and Bangpop has now taken over. I first heard about Bangpop from Libby (The Very Very Hungry Caterpillar) who got an email from a PR company telling her this bad news. We were both really shocked and surprised that such an good restaurant would be gone in such a short period of time >_< I have visited a few times and have always liked their dishes. We suspect it is because during the weeknights, The Sharing House found it hard to attract enough customers to sustain business :(

Bangpop

Bangpop

Anyhow, I have always liked Paul Mathis (owner) restaurants such as The Sharing House, Henry and The Fox, Coffeehead and many more. So I definitely wanted to try Bangpop and also support them ~ Through Instagram, I found out that Bangpop had a ‘soft-opening’ for the first two weeks and offered a 25% off the whole bill. Perfect timing to try, after all Thai food is one of my favourite types of cuisines. I made a booking on the last day of their ‘soft-opening’ and was able to get a table for two at 6:30pm. As you can see from the picture, ‘The Sharing House’ signage has not been removed yet and simply painted black, while there wasn’t any clear signage of Bangpop yet, however, the menu was stuck on the windows near the front door for customers to look at.

Still the same decor ~

Still the same decor ~

I was really curious to see if they would change the decor of the restaurant, especially the bar area which cost more than $12,000 worth of lego. It was a relief to see the lego still there but the words ‘The Sharing House’ were no longer there. Even though this space has now become a Thai restaurant with the same chairs and tables, we didn’t feel like we were dining in a new restaurant.

IMG_8638

I even recognised some of the waitering staff, like the manager in this photo who’s making the coffee :) He was always nice and helpful and would always try to remember customer’s names, which I found quite nice, as not waiting staff do that ~ The waitress who looked after our table was also very friendly, and told us that they were in the trial and error phase and welcomed any type of feedback.

"Kai Chae Nam Pla Tod" Marinated chicken spare ribs with nam jim talay and pickled shallots $12.90

“Kai Chae Nam Pla Tod” Marinated chicken spare ribs with nam jim talay and pickled shallots $12.90

Bangpop’s menu was quite simple with a range of small/entree dishes, salads, curries, mains and desserts. We started our meal with the marinated chicken spare ribs with nam jim talay and picked shallots. I don’t think I’ve had this Thai dish before, but I really liked the tenderness of the chicken spareribs and the crispiness of the chicken skin. The nam jim talay had a good balance of sweet, sour and spicy, we found it to be a great appetiser as the sourness helped increase jump start our appetite :P

"Som Dtum Thai" Isaan Green Papaya salad $13.90

“Som Dtum Thai” Isaan Green Papaya salad $13.90

Green papaya salad is my ‘must-order’ dish whenever I go to a Thai restaurant, I love the crunchiness from the green papaya and crushed peanuts. This salad was more on the sour and spicy side, which I really liked because I like my salads to be extra spicy :P While Mr Bao struggled with the heat and drank a lot of water hahaha sorry I’m a bit mean ~

"Penang Nua" 16 hour cooked beef shi penang curry with fresh shallot, lime leaf and coriander $23.90

“Penang Nua” 16 hour cooked beef shin penang curry with fresh shallot, lime leaf and coriander $23.90

For our mains we chose the beef shin which was cooked for 16 hours in a penang curry with fresh shallot, lime leaves and coriander. The curry was much milder in flavour with only a little heat to it and strong coconut flavour through it.

Tender beef shin

Tender beef shin

The beef shins were cooked wonderfully and was tender and soft to eat, definitely the way we like our meat. Mr Bao really liked the curry sauce and kept putting more on of it over his rice :D

"Khao Mun Kai" Chicken Maryland cooked in stock with rice and nam jim $15.90

“Khao Mun Kai” Chicken Maryland cooked in stock with rice and nam jim $15.90

Sauces for the Maryland Chicken

Sauces for the Maryland Chicken

Mr Bao requested that we order the “Khao Mun Kai” which is a chicken Maryland cooked in chicken stock with rice and nam jim. I thought this dish was going to be a Thai version of the Hainanese chicken rice and even though there were similarities, especially with the three sauces provided. The sweet and sticky soy sauce, the nam jim and the clear chicken stock. However, it was quite different in terms of flavour and texture as the rice was not fragrant and the chicken pieces were Maryland which had no bones. We enjoyed this dish especially the sauces, but found the chicken pieces to be a little bland and could have been improved with some seasoning ~

"Pad Thai" with tofu, garlic chives, bean sprouts and crisps shallots $14.90

“Pad Thai” with tofu, garlic chives, bean sprouts and crisps shallots $14.90

I don’t know why we were still hungry after all that food lol so we decided to add a Pad Thai with tofu, garlic chives, bean sprouts and fried shallots, but to Mr Bao’s disappointment it was actually a vegetarian dish and I’m sure you all know how he feels about vegetarian dishes :P Having said that though, we really liked the flavours of this pad thai and what really impressed us was how dry it was and not at all oily or sticky :)

"Kluay Tod" Deep fried "sugar banana' served with coconut ice-cream $8.90 approx

“Kluay Tod” Deep fried “sugar banana’ served with coconut ice-cream $8.90 approx

Time for dessert :) I let Mr Bao choose what he wanted and he ordered the deep fried ‘sugar banana’ served with coconut ice-cream. Sorry I don’t really remember how much this cost but I assume it would be about the same as the other dessert at around $8.90. Unfortunately we didn’t like this dessert very much, the sugar bananas which I assume to be lady fingers were deep fried in a light batter, which strangely tasted quite savoury and underneath it there was little chilli flakes and a spicy and salty syrup. We felt that this dessert was more savoury than sweet, even though the coconut ice-cream was lovely and creamy.

I wasn’t going to say anything but the manager came over and asked us how the desserts were and I told him nicely that it tasted rather savoury and spicy and whether this was what it was supposed to taste like. He was very professional took our advice and went back to the kitchen to ask the chef, turns out that the chilli was supposed to be there as it was a chilli sugar syrup but they forgot to write that in the description. The manager was very generous and insisted that he take this dessert off our menu even though we declined and said we were happy to pay. I think it’s very rare to find restaurants who are wiling to take constructive criticism and take that feedback and improve their dishes :D Very impressed with this!

"Woon-Ma Prow" young coconut jelly with young coconut fleshed and toasted coconut $8.90

“Woon-Ma Prow” young coconut jelly with young coconut fleshed and toasted coconut $8.90

The other dessert we got as one that I saw over on Pig Out Travels post and was immediately intrigued because I know I love young coconut water and the flesh so thought it would be wonderful when made into a jelly. But my first reaction when I saw the dessert was ‘It’s TINY!’ hahaha don’t be mislead by the photo because it was a really tiny glass probably the size of a medium apple! But that’s okay because they do say ‘good things come in small packages’ e.g. diamond rings :P Anyhow, this dessert did not disappoint it was wonderfully refreshing and light as it used young coconuts and mature ones which had stronger flavours and richer texture. I would have liked it even more if it was just a tiny bit bigger, because I wanted more of it :D

Overall, Mr Bao and I really enjoyed Bangpop, dishes were good and reasonably priced, service was slow at times but given that it was their soft opening it’s understandable. We really appreciated the fact that they actually took our feedback about the dessert and was going to work on it :) Even though I still miss The Sharing House and really hope that we will see up again somewhere else, I had a chat with Path Mathis on Twitter and understand financially it wasn’t feasible to keep it running. I think Bangpop has some big shoes to fill, but they’re doing a fine job and I’m looking forward to revisiting again :D

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33 thoughts on “Farewell The Sharing House – Welcome Bangpop :)

  1. Catherine April 5, 2013 at 11:38 am Reply

    Lovely photos dear, are you using your canon 550d yet? :) I’m going there tonight, can’t wait.. and might avoid the banana dish from your feedback!

    • Daisy@Nevertoosweet April 5, 2013 at 1:33 pm Reply

      Thanks Catherine :) Finally using the 550d! I took the photos for this post using that camera hehe hope it looks alright! Really hope you enjoy dinner at Bangpop tonight and year hehe maybe just stay clear of the banana :P

  2. Rice Bowl Tales ( Jane ) April 5, 2013 at 1:58 pm Reply

    Oh I l’m a big fan of Thai food!! I love every dish that you ordered, especially the curry, pad Thai and the coconut jelly!!

    I shouldn’t be looking at these pictures as it’s in the middle of the night and I’m so hungry!!

    • Daisy@Nevertoosweet April 7, 2013 at 9:08 pm Reply

      Hahhaa sorry Jane to make you hungry late at night :) but it’s hard because have so many hours difference between Melbourne and the UK ~ I look at your photos late at night too! I still can’t get that apple crumble of yours out of my head hehe

      I love Thai food too :) Would have it more if there was a nice Thai restaurant around where we live ~

  3. Iron Chef Shellie (@IronChefShellie) April 5, 2013 at 2:46 pm Reply

    $12k worth of lego? Holy Batman!
    Never got to try Sharing House, so I’m glad the lego remains for when I eventually get to Bangpop!

    • Daisy@Nevertoosweet April 7, 2013 at 9:12 pm Reply

      A shame you didn’t get to try The Sharing House but at least like you said the lego is still around and is pretty stunning :) xox

  4. Jeno April 5, 2013 at 3:16 pm Reply

    Daisy, I would freakout when I finally make it to your neck of the woods, the amount of great restaurants!!!! I will act like a kid in a candy store and eat my way through the whole trip!

    Love you mentioned the diamond ring, hahah a little hint to Mr Bao maybe?

    • Daisy@Nevertoosweet April 7, 2013 at 9:15 pm Reply

      Hahhaa nahhh not hinting :) because not the right time yet hehe ~

      Oh the other hand there really are so many restaurants and cafes in Melbourne it’s too hard to keep up because there are always new ones opening up as well :)

  5. Choc Chip Uru April 5, 2013 at 4:11 pm Reply

    I’m so hungry my friend, I’m pretty sure your photos are responsible :)

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

  6. Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella April 5, 2013 at 6:17 pm Reply

    That’s great that they take criticism and feedback well! I mean it makes sense, you’re more likely to return if they are pleasant and after genuine feedback :)

    • Daisy@Nevertoosweet April 7, 2013 at 11:17 pm Reply

      I definitely agree with you Lorraine :) I like places that take constructive feedback and are willing to improve ~

  7. hotlyspiced April 5, 2013 at 9:44 pm Reply

    Shame the sharing house had to go but great something innovative has opened in its place. It’s wonderful how they listed to you regarding your critique of the dessert. I wish them well and hope their business is a big success xx

    • Daisy@Nevertoosweet April 7, 2013 at 11:19 pm Reply

      Definitely a shame that The Sharing House had to go :( but I think Bangpop has take over quite well and I really appreciate that they take constructive criticism so well ~

  8. Bam's Kitchen (@bamskitchen) April 5, 2013 at 9:49 pm Reply

    You are amazing at taking photos in a restaurant mine always turn out so dark.

    • Daisy@Nevertoosweet April 8, 2013 at 2:07 pm Reply

      Thanks Bam :) I recently upgraded to a DSLR so I’m still learning and I always take too long when taking photos hahaha the food is always luke warm when we dig in :P

  9. Hannah April 6, 2013 at 8:53 am Reply

    Som tam is impossible for me to resist too :)

  10. libishski April 6, 2013 at 2:36 pm Reply

    Still can’t believe there is no more Sharing House … and I never got to try their rabbit popcorn too! :( Can’t wait to give Bangpop a go, it looks like a promising restaurant. Hopefully it’ll last a lot longer than Sharing House!

    • Daisy@Nevertoosweet April 8, 2013 at 2:51 pm Reply

      Oh damn you didn’t get to try the rabbit popcorn that’s such a shame but doesn’t matter :) At least Bangpop is still good and I think you’ll enjoy it ~ I think Bangpop will do well xox

  11. Peach April 6, 2013 at 7:51 pm Reply

    I love Thai food!!! Gotta go and try out the Thai food. Sad for Sharing House to go, but at least they retained the lego :D I mean they did pay a lot to import it over! :)

    • Daisy@Nevertoosweet April 8, 2013 at 3:02 pm Reply

      Go go :) It was really lovely when we went and I was glad that they kept the lego as well because I really liked it! hehe

  12. Ashley April 7, 2013 at 8:58 am Reply

    Ooh, i didn’t get to try their Pad Thai last time! Sounds good, will def be back for that!! :)

    • Daisy@Nevertoosweet April 8, 2013 at 2:10 pm Reply

      You’ve definitely gotta go back for the Pad Thai :) I wanna go back too so many other dishes i haven’t tried and I’m sure the menu has changed since we’ve gone ~

  13. viveka April 7, 2013 at 9:08 am Reply

    Great review again … you are so good on this. Of all the dishes the Isaan Green Papaya salad really talks to me. *smile

    • Daisy@Nevertoosweet April 8, 2013 at 2:03 pm Reply

      Thank you Viveka :) You’re comments are always so sweet and supportive, I just try my best at writing up the reviews :) The green papaya salad was the best!

      • viveka April 8, 2013 at 7:01 pm Reply

        You’re good on writing reviews … you should be a food critics- I know I said that before.

  14. cheezyk April 7, 2013 at 11:08 am Reply

    Drat! Sharing House was one of those places on my ‘to visit’ list. At least I know I can now get my husband to a Thai restaurant … a year or two ago I would have dismissed this new place as one I couldn’t visit. Must make sure I get to see that lego before it’s gone :)

    • Daisy@Nevertoosweet April 8, 2013 at 2:02 pm Reply

      Aww what a shame that you didn’t get to try The Sharing House but doesn’t matter the lego is still here and you wont be disappointed with Bangpop :) I really enjoyed it!

  15. Tina @ bitemeshowme April 8, 2013 at 6:35 am Reply

    Impressive that the restaurant was willing to take on your feedback. I think a lot of places out there will just get offended.

    • Daisy@Nevertoosweet April 8, 2013 at 2:01 pm Reply

      I know :) I was actually quite worried when I first told the manager because it wasn’t like I was trying to be difficult ~ I simply wanted to tell them my feedback and they took it so positively hehe

  16. Nami | Just One Cookbook April 9, 2013 at 4:41 pm Reply

    That lego counter is awesome! I wish it’s movable too so my kids can enjoy while waiting for food. just kidding. =P But I love the plates they use here. Great review as always Daisy!

  17. The Hangry Bitch April 9, 2013 at 4:48 pm Reply

    I was surprised they kept the lego counter! It somehow doesn’t seem to fit the Thai theme.
    How good was the papaya salad!

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