The head chef, Karen Batson, says Colonel Tan at Revolver Upstairs was the catalyst for setting up Cookie and then Magic Mountain was a natural progression into further exploring the diversity of Thai flavours.
“Cookie was our foundation stone discovering Thai food from its home roots, but then came the Thai Tapas of the Toff which is reflective of the smaller dishes in a smaller dining space of the carriage,” says Batson.
“Colonel Tan has a Thai diner element, inspired by its shabby chic, bohemian interior.
“Whilst Boney’s menu is a juxtaposition to its nightclub feel, blending healthy food concepts mixed with a multi cultural diversity. Then came Magic Mountain, a fusion of my 13 years working with the Thai community, blurring the lines of Anglo and Thai elements.”
When Cookie first opened, Batson says they struggled to source some of the speciality ingredients like betel leaves, pomelo, saw tooth coriander and holy basil.
Her solution was to make contact with suppliers in Footscray and Springvale that had connections with farms in the Northern Territory, hence they were able to source ingredients for ourselves.
“I have a close relationship with our suppliers, which helps me to keep informed of seasonal shifts. I also like to source organic and sustainable produce when possible.”
Batson’s background in the kitchen was based around Italian food, so she says when she was approached to put together a Thai menu it was the beginning of a huge journey of discovery.
“I work closely with my Thai staff. They will cook dishes for me that will come from the family region and we then work out ways for it to become part of the menu.
“I often try to visit different regions of Thailand where I will find new dishes and ingredients.
“When I return to the kitchen we then go through a process of translating my experiences onto the menu.“
Cocktails and spritzer have become important players on Magic Mountain’s bar menu, but the list is also enhanced with an extensive list of non-alcoholic cocktails such as Chrysanthemum Syrup, Trendy Slacks or a Cuban Creaming Soda.
On the food side of the fence, the Cured Kingfish, Green Prawns, Bitter Melon, Mint and Green Chilli are popular and Batson says they go perfectly with a Dry Gin Martini.
“The Scotched Egg is a signature dish because it is a classic blend of east and west,” explains Batson.
“It is a Son-in-Law Egg of Thailand blended with English Scotched Egg topped with Tamarind sauce & Beer Battered Onion Rings and goes well with a Radeberger German Pilsner.”
Magic Mountain is open from 7am till 3am every day.
Batson says their belief is that it is important to respect the fact that not all people work 9am till 5pm and they want to cater for everyone.
“The breakfast menu and cocktail list can revive those ending or beginning their day, then from midday the menu defines itself, from its classical concepts of dining to shared plates… there are no hard and fast rules!
“We have a casual respect for providing an environment where people are comfortable to enjoy food, wine and music. The ambience of our venues is paramount to ones experience and that is our point of difference.”
62 Little Collins St,
Melbourne VIC 3000
(03) 9078 0078