Dialling In: Udom House

Published on 10 June 2021

Photo: Udom House, West Melbourne

New Melbourne cafés, by the numbers.

At a time when your next overseas holiday feels impossible, the owner of Udom House Aum Phithakphon wants to bring Thailand to you. Focusing on authentic Thai flavours, Udom House takes the best of Thai coffee culture and brings it to a small shop front in West Melbourne. With everything made in house, expect the likes of impossibly flaky pies filled with green curry, or a northern-style young jackfruit salad with chilli paste, as well as pandan and Thai-tea kaya toasts. Here we’ve got the word from Phithakphon on what’s brewing.

The beans:
We’re proudly brewing Padre Coffee beans for all our espresso-based drinks and rotating seasonal filter beans from a few micro-roasters who focus on sustainability and their relationship with their farmers. Some of our favourites are Bredda Coffee, Newav Coffee and Jibbi Little Roasting Co.

What they’re doing with them:
We do espresso-based drinks as well as filter and cold-brew coffee. Our signature drinks menu is what makes us different. Changing seasonally, the menu brings you the flavours and aromas we grew up with, inspired by Thai coffee culture.

Take our coffee cola, for example. We make this with filtered coffee that has been brewed with basil, lemongrass, lots of spices and lime-skin extract, and top it with soda water. Or you can try our dirty coffee, a Thai signature of thickened milk topped with a double espresso and served in a frozen glass.

To eat:
We serve classic Thai dishes like green chicken curry in our pies as well as yhoie, a dish straight from Nhong Kai province. Yhoie tastes like a combination of red curry and five-spiced soup. The spices we use give it a strong scent, which is balanced by the mellow flavour of red curry. For vegetarian options, on the current menu we have our northern-style young jackfruit salad, another dish which is full of traditional Thai flavours and aromas.

We love to hum to 80 and 90s Thai tunes; we also can’t really stay away from Tom Misch and the Glenn Miller Orchestra.

The design brief:
My dream has always been to open my home to all my friends and share the flavours I grew up with so this is pretty much modelled around my home and my living room: wooden mid-century wall units, tables and chairs along with a matching sofa and coffee table set. We have a record player with wooden speakers – they may not sound the best, but that’s the charm of timeless design. There's some artwork, some painted by me and some from my favourite Thai artists. It literally just looks like the home of a Thai person here.

Indoor plants:
Thirty-three at last count.

Reading rack:
We have a rack filled with books on coffee, cacao, travelling Australia and of course a few Thai cookbooks.

We have coffee beans to takeaway, some pitchers from Trenton and Jibbi Jugs. We also have popcorn from a Thai producer and our take-home cold brew.

Latte arts is my expertise and I love to make sure it puts a smile on people's faces.

Udom House, Mon & Wed-Fri 8am-3.30pm, Sat-Sun 8.30am-3.30pm, 343 Victoria St, West Melbourne, @udomhouse


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