Sydney – Day 3 – Part 2
After the ferry, the train, and the light rail we were finally in Chinatown. It wasn’t quite time for dinner yet, so we did a little bit of shopping and sightseeing in the area and then finally met up with Auntie’s friends who wanted to take us to an authentic Thai restaurant; in the middle of Chinatown. I guess Chinatown really isn’t all about Chinese food anymore, remember the amazing Malaysian food I had in Chinatown Boston?
We got there just before the dinner rush and was seated in a semi-private room looking down into the open kitchen at the front of the restaurant. The open kitchen was where they were cooking up all of the amazing Thai street food! It actually took us a while to go inside because we wanted to watch them cook from the window outside. And I guess if we got a little later, we would have ended up having to watch them cook and wait for a table. There were a LOT of people waiting when we finished dinner.
We actually had to wait while seated for Aunties friends to arrive. So by the time everyone arrived, we were starving. We actually had absolutely no idea what Aunties friend ordered because she ordered everything in Thai. I think that was a another good sign.
We started with a Glass Noodle Salad “Yum Woon Sen”: glass noodles tossed with minced chicken, prawn, squid, dried shrimp, onions, shallot, mint, coriander, celery, tomato, cashew nuts, and chef’s dressing. There was so much going on in this salad and the chef’s dressing was actually really spicy.
Green Papaya Salad with Seafood “Som Tum”: green papaya with garlic, chili, tomato, green beans, dried shrimp, peanuts, lime juice and palm sugar. As for the seafood, it was also served with prawn, squid, and muscles. They also have 3 other options: 1) salty crab 2) Thai anchovies and salty crab for a strong taste and strong aroma from the Thai anchovies or 3) salted egg. I think I would have wanted to try the anchovies, but the seafood is definitely fancier.
Auntie’s friend also ordered a couple things of sticky rice that were served a bamboo basket. They also have it wrapped in a plastic baggie for sanitary reasons. The sticky rice was a perfect thing to eat along with all of the spicy food to come.
Stir Fried Crispy Pork with Chinese Broccoli “Pad Ka Na Moo Grob”: stir fried Chinese broccoli with crispy pork belly, fresh chili and oyster sauce. This didn’t look really special to me when it come out, but Aunties friend said this is a very very popular street food dish in Thailand. The flavors were actually really good together and inspired my Mom to make something similar at home (I mean home, like in San Diego).
Green Curry “Gang Kew”: green curry paste with coconut milk, cherry eggplant, apple eggplant, basil, lime leaf and red chili, served with beef (can also be served with chicken or pork).
I definitely needed the sticky rice for this, but the first few bites were amazing (before the spiciness took over).
Do you know what makes the green color in green curry? I looked it up: fresh green chilies, shallots, lemongrass, white pepper, coriander root, garlic, kaffir lime rind, shrimp paste and sea salt, sweet basil leaves, round green eggplant and kaffir life leaves (source). And apparently it’s considered to be “the most Thai in the sense that it is so different from the curries of other countries.” I guess that’s why Aunties friend ordered this for us.
I was kind of sad Aunties friend ordered this with beef because Yuntiha really likes Green Curry but she doesn’t eat beef. And quite honestly she always gives in to me because I prefer Penang Curry over Green Curry so she doesn’t really get to have Green Curry very often.
Speaking of Penang Curry, that was exactly what was served next. Penang Curry with Salmon: Penang curry paste with coconut milk. Served with salmon. Penang curry is usually milder, sweeter, and has a strong coconut flavor compared to other Thai curries. I think the sweeter flavor profile is what I like about Penang Curry in general.
This one in particular was pretty fancy since it was served with Salmon, they didn’t even have any other meat options on the menu. I actually wish they served more curry but then again, we had a lot of food.
Stir Fried Crispy Pork Belly with Pik Khing Sauce “Pad Pik Khing Moo Grob”: stir fried crispy pork belly with green bean, chilli, lime leaves and Pik Khing sauce. When I first saw this served, I was expecting this to be some sort of spicy sweet and sour pork or something. It was not sweet and sour at all. The sauce is a dry curry sauce so instead of the soupy consistency of curry we’re used it’s a flavor fried with the pork belly. This got really spicy for me and the meat was a little tough as if it was over fried.
And then I made sure to save room for dessert. This was actually what we were all looking forward to. We watched the girl frying these outside and looked amazing.
These little freshly fried donut / bread things looked like mini Chinese Youtiao 油條 but they’re not as airy as the Chinese Youtiao 油條. They actually reminded me of fried mantou 饅頭. The pandan coconut dipping sauce was not overly sweet.
Australia is such a far away and even remote continent, but when I lived in Singapore (studied abroad in 2006-2007), Australia seemed kind of close. I never made it to Australia because it was still somewhat expensive for a poor college student (though Darwin was not too expensive). But I guess South East Asia is not too far, there sure was plenty of South East Asian food in Australia that was pretty authentic and yummy. This was actually one of (the many) amazing meals we had in Australia. I was also super excited to enjoy some Singapore and Malaysian food which are both really hard to find in San Diego.
Home Thai Restaurant Sussex Street
1-2/299 Sussex St,
Sydney NSW 2000, Australia