A while ago, on an inner-west suburban street, I happened to walk past an empty shop front proudly displaying a sign announcing that a new Thai restaurant was ‘coming soon’. Nothing wrong with that of course, except for the fact that there were two established Thai restaurants already existing on that same street. My first thought was this move was madness and that the soon-to-be restaurant owners had not properly researched the area. However, a few months later when the new place finally opened, it turned out that the new eatery was a whole new venture created by the same group who already have Thai joints dotted all over Sydney in the form of Thai Riffic, In the Mood for Thai and Chopsticks (next step: world domination?).
Last week, feeling lazy after a long week and wanting to keep it local, we popped in here for an early dinner. Flipping the standard restaurant layout around and positioning the kitchen at the front of the house provides an irresistible enticement for passerbys. Smart move, as the sounds of food being fried in hot woks combined with the aroma of the Thai herbs and spices work undeniably well to draw the customers in.
The menu has a large variety with familiar dishes like pad thai and several chef’s specials. There’s the make-your-own stir fry option that has become so popular with Thai restaurants, and for the indecisive, there are also banquet options for tables of four or more. The only down point is that the dishes are on the pricey side with the specials being in excess of $20 each but the portions are very generous.
As a foodie, you want to try everything, so rather than tossing up between the options, we went with the mixed entree to start the meal with. First up, on the left, the fried chicken was nicely seasoned and the meat was tender. Moving onto the fish cake next was a nice contrast as it had decent amount of chili which gave the meal a nice kick start. This set the ball rolling for the curry puff which came up next and was delectable with a nice juicy filling of curried vegetables covered in a light pastry shell.
The next entree up had us slightly confused. At first glance, we thought this was the potato spun prawns as it looked nothing like the spring roll variety that you might get at yum cha. After taking a bite out of this, we were nicely surprised to find that it was Thai Eatery’s take on the classical spring roll. Very nice!
Finally, last but not least, the satay stick was delish. I tend to think of satay as being more of a Malaysian or Indonesian dish, but nonetheless, the chicken was well marinated and the flavours were well enhanced by the chunky peanut sauce.
Spicy Herb Seafood (Pad Cha Seafood)
This was a stir fry of king prawns, mussels, fish fillets, squid and vegetables in a mixutre of Thai herbs of lime leaves, chili, peppercorns, basil, krachai and lemongrass. They definitely weren’t kidding when they added ‘spicy’ to the name of this dish and the strings of peppercorns and thick chili slices floating in the sauce reminded us of the reason why. A bit spicy for my liking but flavours were nicely balanced with the right amount of sweet, sour and salty. The prawns which were the highlight of the dish were very fresh and the meat gave a satisfying crunch with every bite.
Tamarind Crispy Duck
The duck in this dish was completely deboned which is perfect for the lazy eater out there. As advertised, the duck skin was very crispy while the dark duck meat was tender without being overcooked. In my opinion the crispy rice noodles were a bit of a hit and a miss as they seemed to be there simply as something to serve the duck on but the tamarind sauce was rich and stayed very true to the sweet side of the Thai flavour profile.