Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Chat Thai

Been there, done that thrice!
22 April 2010. 05 June 2010. 27 July 2010.

Chat Thai Haymarket
20 Campbell Street
Haymarket, NSW 2000

Tucked away from the main busy road, Chat Thai is definitely within walking distance from Central Station. It's just across Capitol Square, with a Thai grocer next to it if anyone has cravings for Thai snacks.

Definitely one place I'll bring my friends to if they visit. My secondary school (aka high school in OZ) friend brought two of us there, raving about the really awesome Thai cuisine this restaurant has. Apart from the usual Thai lunches I often do at Newtown last year, I haven't really had Thai food anywhere outside of Newtown. But I must say, I'll definitely go to Chat Thai if I ever need a Thai fix :D (The following photos aren't in sequence of the dates that I've been to Chat Thai, they're in order of deco of the restaurant, the main dishes and desserts!). The entire restaurant had a rustic feel, with stone walls, high ceilings and dim lights. Pardon the photos, some are taken under really dim conditions.

The logo on the menu, but I have no idea what it reads. It could be the restaurant's name in Thai language, maybe? I might check with my friend who's doing Thai in uni! :)

This was the first main on my first visit. It was spicy chicken dish, and I was super apprehensive about trying because I can't take spicy food. It's sad that I can't, because I know I'm missing out on heaps of yummy dishes and cuisines around, but I'll keep trying anyway! I remembered this chicken was really spicy, I had to dunk down like two cups of water (the cups are really mini though). But it was still good, tender and yums!

This was beef curry with potatoes. It wasn't too spicy, or at least something that my tongue can take. But the beef was a little too tough that we didn't bother finishing the dish because it got really tiring. It's like, chewing and chewing but it never breaks. Maybe it was too rich in collagen, haha, but we just left it anyway.

I had this dish twice out of my three visits, need I say more? I remember it's called emerald duck, healthy greens with tender duck meat. We cleared the plate each time!

Thai spring rolls, which I'm craving for right now.

I can't make out what are the stuffings, but there're chicken, crabmeat and green onions. It had this special sauce that drips each bite you take. I know, I'm totally salivating now :(

Green curry, it's like what most will order when they go to a Thai restaurant. The aroma was really strong, just a little too spicy for me. It was chicken with some green peas (but not the green peas that I know of -- I really couldn't make out what they are), the usual green curry that my friend really liked.

Of course, we also had tom yum soup, definitely authentic Thai cuisine. It didn't come in the usual soup bowl though, so it was more meat than soup. If I remembered correctly, it was pork meat. Definitely sour, definitely spicy but it was really appetizing!

Now, the desserts. On my first visit, my high school friend really wanted the sticky rice so badly that we ordered two different toppings -- mango and durian! I guess the sticky rice was the same, but the mango had a really strong smell and we must be lucky because it was the season for mangoes!

As for the durian sticky rice, I wished it was chilled though. The durian smell was really strong, and it totally cured me of my durian craving. Been missing the durian season and it's just so hard (and expensive) to buy durians in Sydney. The ones they've got at the Asian supermarket, Tong Li, they're frozen ones, all wrapped up and placed in the freezer. They looked miserable. So I was really insistent on having the durian sticky rice as well, it was good albeit chilled would be better!

The second time I went, we only wanted mango sticky rice but mangoes were out of season, sigh. Some people can't take the stench of durian, so take note of the mango season if you ever visit Chat Thai!

The other dessert we ordered on my 2nd visit was three flavoured dumplings. We deduced that it was coconut, pandan and taro and the base was coconut milk. I never really fancy coconut, but this dessert was warm and glad we had it during winter!

There were hidden pieces of coconut strips too!

Conclusion: Definitely a must visit even though not many people would wanna have Thai cuisine in Australia, I know it's kinda ironic. The service wasn't really awesome, probably because the restaurant is always packed and there's always a line. It gets pretty noisy after a while, and you might be prompted by the staff if you wanna order more food (that's a hint that there's a line). But good food made it up! They have fried desserts as well, which I haven't gotten a chance to try but I'll sure do when I go by again. I would definitely go into City just for this Thai restaurant.

Disclaimer: The photos were taken using three different cameras on the three different visit. Pardon the lightings, as always. Wouldn't be doing any more bling ratings, don't think it's being fair, but I'll definitely be very neutral in my opinions and hope y'all are enjoying have an eye treat! Comment if you like! x

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