Monday, April 16, 2012

Thanon Khaosan, Haymarket

Tucked away on a relatively quiet but busy Pitt Street, this new kid is comparable to the bigger ones around the area. On the outside of the restaurant, you were welcomed by the desserts that they offer, somewhat like pushcart style and it instantly brings you into the atmosphere of Thailand (or particularly Bangkok since I've been there before). Metal tins, metal pushcarts with all sorts of sticky rice, coconut desserts on display, the ambience really sets you back.

This restaurant is a relatively small one with about 50 seatings maybe? What caught most people was the tuk-tuk (or rickshaw) at the front of the restaurant. I really like how they set up the restaurant, from the decor to the furniture, except for the dark lighting which made photos a little too dull.

As with most (perhaps all?) Thai restaurants, technology is fully utilized for writing down our orders. The waitress got our order on the iPhone, while other restaurants use an iPad (not that it really bothers me which gadget or method they use to take down orders). Daily specials and desserts are written on the blackboard to the right of the restaurant, very old-school and different from the other Thai restaurants. Watch out for the blackboard to catch the specials, anyway!

Char Nom Yen - Thai milk tea ($3.90). The tea was a little too sweet, but this is exactly the characteristic of Thai milk teas. At this price of $3.90, you can't really find such a sweet deal elsewhere and you won't be able to go wrong with this.

Char Nom Yen ($3.90)

We had just one entrée - Tod Man Goong - Minced prawns marinated in Thai herbs & white pepper, deep fried & served with plum sauce ($8.90 for 4 pieces). The prawn cakes were crisp on the outside, steaming on the inside and the plum sauce was delish! I reckon the plum sauce goes well with any fried food, so the combination was perfect!

Tod Man Goong ($8.90)

Our must-order dish in every Thai restaurant is not Pad Thai, Pad See Ew or Pad Kee Mao, it is Pad Prik Khing (or Pad Pik Khing). It is crispy pork belly with the pad prik khing curry paste, served with some greens on the side. We couldn't figure which on the menu is the one we wanted because Pad Prik Khing seem to be the curry paste sauce without the pork belly. So we asked the waitress and ordered the dish we wanted.

Ka Na Moo Krob with Pad Prik Khing - Crispy pork belly stir fried with Chinese broccoli and fresh chili ($14.90). One thing I look out for in this dish is the accompanying greens. I realised some Thai restaurants don't cook their greens well and they are served semi-cooked (ie. hard). I don't particularly enjoy my greens when they are not well cooked but I wouldn't mark the dish down because of their poorly done greens.

The greens in this dish were cooked, but the pork belly was not as fantastic. The crisp in the fried skin was a little soggy because of the sauce, but nonetheless it was a good dish. It was slightly too spicy for me, but I reckon this "mild" spiciness shouldn't be too difficult to handle (we finished the dish!).

Ka Na Moo Krob with Pad Prik Khing ($14.90)

Ped Nam Buoy - Roasted duck served with stir fried shitake mushroom ($25.90). A slightly more expensive dish in the restaurant. We just had to give this a try because of the shitake mushrooms (major cravings for mushrooms!), and of course, the duck. We usually only have roasted duck in Cantonese Asian restaurants, but in a Thai restaurant - this is a first. Lucky for us, it was a good decision. The duck was a little tough and they came in huge chunks, but the sauce for it was really yummy! It's similar to the plum sauce with the entrée but a lot thicker and sweeter. The mushrooms were really juicy and the greens, well, just greens. Just beware that the duck was a little tough, there was much difficulty cutting it into smaller pieces, perhaps wasn't defrosted in time? Nevertheless, will have it again! 

Will definitely be back!! 

Thanon Khaosan
413 Pitt Street
Haymarket NSW 2000

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