Close to popular Asian good food places like BBQ King and Golden Century Seafood Restaurant is another local favourite which serves up near-authentic Thai food to rival the likes of Bangkok. Located just a short walk from my room at Four Points Sheraton, Home Thai Restaurant is one of my favourite places for Thai food in Sydney whenever I'm in town. Here are 5 reasons why you might want to check out this humble eatery in Sydney city.
1) Bangkok Food Scene in Sydney
If you haven't been to Bangkok, a visit to Home Thai Restaurant is an excellent way to experience elements of the food scene in Bangkok. If you've been eating your way through the Thai capital city then you'll enjoy the trip down memory lane.
The visual elements of Home Thai Restaurant are the drawn from food stalls and cafes in Bangkok's popular shopping centres like Siam Paragon and Central World. The open kitchen displaying various ingredients and buzzing with cooking activity mimics the shopping centre food stalls right down to the type of dishes, preparation and even the kitchen staff uniform.
The wooden tuckshop-style furniture and tight seating is common of modern contemporary small Thai eateries and restaurants in Bangkok. Service is Bangkok cafe friendly but too busy to be attentive. The hum of customers from time of opening to close with long queues add the final touches of the Bangkok food scene in Sydney.
2) Taste of Thailand
The kitchen and service is essentially staffed by Thais who bring as authentic as possible flavours of Thai cuisine to your table. For readers who haven't been to Thailand, Home Thai Restaurant compiles a sizable range of the country's culinary flavours including the more common Bangkok-Thai dishes and recipes from northern Thailand.
You can expect all the basic sweet, sour, salty and spicy Thai flavours from ingredients like garlic, chilli, lime juice, palm sugar, peanuts, fish sauce, dried shrimp, coconut, cashew nuts, lemongrass, green papaya, galangal and kaffir lime. There are hits and misses depending on the kitchen staff but generally the flavours are near-authentic enough to satisfy a fussy Thai palate on most occasions. The closest in terms of flavours I've tasted in Melbourne city is upmarket Longrain but Home Thai Restaurant is way ahead in the authentic curve.
There are more than 50 dishes on the menu and it would take several eatings to try them all. If you're craving for a real taste of Thailand, there are several worthy dishes at Home Thai Restaurant that occupy most tables.
One of my favourite is the KUI CHAY or steamed Chinese dumplings stuffed with garlic chives reproduced in Sydney to near-Thailand standards. Commonly available from street side and shopping centre food stalls in Bangkok, these Chinese chive dumplings make an excellent appertiser or even a meal on its own. There's the commonly popular PLA HED or a fish cake paste that is deep fried and eaten dipped in a Thai sweet chili sauce. A less common appertizer is the bite-size grilled sausage or SAI GROOG ISAN. An Aussie favourite is the the PU NIM YUM MAMUANG or deep fried soft shell crab with mango salad. For a salad with the lot of Thai herbs, nuts, meat and vermicelli is the YUM WOON SEN. There's the ubiquitous PAD THAI or wok fried rice noodles. I love mine with seafood. An oddity is the TOM LIEAD MOO, a street dish of pig organs and blood jelly common to Bangkok's Chinatown. For Thai desert fans of glutinous rice and fresh mango, there always the KAO NIEW MAMUANG.
Not many places in Sydney offer good food at fair prices, let alone near authentic Thai food. Portions of individual dishes at Home Thai Restaurant are enough for one and even sharing between two persons. Prices are also very affordable with appetisers between AUD6 to AUD10, noodles and salads averaging AUD12, stir-fry meats and curries around AUD14 and the most expensive being fish for AUD30. Its an affordable lunch or dinner venue for a group of friends or a family of 4.
I've seen food and fashion come together at the Sydney Fashion Week and the Melbourne Spring Fashion Week but where else can you see waiters and waitresses spotting custom issued Louis Vuitton (LV) shoulder bags containing iPads for order-taking. Just another reminder of Bangkok's modern food scene and the influence of LV on the city's consumer culture.
If you're next in Sydney with a craving for non-Aussie and pseudo Thai food packed with the real flavours found in Bangkok, then make your way to Home Thai Restaurant. But remember to get there early like 5pm to avoid to queues.