Freelance writer and blogger from Sydney (ex-Melbourne). Avid foodie and traveller. Loves dogs.
Published October 4th 2018
The delicious side of the moon
Sydney has a large handful of Thai restaurants, but there are only a select few I go to. One of them is Restaurant Moon in Darlinghurst. Occupying the former site of Onde, a restaurant I sadly never had the chance to visit, Moon is co-owned by ex-Longrain chef Aum Touchpong Chancaw. The menu itself is all about combining Thai flavours with European techniques and doing away with fried moneybags and spring rolls, to paraphrase one of their Instagram posts.
I have been to Restaurant Moon several times now: twice for dinner and once for lunch. The lunch menu offers familiar favourites such as stir-fried noodles (yes, there is pad thai) and rice dishes. Meanwhile, the dinner menu offers more interesting interpretations of Thai food. Moon's lunch menu is great, but I would suggest going for dinner for the real Restaurant Moon experience.
For one thing, you have the option of ordering the chicken ribs as a starter. Gently fried and dusted with khao khua (toasted sticky rice) powder, these are insanely addictive. The coating is equal parts sweet, salty and spicy – and a gentle squeeze of lemon brings out the flavours nicely. I highly recommend ordering two servings of these as they're that good.
For one of the mains, I insisted on ordering the pad thai and Moon's restaurant did not disappoint. Wok-fried thin rice noodles came with two giant prawns and the kitchen's 'special sauce' (essentially, a pad thai sauce). It was an excellent version of a suburban restaurant favourite.
One of Restaurant Moon's signature dishes is the panang duck curry and I can see why. The Aylesbury duck confit forms the base of this curry, which comes with a handful of roast pumpkins for texture. My partner is a huge fan of duck and curry (and duck curry) so if anyone would be the best judge of this dish, it would be him. He declared it his favourite dish of the night – apart from the chicken ribs, that is.
We also ordered two other dishes, not pictured. The beef cheeks in green curry ($32) were excellent. The curry itself was very spicy while chunks of eggplant and fried anchovy pieces added some lovely pockets of textures. And much to Bean's dismay, I ordered the silken tofu ($16) as the token vegetarian dish. Silken tofu cubes were stir fried with chilli jam, shallots and dried chilli, making it a satisfying side dish.
Tip: I would recommend booking an earlier time slot for dinner as the space tends to get busy after 7:30pm, making it hard to hear your dining companions.