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Published July 31st 2018
Experience the royal flavours of Thailand
When you think Thai food in Australia, it is mainly the regular offerings like Pad Thai and Green Curry, and they can be found all around Sydney. After a while, they taste quite monotonous and I start craving something different from the standard dishes.
In continuation of my food quest of Sydney's best eateries, I stumbled across a gem of a restaurant located in Pyrmont. Riverside Thai is one of the newest and most unique restaurants to open its doors in the revitalised northen end of Pyrmont village.
Paul Kanongdachachat, owner & chef at Riverside, wants to bring the Sydney community a taste of true Thai cuisine – a reflection of his upbringing and family roots in Northern Thailand. He grew up in the Uttaradit province in Thailand's North and some of his fondest childhood memories were made down by the river, where much of the community would congregate to socialise and celebrate. Thus, the restaurant name, 'Riverside' was born as a homage to his Thai heritage.
Cooking is in Paul's blood, his father is a passionate cook and his grandmother worked in the kitchen of the Thai Royal family and the menu here reflects this "royal" taste with a modern Australian twist!
Classy dining space with a rustic and tasteful decor.
Pyrmont Bay was tranquil and peaceful in the evening and we arrived slightly early for our dinner reservation. The restaurant emitted warmth and comfort through their large glass windows. The tastefully decorated restaurant was packed with customers tonight. There was laughter, the clinking of wine glasses and small talks filled the air while the enchanting aroma of food permeated the entire restaurant.
Stonefish Sauvignon Blanc $9/glass Stonefish Rose $10/glass
We started the evening with some drinks and coincidentally we all picked from the Stonefish Wine Collections from the Margaret River. The Sauvignon Blanc tasted sweet with pale strawberry, kiwi, gooseberry and tropical fruits. It was not an intense drink, delightful enough to pair with Thai cuisines.
There were many delicious dishes to choose from, such as the Barramundi with green mango salad, fresh Thai-style salmon tartar with crispy salmon skin and Mussaman Osso Bucco! The staff were extremely friendly and they were helpful with dish recommendations. After an elaborate discussion with my dining partner, we finally placed our orders.
Riverside Scallops $19.90 (Half Shell Scallop with Thai salsa and lime dressing)
Next to arrive was the roti served with special Northern Thai style dip sauce. The dip has a bit of oomph and it hit all the right notes. The subtle herb and cherry tomato flavour made the dip irresistible and we made sure that we finished very last drop. It was finger licking delicious.
Jumbo Prawn with Banana Blossom Salad $35.90 (Australian jumbo prawn served with banana blossom salad)
We also ordered a jumbo prawns banana blossom salad. The jumbo prawns were spectacular; they were deep fried and tasted juicy tender on the inside. The salad component was infused with the mouth-watering flavours of banana blossoms, shredded veggies and a wonderful blend of spices.
My dining partner enjoyed the crispy prawns and they were an instant hit for her. There was a mild kick to the dish but we ordered a bowl of jasmine rice to go with it. The level of heat was perfect when eaten together with rice or the poached egg.
Pad Thai Lobster $35.90 (Pad Thai noodle in egg net with half lobster served with bean sprout and garlic chive)
The appetisers and the salad were yum but it was the main that swept me off my feet. As the Lobster Pad Thai was placed on our table, the visually pleasing presentation immediately had my attention while the tantalising aroma pulled me towards the dish.
This was a very fancy dish and it was based upon a Royal Thai cuisine recipe from the chef's grandmother. I must admit, Pad Thai is one of my favourite noodle dishes and to see it paired up with half of a lobster, it is taking a simple street food to a whole new premium level! It was indeed outstanding.
The lobster seemed to rest quite peacefully and it was in total harmony with the wok-flavoured pad thai noodles.
After polishing off these delectable dishes, we decided to share one dessert. Our waitstaff informed us the house-special deep fried ice cream was on the menu tonight. We did not need much persuasion.
The pastry skin was extremely crispy and melted away giving way to beautiful vanilla ice cream which tasted divine after a satisfying savoury meal. We sat a while longer as we lulled into a happy state of mind.
We had a delightful gastronomically satisfying experience while dining at the Riverside Thai Restaurant. These authentic Thai dishes are good enough for the Royals, coupled with a pleasant ambience and the attentive service, it was a delightful evening.