On Glebe Point Road, you can easily dismiss Thai on Wok as just another nondescript kiosk, rather than a casual dine-in restaurant. Looking at the shop front, the open plan counter-kitchen-dining area stack neatly in a one cosy frame.
But where the restaurant lacks in space or fancy furnishings, it makes up for the dining experience in flavour, portions, service and value for money.
Thai on Wok gets just about everything right – a perfect crisp to the vegetables, the right amount of smokiness to stir fries, a succulence to its noodles, freshness and flavour in every mouthful. What's most impressive about this place is how consistently they deliver on every level of satisfaction.
The chicken fried rice is overloaded with crunchy broccoli, cabbage, spring onions, scrambled eggs, capsicum, and a wedge of tomato and lemon. It is rare to find another Thai restaurant as generous or as diverse with its servings.
The beef in peanut sauce comes with a mélange of vegetables, creamy satay and an onslaught of uncrushed peanuts, tempered with optimal sweetness, spiciness, and is silky in texture. Unlike other restaurants, which fuse the satay throughout the entire dish (and at times leaves a coagulated peanut butter batter once cooled down), theirs lathers the sauce on top of the meat and vegetables and it's left to the eater to mix it thoroughly.
A myriad of vegetarian pad thai and the pad see ew dishes I've tried over the years, render an overpowering and over-sweetened sauce, leaving a reverberating aftertaste hours later. Not to mention where I often get cheated is with the abundance of noodles with very little everything else. But here, they strike the right balance on all levels.
I've seen numerous eateries along the food hub end of Glebe Point Road, hold onto a small loyal following but eventually lose steam, and the restaurant lifecycle starts all over again. They compete with neighbourhood institutions such as Thai on Wok, which has been operating since 1999, and sits in the heart place of not only the inner city, but inner west locals (pick-up and delivery orders constantly embank the front counter).
It's astounding why Thai on Wok has yet to receive any official accolade as one of the – if not THE - best Thai restaurant in Sydney. It's high time the inner city's best-kept secret is shared with the rest of the nation.
Everyone has that one favourite Thai place. It's not that I've tried every single Thai restaurant in Sydney – I have however tried many. I can assure you that mine is better.