Sydney 2010: Chat Thai

3/04/2010 07:26:00 PM

Hello hello!!! I am back from a fabulous weekend in Sydney! Lots of food, lots of friends, a little sightseeing, and yet another viewing of Wicked the Musical. Oh, you know, and a tiny little parade.

I came back absolutely knackered! Running between restaurants and cafes and ice-cream parlours was a lot more strenuous than I anticipated. Sydney, you are awesome, but what is up with all those hills and that humidity? Phew!

Anyhoo... we arrived at about 4 on Friday afternoon, and feeling peckish, took a walk around the hotel. And look what we found!

Chat Thai
20 Campbell Street
NSW, 2000
Ph: (02) 9211 1808

Chat Thai. Famous Thai restaurant, always packed. However, because it was an odd time, we only had to wait 5 minutes for a table. Wahey! It also happened to be directly opposite the Capitol theatre, which I took as a good sign. (Our show of Wicked wasn't until Sunday night, but so we were happy to stumble across the theatre!)

Look to the Western sky...

Inside the restaurant is all sleek and modern, with dark wooden floors and gleaming silver benches. There is also a pretty awesome dessert bar, where you can watch fresh Thai desserts being prepared!
Crunchy things in bags (Sorry not exactly sure what they are, but they look unhealthy, hehehe!)

Mmm... cakes
Mmm... durian with sticky rice, and more beans and jellies and other Asian dessert awesomeness.

But, as I said, it was about 4:30 by this stage, and we had a 9:15 reservation at Spice Temple, so we had to say no to the desserts. Next time!

Even though it was 4:30 in the afternoon, the restaurant was still packed. Mainly with students and young Asians.

Hot humid weather needs cold caffeinated refreshment (and I know Sydney isn't Thailand, but come on, I am from Melbourne where it is generally cold and windy!). Thai ice coffee with condensed milk was the answer.
Kaffe Yen - $3.50

At first the coffee was super thick, but got a bit easier to drink once the ice had melted.

We ordered 2 dishes and rice between the 2 of us. I ordered sticky rice, which came in this cute little container:
I also thought the water glasses were very pretty, but I must admit they did look a bit carcinogenic!

Sticky rice - $3.50

Chicken curry made with a spicy green paste of galangal, kaffir limes, lemongrass, garlic and long green chillies. The chicken and aromatic paste is cooked in coconut milk with apple eggplants and then finished off with finely sliced kaffir lime leaves and basil.

The Gaeng Keaw Gai was a fantastic green chicken curry, with cute bitter mini-eggplants (they're the green things that look like peas). It was well spiced, rich and satisfying, but didn't leave us weighed down with coconut milk. A well balanced dish.

GAI TORT - $12.
Crisp fried chicken marinated in coconut milk, coriander roots and garlic.
Served with nahm jim jeaw.

Yes, I know, 2 chicken dishes. But Sandra doesn't eat seafood, and I really like crisp-fried chicken, ok! Hehe. Nam Jim, as anyone who has read a Neil Perry book will know, is a Thai chilli sauce. Chat Thai's version had the sweetness of regular bottled sweet chilli sauce, but with a fiery kick. I really enjoyed the chicken - it was juicy within and crispy without - everything I want in a fried chicken dish!

Chat Thai was good value (especially for Sydney prices). All of the above, plus a coke, came to $39. I'd love to go back with a bigger group, so that we could try more dishes. And those desserts! Mango with sticky rice is one of my all-time favourites, and I'd definitely have tried Chat Thai's version if we didn't have dinner reservations later that evening!

Chat Thai on Urbanspoon

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  1. The gai tort looks delicious. A good friend of mine when to Chat Thai a few weeks ago and really enjoyed it. I hope you enjoy Wicked.

  2. the crunchy stuff is dried pork skin. ^^ or something along those lines

  3. I wish I could say I like it but I didn't. The waiting time could have affected my appetite and my expectations.

  4. Ohhh, that gai tort looks amazing!

  5. Oh yes them crunchy things would be pork crackling! Glad you enjoyed your meal. We went thru a spate of late night Chat Thai runs. The 2am closing time is perfect for midnight suppers!

  6. Aw, lucky you seeing Wicked again! One day, one the sound of that marinade for the chicken - might have to try and replicate it at home sometime.

  7. mmmm...sticky rice....yum!

  8. Recommended to us by my uni housemate during my recent trip and I went there twice!! Both spending max 5mins waiting. A local who frequent Chat Thai will know when is the best time to visit. Tried quite a few dishes and love all of them!!! Definitely is a must to go whenever I pop into sydney.



My email address is sarahcooks [at] hotmail [dot] com.