One night in Khao San.
Helen and I are on a date night, our mission of hitting Ippudo for ramen fix has turned into disappointment as the queue outside the restaurant is long enough to turn us away. Feeling defeated, nothing in the Westfield food court can mend our broken hearts, we eventually wander down Pitt Street towards Chinatown to look for food and landed at Thanon Khaosan.
Thanon Khaosan is one of the few Thai restaurants that have congregated around the backpackers district on Pitt Street. This part of town has seriously turning into a mini Bangkok, while Muay Thai is playing on TV a few doors down, here at Khaosan you will find tuk tuk and street food cart parked right outside, just a tiny snap shot of the famous Khaosan Road in Thailand.
We cool off in the summer heat with watermelon and Thai Coffee blend as we peruse the extensive menu, which comes in a bound multi-pages booklet.
First to arrive at the table is the Som Tum salad, a must order dish whenever we dine in a Thai restaurant. There are many variations of this salad on the menu to choose from, we opt for the raw fermented crabs that adds a pungent fishy taste to the spicy salad. Helen grabs her fork and presses the crab to extract some more extra funky juice into the salad, while I already crunching on one of the crab legs, trying to ignore how revoltingly fishy it is.
“You not meant to eat that!” cries Helen.
“Errr… too late….” What a noob I am.
We were hoping that the sticky rice will be served in the little bamboo steamer basket, but sadly the sticky rice arrive in the uninviting plastic packets presumably that’s what the rice was cooked in. Usually I do prefer the chewy and stickiness of the rice, but sadly the rice tonight is overcooked and compacted in the plastic bags into a block of rice cake.
Great “porky” mind think alike, we both have our eyes on the Ka Prao Moo Krob from the Chef’s special menu. The pork belly is very similar to those you can buy from a Chinese BBQ shop, cut into small pieces, re-fried with crushed hot chilli basil to give it a heat punch. The skin is yieldingly crunchy, but the pork belly itself is tad dry and tough, need quite an effort to chew and swallow.
The Kho Moo Yang on the other hand is our favourite dish of this evening. Can you see where we are going with this yet? That’s right, we order two pork dishes and one salad with our meal, WORD! The marinated BBQ pork must be grilled to order as it takes some time to come out from the kitchen. The pork is so tender and smokey from the grill, the marination gives the meat a nice char bits around the edges for that extra smokiness. The portion of this dish is pretty generous as we find the sweet and spicy tamarind sauce isn’t enough for the dish and ask for more.
What attracted me to dine at Khao San is possibly the street food cart that is parked right outside of the restaurant where you simply can’t help but have to turn the head around and check out all the colourful sweet cakes while walking past. The selection is impressive and I struggle to pick a couple to try.
More sticky rice, the pandan sticky rice is moreish and delightfully sweetened with real pandan flavour by using the fresh leaves rather than store bought essence. The sweetened egg yolk strands is one that needs to be enjoyed slowly, pulling it apart and nibble on the rich and sweet strands like noodle, it has a rather odd elastic texture, but I do believe there is a crispier version in Thailand which perhaps I would enjoy it more.
I guess I just have to find my way there.
Thanon Khaosan 413 Pitt Street Haymarket NSW 2000 P: (02) 9211 1194 Opening hours: Sun to Wed - 11:00am to 11:00pm Thurs to Sat - 11:00am to 3:00am
Competition – BOSCH food processor winner announced
Congratulations to KAZZA.
Your cheekiness actually did make me laugh out loud! 🙂 Congrats and I will be in touch soon to get a brand new BOSCH food processor delivered to you!