Saturday, 2 May 2009

Restaurant Review: Chat Thai, Sydney

Brad, Chel, Pen, Me, Ali, Dave and Clint in Chat Thai

Last night I went to Chat Thai in Haymarket, Sydney, with friends to celebrate my birthday. I'd chosen Chat Thai following a tip off from Chel's brother and a fabulous choice it turned out to be.

Chat Thai is quite a small and buzzing restaurant and when we arrived there was a long queue coming out of the door. Who would have thought a little Thai place in Sydney could draw such large crowds on a rainy night? I was grateful that I had booked a table during the week!

Clint said that decor reminded him more of London restaurants, funky logo outside, exposed brick walls and minimalistic eclectic furniture. Busaba meets refurbished Shoreditch pub? It did have a buzzing atmosphere and cool, understated interior.

The menu contained lots of my favourite Thai dishes and I set about ordering - in broken Thai of course! - with gusto. As you can see from the photo above I may have got a little carried away as we could barely fit all of the dishes on the table!

We had my Isaan street food favourites of larb gai and som tum. A classic pad thai and pad pak (stir fried vegetables). A more exotic crispy whole snapper served in a red curry sauce, tamarind prawn curry and BBQ duck.

All of the food was excellent and it was difficult to pick a star. Maybe the snapper? Or tamarind curry? Back in Thailand food courts and street stalls could occasionally be a bit hit and miss, and every once in a while you would get a disappointing meal. Chat Thai reminded me of my meal at Anna's cafe a couple of years ago in Bangkok. With a little bit more care and attention you can produce wonderfully consistent food. There were also some of the complex layers of flavours reminiscent of the duck larb I had at the Isaan street stall at the end of my road in Bangkok.

Hopefully this won't be my last trip to Chat Thai while I am in Syndey.


  1. Looks like a good night! I wish Kath and I were there.

  2. Would have been great if you were in Sydney. Perhaps when you are back in August?