When I go to Sydney I feel at home. I’m a city girl at heart and I feel at ease among the frenetic pace, busy roads and huge buildings. On my December visit to Sydney I drove for the first time and I was surprised at how comfortable I was behind the wheel. There were moments of nervousness and panic especially on the narrow Parramatta roads. Then there was the time where we tried to avoid a toll on the way to Brighton Le Sands and added forty minutes to the trip. This actually has nothing to do with what I’m about to treat about, I just wanted to boast about my driving. What I did want to talk about is Home Thai restaurant on Sussex St in the Sydney CBD, which I was hinting at in the first sentence. As a frequent Sydney traveller I now have favourite dining spots including Home Thai, Marigold, Max Brenners, Wow Cow frozen yoghurt and the Winery. Ok some spots are chains but you will find me there at least once while I’m in Sydney. I first was introduced to Home Thai back in 2009 and have gone back a few times now. My first impression was how busy the place was, there was a constant line but the food service is so fast that you are sitting in no time. Another cool thing was that they took your orders from iPads, which back in 2009 was quite a novelty before everyone had them (and when I say everyone I don’t mean me because I’m a late adopter). On my recent trip in December 2012, I had just come from a Thai weekend binge in Perth (see Treat 48: Thai time). This is when I had my first papaya salad experience. However, the papaya salad in Home Thai was probably too authentic for us with the black crab leg pieces confusing the cousins and me. Do you eat them? Nat’s friend So-Fun answered this for us, yes you do. The sweet and sour combination also wasn’t as palatable as Saowanee’s Place in North Perth. It was overdosed in fish sauce. Now I’ve tried to make this tasty sweet and sour sauce and have struggled getting the right balance. So I can totally understand with the frantic pace of Home Thai that in the rush extra fish sauce contaminated the balance. Here am I complaining about my favourite Thai restaurant in Sydney, in a way it’s my way to discourage you going so that the place doesn’t get busier than it already is. The other two dishes ordered, the pad thai and the fried rice were hands down amazing. The plates were scraped clean. Packed with delicious vegetables, seafood and chicken we were in food heaven. I also remember fondly of a prawn curry dish here. I am envious of the workers in Sydney’s CBD who can go there on their lunch break. It’s definitely worth making Sydney a home just for Home Thai (another bonus is Max Brenners – I can’t wait to treat about my quirky brunch there).
THE FOOD JOURNEY
Not the best papaya salad – too fishy and the crab legs scared me.
Fried rice yummy yummy
Posted in Uncategorized
Tagged crab legs, fried rice, Home Thai, ipad, Max Brenners, papaya salad, Sussex St, sydney, Sydny CBD, thai, vegetables
I thought long and hard about this next treat and realised one treat was not enough for the number of treats I have experienced in the last 5 days in Sydney. In the lead up to this food journey I read the Sydney Morning Herald religiously, examined their Good Food Guide, ripped pieces of newspaper out and then lost those papers and forgot to print out my list of places but still we had so much to do and eat without any of it. Here is my number 1 tip when dining in Sydney - BOOK! Book weeks in advance, take the time to enjoy that meal at a leisurely place and feel confident that you will get good service. So here begins the first treat at Billy Kwongs where to my absolute surprise and sheer delight I saw Chef Kylie Kwong cooking in the kitchen. She actually was there cooking my dinner – why I was so surprised I do not know. I think celebrity chefs sometimes become famous for their books and TV shows that you forget where they all started -in the kitchen. So what did I expect from this restaurant with a no bookings policy (please ignore my previous advice) to line up in the rain, luckily for once in my life I was on time and was third in line before the restaurant even opened. The restaurant is very small and you sit on small stools, which for an uncoordinated person like me wasn’t the ideal setting. Throughout the night I dropped my chopsticks, almost toppled the table over while picking up my chopsticks, almost hit a plate out of a waiters hand while I spoke in my animated way with hands and all – so yes I found it challenging to leave their without a damage bill against my name. Let’s get to the food – well I couldn’t read the specials, I guess Kylie has better knife skills than handwriting but no fear the waitress was used to this and explained the specials. One of them was a crispy skin duck with tangelo sauce. One word for you – divine! The cinnamon flavours and burst of tangelo freshness was like a party in my mouth. The duck was perfectly cooked and succulent – wow! It was definitely the highlight of the meal. The vegetarian dumplings were nice but fairly pedestrian – same same to ones I’ve had in dim sum experiences except different for one word – Biodynamic. So this word pops up a lot in Kylie’s menu, to reduce carbon footprints by using locally produced ingredients (that’s what the menu said). However, to this day I still have no idea what biodynamic food actually means and have had no time to Google it as yet. The other dish we ordered was a plate of Asian greens and noodles but again it didn’t have that Xfactor like the duck but the noodles did have the xo factor (it had xo sauce aka hot sauce). Overall my hat goes off to Kylie for:
A. Being in the kitchen and cooking the food.
B. For being environmentally friendly even though I may not yet appreciate what biodynamic means
C. For making the best crispy duck I have eaten.
D. For fantastic service and encouraging us not leave any polite pieces of the poached pear and awesome crunchy praline crumble dessert.
I will definitely return because I left my $3 umbrella there so I need to pick it up. Oh and to eat the crispy duck again.