When my spontaneous idea for lunch fell through for the mere reason of a restaurant not being open on Sundays, it didn’t take long for a plan B to develop. The certain noodle joint I’ve been wanting to try for a long time was closed, so a split decision and change of cuisine has us wandering 10 minutes up the road to the arse-end of Pitt Street into this city’s unofficial Thai precinct – Thainatown. Beats going to King Street, Newtown, where many of the Thai restaurants have me yawning incessantly.
Arriving at the restaurant you can’t help but trip over the tuk tuk parked in the doorway on one side of the entrance and on the other side, a hawker stand offering sticky little street food snacks beckoning you with their sweetness. I reckon I’ll get to those later. There’s even a bucket of fresh bottled orange juice on ice, just like the ones you see at the skytrain stations in Bangkok.
A hot and sticky Sydney summer is easily cooled by one of the blends on the drinks list. The watermelon blend (3) goes down a treat with its refreshing purée of fresh watermelon, ice and a splash of sugar syrup. Hello brain freeze.
Wontons were my obvious choice of starter and when I read what they contained I’d have been a madman if I didn’t get them. Quail egg wrapped in wonton skin (5), deep fried, harpooned and drizzled with sweet chilli. They’re absolutely divine and thank god they don’t use that sweet chilli you get in supermarkets. They make their own, here.
It seems we were in for a bit of a pork-fest as we both ordered the tasty little beast. The dry noodle with bbq pork, chicken and sweet pork (8.9) seemed like a bit of a non-event to me so I was glad I didn’t order it. On the other hand my choice of steamed pork on rice (8.9) was good on the buds with its rich, sweet and fatty meat and soft skin.
Making sure I had a few inches of space left for the street goodies I spotted at the front, I went in for a closer look and came back with a few variations on sweet sticky rice. Aside from the one wrapped in banana the other two had more than sugar as a flavouring. The coconut sticky rice cake (1) was mild on the coconut flavour and has bits of coconut wafting about while the pandan cake (1) is slightly aromatic and a bit smokey. If there was coconut cream around I would have loved it all mooshed up into a right old tasty mess.
The overall menu at Thanon Khao San has tuk tuk-loads of tasty sounding offerings so I’m thinking there’ll be multiple visits.