From the culinary pioneers behind Sydney’s Chat Thai, Jarern Chai Boon Café blurs the line between grocery store and restaurant, dishing out everything from exotic Thai ingredients to boundary-pushing Thai breakfasts and authentic Isaan dinners.
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It’s no wonder Sydney food lovers have been flocking to Jarern Chai Boon Café since it opened in 2015. On one side, you have Jarern Chai, a sleek and stylish grocery store brimming with hard-to-find ingredients. Step inside the white tiled space and you’ll discover a rainbow-hued array of fresh fruits and vegetables, such as dragonfruit, longans, bamboo shoots and banana blossoms, plus Thai kitchen essentials and pastries from Brickfields.
Once you’ve filled your basket, take a seat in the adjoining Boon Café to discover one of Sydney’s most exciting breakfast menus.
“The Boon kitchen produces a mash-up of Thai classics and some inventive musings on staples with artisanal ingredients from local producers along with a few daily specials. Boon respects tradition, fresh health-giving ingredients and above all, deliciousness.”
So, you can still get your fill of sausages and eggs, but in true Boon style this staple gets a Thai makeover with smoked fish sausage, chicken mince, sliced pork and sausage loaf. Fancy a croissant? Why not try it slathered in a fragrant pandan custard? For a soul-warming start to the day, order a bowl of crab or chicken congee with topped with slivers of ginger and a thousand-year egg.
Come 11am, it’s time for your sandwich to get a mod-Thai reimagining. Boon Café takes classic Thai ingredients, such as spicy pork sausage, crab and prawn cakes, and fried chicken, and crams them between slices of sourdough bread, accompanied by tangy relishes and crunchy salads.
Plates of noodles and rice also join the lunchtime line-up, including a signature dish of sai ouah kamut pasta, made of kamut fusilli spirals with housemade pork sausage and a raw egg yolk to stir through – think of it as a spicy Thai take on carbonara.
As night falls, Boon changes gears once again. “The mood switches to Isaan in the evening to represent one of our favourite Thai food regions. The cuisine from the North East harbours unique flavours and ingredients that closely resemble Laotian staples but still very distinctly Thai in execution. Expect gutsy flavours based on fermented fish, crabs, brined/pickled, fresh herbs and vegetables, more often than not it’s going to be spicy!”
Standouts include the larpb bpedt, a zesty duck salad with ground rice and soft herbs; the sai grog isaan tangy pork sausages; and a staggering selection of som dtum salads.
At any time of day, be sure to order a cold-pressed Boon juice of seasonal greens and herbs, and finish with a scoop of coconut gelato in a bun.
Jarern Chai Boon Café
425 Pitt St, Haymarket
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