Sydney’s Thai Town is home to the best Thai food and authentic cultural experiences in Australia. Together with the Royal Thai Embassy Canberra and Thai Trade Centre Sydney, we brought local food writers Paul Diamond (Selector Magazine), Jennene Plummer (Better Homes and Gardens), Claire Brookman (Super Food Ideas), Miranda Payne (Taste.com.au), and Lorraine Elliot (notquitenigella.com) on a tour of discovery through its streets.
First, we visited Jarern Chai cold room with vegetables fresh from their own farm, including banana blossoms, eggplants and fresh pandan leaves – important ingredients in Thai cuisines. Our guests also had a taste of Taokaenoi Seaweed Snack and Koh-Kae Peanuts from Thailand.
Next, a Thai tea and dessert tasting at Boon Café. The Itim Sacu, coconut ice-cream with blue butterfly pea sago and coconut milk is always a crowd-pleaser. Check out more of what Boon Café has to offer.
Then, we experienced some iconic Thai products at Mae Cheng Fine Asian Grocer, including dried tamarind, Pantai brand Sriracha Chilli Sauce and Chilli Paste with Soybean. The grocer stocks the most popular imported flavours and products essential to the local Thai people here.
No Thai tour is complete without a good massage, so we took a relaxing break at Lek Therapeutic Massage Clinic that offers both remedial and clinical massages. Some of us enjoyed the foot massage experience, others had the full neck and shoulder massages.
Now refreshed and rejuvenated, time to sample some Northern Thai cuisine at Cheng Kitchen. Like most Asian countries, Thai food and culture are diverse across the four regions. Northern Thai dishes tend to be simple and spicy. Our guest had a taste of Khao Soi curry laksa, as well as the Khan Tok dining set: Hung Lay curry, pork crackle, Thai sausage with green and red chilli dipping sauce, and larb pork, accompanied with sticky rice – the staple of Northern Thai food. See more of Cheng Kitchen’s offerings.
After the delicious stopover, we headed to the renowned Spice I Am for an exclusive cooking demo by the owner and Head Chef Sujet Saenkham himself. The friendly and talented Mr Sujet awed us with his skills as he created his signature Red Curry Paste from scratch, Cho Chee Salmon (coconut salmon red curry with kaffir lime limes), and Riceberry Hot Smoked Salmon Salad, all from fresh ingredients.
With our appetites piqued, we feasted at Spice I Am. The sumptuous dishes were the Yum Hua Plee (Shredded banana flower salad), Pak Mor Sai Kai (minced chicken wrapped in steamed fresh rice paper), Gaeng Hed Phao (Southern-style kingfish curry), Pla Tod Samunpuri (deep-fried snapper coated with sweet & sour tamarind sauce), Ped Tod Yum Mamoung (deep-fried duck leg with mango salad), Prik Pao Moo Grob (stir-fried crispy pork belly), Steamed Riceberry and RD43 Rice (Low GI), as well as Mor Kaeng Tua Daeng (Baked Red Bean Riceberry).
Thus, we concluded our Thai Town tour, thoroughly sated with all the unique flavours lingering on our taste-buds. Certainly, a jaunt to remember.