As most of you would assume, Mick and I love Thai food. LOVE LOVE Thai food. Interestingly, this is a relatively new thing for me, having only developed this obsession since actually living in Thailand. Prior to that, I was not a fan. It would take a lot to get me to eat a green curry or pad thai as I really didn’t like the sweetness of the dishes, the greasyness and the flavours were not my thing. Funny how a few years can change all that!
I now realise that my dislike of Thai food in Sydney is based on the abundance of crap Thai restaurants that are everywhere. You would think that the obsession with Thai food that has gripped the city for a long time now would mean that there would be an outstanding level of great Thai restaurants in every suburb. However, most are mediocre, many are terrible. I think that is based on a couple of things. Firstly, many Thai restaurants are run by non-thai people – Koreans or Chinese seem to be running many of them. And secondly, I think some thai-owned restaurants believe that westerners don’t want the fire, fermentation and flavour that many of us do! ARGH.
However, there are some gleaming lights in areas if you know what to look for and where to avoid. The main area in Sydney for great, delicious and full-flavoured Thai food is (of course) Thainatown! YAY!
A really delicious Thai restaurant in this area is Yok Yor. This place has been frequented more times that I would like to admit since I came across its glorious menu. Its right in the heart of Thainatown in Sydney, that great pocket of Thai restaurants & shops in Pitt, Goulburn and Campbell streets. This small, but bustling little restaurant is on Campbell street near the corner of Castlereagh right opposite Lucky Thai Groceries. Its open quite late on Friday and Saturday nights and tucking into a few Moo Yang (grilled pork skewers) and Guay Tiao Tom Yum (tom yum noodle soup)has been a regular event for Mick and I since we discovered its awesomeness.
The menu has some great dishes like the Moo Yang mentioned above which are delicious pork neck skewers are served with a little dish of nam jim jaew [$1 each, minimum 4 per serve]. I love nam jim jaew and I love pork skewers and these are right on the money. Flame grilled, succulent and sensational, i could eat a dozen to myself if I didn’t feel so sheepish about ordering that many! The noodle soups are sensational, the nam tok moo (Larb-style Grilled Pork Salad) is amazing although i would argue that it needs to be spicier. The khao kha moo [$8.50] is a succulent, fatty and aromatic stewed pork leg on rice. Although its not quite as good as my favourite street vendor in Chiang Mai, it is full flavoured and super yummy.
They have a vast menu and many specials that include kanom jeen (thick rice noodles) with authentic fish curries and blood jelly, grilled mackerel with fermented sauces and so many other dishes that are not found in other Thai restaurants. I’m happy to say that everyone who I have dragged along so that I can get my Thai food hit has been very happy with their food and have also become regulars.