26 October 2010

Thainatown ~ Where the Thai Folks Eat - Goulburn Street, City

We visit Thainatown, a classic no-frills eatery full of Thai folks.

As soon as we see  the classic Thai condiment set we know we're eating where Thais eat - the thirty or so Thai folks who come through the door as we eat are also a bit of a clue. A big thanks to Eve for suggesting we try this place. We order mostly from the "House Specials - Authentic Thai Food" section of the menu, it has the most interesting stuff, though we kicked ourselves later for not noticing the droolworthy specials board.

My brain tried to order Thai iced coffee but my mouth said Thai Ice Tea with milk. What a happy mistake, this drink is divine, very sweet but very delicious, the taste is familiar from my travels in Asia but I can't quite put a finger on it, it tastes almost fruity. I'll be back for this. $3.50.

Duck noodle soup - $8.90. A thick sweet broth with flat rice noodles, chunks of duck flesh and some blood cubes. I usually hate blood but these taste ok, not a strong offal flavour at all. I enjoy my soup though it didn't blow me away as did the stewed duck noodle soup from 3 Mama Chefs around the corner.

Miss Chicken's love for offal and the unusual leads her to try Egg Soup $8.90 - Flaked rice noodles served with dark herbal soup and pieces of egg, crispy pork [crispy pork belly], liver, fried tofu and blood jelly. The broth in this is divine, less sweet than the duck soup, with a beefy flavour similar to boat noodle soup. Miss Chicken is very happy.

Papaya salad - $8.50. Always a winner - green papaya with lemon juice, chili and fish sauce.

Omelet - Thai-Style omelette cooked with minced pork and spring onions. Served with jasmine rice (optional) $8.90. Miss Chicken enjoyed it immensely.

I have an aversion to these fried omelettes. Many years ago I was bludging in Lake Toba, a mellow backpacker spot in Sumatra, when a kindly Indonesian mamma convinced me it would be a good idea to try a magic mushroom omelette. It looked much like the innocent omelette above but tasted like shoes and had the texture of sand. I tried to stop at half but mamma insisted that I be a man and eat the whole thing, so i did, dry-reaching the whole time. Half an hour later I completely freaked out in a bar while watching Kevin Costner's Waterworld (not that that requires hallucinogens), then went and hid in my room with the lights off having a mother of a bad trip for the next few hours. So like some folks don't drink Bundy or tequilla after a bad experience, I haven't touched a fried omelette in years.

Thainatown Menu - Click to Enlarge

Thainatown Menu - Click to Enlarge

Thainatown Menu - Click to Enlarge

Thainatown Menu - Click to Enlarge

Thainatown Menu - Click to Enlarge

Thainatown Menu - Click to Enlarge

Thainatown is at 91 Goulburn Street- Sydney/Haymarket. Near the corner of Pitt Street and across the road from that big Masonic Centre place.

As we were leaving I asked the lady in charge if this Thainatown is the same Thainatown that used to be around the corner on Pitt Street many years ago. I was overjoyed when she said 'yes'. The original Thainatown was a gorgeous little run down place that was in what my shoddy memory thinks was an old Greek cafe or similar. For some reason I never went into that wonderful looking old place, but at least I can try their food years later around the corner.

As we walk home we stop for sweeties in this Thai grocery shop on the corner of Pitt and Hay streets, just as Pitt Street starts climbing up to Central Station. It's smaller than the Thai grocers on Campbell Street but it's a lovely little shop in an old sandstone building.

We came for Thai sweeties but couldn't trust our inner piggies to buy them by the box (tip - you can buy them individually at the Thanon Khao San restaurant on Pitt Street, joy).

How cute are these candies? The label says Luk Chup Sweets - Mungbean, Coconut Milk and Sugar. Made around the corner in Campbell Street.

"UHT Drinking Traditional Thai Coffee" - the taste of Southeast Asia in a carton.

Thai banana cakes.

Thainatown on Urbanspoon


  1. You guys are my food heroes - eating all the squishy things that I'd never dare try. The Papaya Salad looks yum. Good idea to avoid the omelette though...and reruns of Waterworld (stupidest movie EVER)!

  2. Maybe we could be SUPER food heroes - Super Offcuts Man and Gizzard Girl? Really it's only Miss Chicken who is offal crazy :-)

  3. You went to Thainatown! Yeah the place is populated with Thais whenever I go there. Only tried the Pad Thai, Green Curry and Boat Noodle soup. Was going to try the duck noodle soup but the broth for the Boat Noodle Soup was calling to me. I love that Boat Noodle soup's broth, absolutely divine...i slurped it all up and I seldome finish the soup of anything (unless it is the Har Mee from Singapore Shiok!)
    The Egg Soup sounds yummy....I am offal crazy too!! Love love love them. Has Miss Chicken tried the Pig Organ Soup in Singapore? It is to die for...peppery and offal goodness!
    Now I have to go give 3 Mama's duck noodle soup i try...i love a good broth.

    OOooh...the iced tea makes me think of the amazing ice cream in Singapore called Teh Tarik (pulled tea) ice cream from Island Creamery. It is divine...imagine SEAsian iced tea in ice cream form! Island Creamery does the best 'local' flavoured ice cream. Too bad I can't bring a tub back for you guys to try!

    I shall go buy a packet of the traditional thai coffee tonight. I do miss my SEAsian coffee and tea so badly. Nothing like drinking them out of a plastic bag and from a straw!
    I walk by this shop everyday to Uni and never did go in to have a look.

    Btw there is another Thai place which I am planning to try cos it is absolutely packed all the time. Wonder if it is any good. It's called Satang Thai on Quay St. Have you guys been there?
    Any good?

  4. Hey Eve - drool, Singapore pig organ soup is divine, so much nicer than it sounds. We've been to Satang, man that place is always packed. I think 3 Mamas is my fave so far :-)

  5. As a fellow offal traveller, can I humbly suggest you try out Battambang in Cabramatta?

    This Cambodian restaurant serves the best noodle and Teochew porridge this side of the Indian Ocean, and the dry noodle with fried pig intestine or the version with pig's offal are to die for. The dry noodle dishes come with a kick-arse complimentary pig knuckle soup.

    It's located on Broomfield St., across from the Cabramatta train station i.e. on the quieter side of Cabra.

  6. Ah yes we've seen Battambang, we must give it a try, thanks for the reminder!

  7. The next time you have thai food again and actually fancy rice (i notice how you guys love soup noodles!), try the Pad Kaprow stir fry, it's your choice of meat (i prefer pork in this dish), stir fried with chillies, basil, and bamboo shoots - this is one of my favourite thai dishes amongst redy curry and all things tom-yum!

  8. Hey Lucy - ooh I love a pad kaprow - pork too!


Thanks for your comment joy - please keep your musings happy - if you want to complain about a restaurant please do it on a restaurant review site (or your own blog) - we're all about celebrating cultural diversity and the great eats that come along with it :-)

Our ethics: We pay for all our own meals and travel (though sometimes Mum shouts us).