22 April 2014

Rim Tanon ~ Thai - Haymarket\Thainatown

Campbell Street in the city serves up another Thai Town classic. Rim Tanon dishes up Thai street food in a simple resto setting and you don't need to haggle with a tuk-tuk driver to get there.

The stretch along Campbell Street and a little up Pitt Street we've always thought of as Thainatown or Thai Town. It seems even the City of Sydney is getting in on the naming act, adding bright blue 'Thai Town' directional signs off George Street to help you find your way.

Chat Thai leads the way in popularity along here and there are more worthy eateries in this enclave that serve up Thai food that is more than green curry and pad thai. Yok Yor, Saap Thai and Chonsiam are all worth a lengthy exploration of their menus, especially if you are looking for northern Thai comfort food or a small bowl of brown broth and fishball boat noodle soup and don't want to wait in a long queue.

In place of what used to be More More Cha, Rim Tanon has taken a step further along the Thai food trail and offers more street style focused food.  At first this street food claim turned us off, our natural reaction was 'you can't put street food in a restaurant!'. So while it isn't the same, it still has a good whiff of spice and street style without the car fumes, rotten fish smell, bike noise and tiny stools. If only they could crank the heat up, bottle that smell and spray it around and have a few stray dogs you could throw your chicken bones at to make it feel more like eating on a soi.

The other point we like about this place is the price for most of the dishes. Sitting around $8 a pop you can really reach out and try a few new things without breaking the bank. Food court prices, street food style and super friendly service all in one.

From the cheaper side of the menu: Pork knuckle rice - $8. Super tender slow cooked fatty pork in a sweet five spice sauce on top of pickled and fresh greens, with a chili vinegar on the side. The greens, sauce and chili vinegar work together masterfully. This is our new favourite pork & rice in town, we've tried it twice at the time of writing.

Guay Jup - $8. A dark, sweet, meaty broth with all kinds of piggy from lovely crunchy fried pork belly bits to blood cubes and various gizzards, and a few flat noodles beneath the sea. This has stronger offal flavours than other versions of this soup that we have tried around town.

Watergate Chicken - $8 - Thai style Hainanese chicken riceA great version of one of our favourite dishes: the poached chook is moist and there's a nice subtle chicken flavour to the rice, which is a blend of regular and sticky rice. The sambal has a nice bite and even the soup is pretty good. Not sure what Richard Nixon has to do with it.

Duck noodle soup - $12. A generous serve of duck, a whole maryland, in a sweet meaty broth with five spice/star anise flavours. There's a couple plain tasting mushrooms and blood cubes which you can easily turf if blood cubes aren't your thing. Always a fan of Thai duck noodle soup.

This is a "I'll have what she's having", ordered by pointing at a neighbouring diner's plate. It's pork, sweet pork neck we think, cooked to a light crisp; served with a spicy chili and eggplant paste and sticky rice. $12. Terrific.

Ya Wa Rat noodle salad - $8. A stew of pork mince and tofu on top of flavour soaking flat rice noodles - more like spag bog with rice noodles than a salad. Not mind blowing on it's own but great zinged up with the supplied chili and fish sauce.

Tom yum ma-now - $8. A hot and sour soup with pork mince, fish balls, fried wontons and your choice of noodle: thin rice, egg or fresh (flat) noodles. The fish balls have a good bite without the bounce.

Khun Sri Lerd Moo - $8. A thin clean peppery soup with pork blood jelly and offal. There are no noodles in this soup so you might want to share or get a serve of rice with it. The intestines are clean flavoured and the blood jelly isn't overpowering.

Crab fried rice - $8. 'Crab fried rice in the style of "Muang Tong" in Bangkok'' says the menu. The rice is nice and light, the flavour reminds us of the Chinese classic of salted fish fish fried rice. Don't expect a heap of crab, it's a flavouring more than a meat addition.

There's changing monthly specials which are worth checking out and going back for. We haven't exhausted our eating here by any means.

Rim Thanon Thai Street Food is at 40-50 Campbell Street, Haymarket - www.rimtanon.com.au - phone 02 9211 2025.

Rim Tanon on Urbanspoon


  1. Thank you for your gracious review! We here at RT are trying our best to provide a fresh, tasty and reasonably priced Thai street food to Sydney. We are also thankful for you visiting! We hope to see you again although we understand that you have a multitude of other street food joints to try and blog about. Cheers!

  2. The pork knuckle looks wonderful (as does everything else, but I have a fondness for pork knuckle). I've eaten this in Malaysia and China but not Thailand. Same-same, different? I'll need to check this place out, to find out for myself.

    By the way (wrong entry, I know) - your recent posts on Taiwan are a delight to read and look at. Confirmed what a number of Malaysian-Chinese friends keep telling me - "Trev, you have to visit Taiwan, lah".

    1. Trevor, you need to go to Taiwan! We've only posted one week's worth of our three week trip. The food was wonderful, it's easy to travel around and the place is surprisingly unpretentious and fun.

      The pork knuckle has a little bit more depth in the flavour compared to Malaysian/Chinese, perhaps a lug of fish sauce or palm sugar makes the difference.

  3. this place put up a message on facebook just before easter that they were closing, with only a few days notice cuz the boss man was shutting them down :( i'd just discovered their northern thai specialties & had read they were extending that part of the menu :(

  4. Ah poo - I had this on my 'must revisit' list. Dang, I liked this place.

  5. yeah it was a sad message too, seemed to totally take them by surprise. i was in there just the other week and the man was really happy cuz they'd had some ppl from broadsheet in taking pics for an article :(

  6. We checked out the successor restaurant- cheng's kitchen and were pleasantly surprised. There's some sort of link between them- eg a rad na rim thanon on the menu, red rice on the tv screen. When pressed, the waitress mentioned that the previous owners daughter was now running the show.
    We Tried the pad see ew, off menu Khao Soi Gai, fish cakes and a whole fish in herb sauce- everything was tasty. The porridge meals were very popular- about half of the tables were having those- congee plus small plates of veg, pickles and protein.
    Worth a try!

  7. hey i just came here to say the same thing as justin^^ saw this menu for their porridge dishes on their facebook page - https://www.facebook.com/859131537566660/photos/a.859141194232361.1073741828.859131537566660/908776662602147/?type=3&theater


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).