18 January 2019

Chaao Thai Siam ~ Thai - Haymarket / Chinatown

If it's one thing that gets our stomachs excited it is the thought of a restaurant hiding up a flight of stairs and serving up Thai food unlike most places in Sydney. Chaao Thai Siam ticks all those shiny, happy boxes.

Walking through a Thai sweets shop, narrow and stacked high with plastic tubs of mango sticky rice and fire laden Thai dips, could be enough to get us excited. Heading up a set of stairs at the end of the shop leads you up to a cafe, one floor at a time passing by boxes of mangoes, cucumbers and bags of bean sprouts and rice.

The shop wastes no space, every bit of stair and floor space is filled with boxes, packaging and goodies.

The opposite of the packed downstairs shop, upstairs is a wide open cafe, filled with light and plenty of space. 

The first thing you see on entry are these large tubs of green, red and very dark brown curry, ending with the biggest bowl of Tom Yum you've ever seen. 

It's these dishes we have come to eat , especially nam ngiaw from the north of Thailand. We still dream of the one under the walkway in the Warorot market at Chiang Mai. Each of the different bowls is a popular dish from around Thailand, there's no one region represented in the cooking here. You'll be asked if you want to add cooked pieces of pork and blood tofu from a separate stand.

To go with the noodles and curry, a large table with help yourself fixings which are free with the bowl of soup or curry and noodles. Pile a plate with fresh kang kong, green beans, shredded cabbage, pickled mustard greens, a boiled egg is an extra $1.50.

Each of the soupy style curries are served up with rice vermecelli noodles in a plastic bowl. My dining pal believed his red almost khao soi style curry needed a lot of extra flavours from the condiment set to lift it. 

We'd love to see them get real plates and spoons, we recommend you BYO your own utensils and water cup if possible to cut down on plastic waste.

The nam ngiaw is served up with rice vermicelli and a pork mince filled tomato broth. You add in pieces of cooked pork, pieces of mixed quality but essential. We missed the blood tofu first time around and won't make that mistake again.

The nam ngiaw plaa here is a little wonder, those small salty pieces of fish hidden inside the tomato and chilli broth make each mouthful a salty-or-not-salty rollercoaster ride of flavour. The blood tofu (we didn't forget this time) really adds the to the texture and the fishballs have a strong fish filled flavour, these aren't white and blandish fishballs no sir-ee Bob.

Serving suggestion for your platter of extras. Always get a good pile of pickled mustard greens, the crisp green beans if on offer and a generous serve of shredded cabbage for cool and crunch.

The downstairs shop is a fiesta of sticky rice (both white and purple) and fresh mango cheeks. Coconut milk is ladled on once you've purchased, and purchase you must. There's also tubs of Thai nam prik and assorted dips.

Chaao Thai Siam is at Level 1, 215 Thomas St Haymarket. Ph: 02 8542 2177.

1 comment:

  1. Holy shit, this looks so up my alley. I'm so excited. Thanks for the top quality reporting again.


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 :-)

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