The original and the best!
I’m pretty good with my history of the CBD, being a kid who grew up hanging around the city streets from the early 90s – present. But even I have no clue what is the answer to this question, which came first? Chat Thai? Or the establishment of Thainatown in Campbell St? But not knowing the answer to this chicken or egg riddle, I still think Chat Thai is the original and the best!
As much as we hate waiting in line for food, we were willing to make this exception if it was for the best Thai in all of Australia! And when we were seen to our table for two, we then had to make the difficult decision of choosing what to eat/drink. So many choices, so many choices!
We ended up ordering a drink to share (Lodt Shong Singapore- $5.50); for my wife the Guay Tiew Larb ($12.00); and for me the Sokho Thai noodle soup ($12.00).
As we waited for the food to arrive, we took in the ambiance- each table was full of happy patrons all enjoying their late Sunday lunch. And listening in on conversations around us, each table of diners were all speaking a different language- Eat Thai has transcended all cultural barriers!
After a short wait, our drink arrived.
The Lodt Shong Singapore is a coconut milk with silky pandan dumplings. Sipping it through the thick straw, the flavours of the coconut and pandan all mixed together into a tasty concoction- neither coconut nor pandan overwhelmed the other flavour. And what are pandan dumplings, I hear you ask? Imagine the Chinese pudding on the square Styrofoam trays? Picture that tasty treat, but sliced up into thin 2 inch strips and poured into a glass of coconut milk. Each sip would bring up a chilled mouthful of milk and 2-3 strips of pandan flavoured jelly to chew on. Yum!
The first of the mains to arrive was my Sokho Thai soup noodle, it was like a ‘Special noodle soup’ from a Canto noodle soup store i.e. it had everything in it! I believe there were 2 different types of fish balls (one fried, the other not), minced pork, sliced pork, sliced fish tofu, peanuts, herbs, bean sprouts, and a generous serving of thin noodles, all of which was floating in a hot and sour soup, which was at the perfect level of spicyness! I enjoyed this dish, because it had a little bit of everything, making each mouthful interesting.
My wife’s Guay Tiew Larb was thin rice noodles, with minced chicken and pork offal, in spicy and sour larb flavoured soup. Her soup was a spice level higher than mine, as there were several times she had to down-tools and clear her sinuses. Haaha. She described it like a typical Larb, but served as a soup noodle. But she was happy with her dish, as she’s a fan of the ‘nose to tail’ approach, not wasting any part of an animal if it was remotely edible.
Our end verdict? 5 from 5 Stars! 3 from 3 for food (each element on our plate was perfect! We couldn’t fault it at all!); 0.5 from 0.5 for Service (although we had to wait a little, however the service staff kept checking up on us, giving us an ETA on when our table was available and she seemed about to go above and beyond to see to our needs); 0.5 from 0.5 for Atmosphere (A bustling restaurant is enough for full marks, but they also had a catchy Thai pop playlist playing as well!); and 1 from 1 for Value for Money (Under $30 for 2 mains and a drink to share!? That is such great value, you honestly can’t get this level of quality for this price anywhere else in Sydney!)).
In conclusion, we haven’t given a restaurant the full 5 stars in a long while, as when it comes down to it- we’re pretty stingy scorers. But when we have a totally satisfying meal, which ticks all the boxes? Yeah, we’re more than happy to sing their praises and award them with the highest honour. 5/5! In Sydney we’re spoiled for choice when it comes to Thai, but in our opinion Chat Thai will always be the original and the best!
Chat Thai- Sunday 8 September (5.0 Stars).
PH: (02) 8317 4811
20 Campbell Street, Haymarket
Mon-Sun 10am – 11.30pm, 12midnight – 2am.