Sunday, December 6, 2009

@Bangkok, Haymarket

We had to find an appropriate place to take my visiting cousin for dinner. It had to be not too expensive, not Malay/Singaporean, BYO and um, open. On a Monday, this is surprisingly difficult. Most places that were open were either too expensive or didn't let you BYO, so we decided to try going to Spice I Am. We showed up at the door to find it closed :( but no worries, Chat Thai was just around the corner. It was miserably cold and rainy, and when we got to Chat Thai there was about an hour wait for a table. After waiting nearly an hour and a half the last time I visited Chat Thai, I didn't have the patience for it. My brother had heard that the restaurant just across the road was a semi-decent alternative to Chat Thai. @Bangkok is tucked away inside Capitol Square, previously only known to be as the super azn place to go make sticker photos. It looks like your typical westernised Thai place, but we decided to give it a go, since it was out of the rain and had plenty of tables.
Thai Ice Tea ($3.00)

The service was very friendly and on the ball. We took our time figuring out what we wanted, but the food came ridiculously fast after we put our order in. I love Thai iced teas, so I had to get one for myself. This one was quite different from the one at Chat Thai, not very sweet and had quite a smoky flavour to it. I think it might have been better to get the milk tea here since the non-milk one wasn't quite sweet enough for me.
Som Tum Moo Grob ($15.90) - Spicy papaya salad served with crispy pork belly

They were very good about taking the nuts out of the som tum for us, but it was still flavoursome. The papaya salad was nice and crunchy and the bits of pork belly were very crispy and fatty indeed. It could have done with a little more chilli, maybe because I am a chilli fiend who is used to the fiery hot dishes you usually get at Chat Thai. But overall it was pretty tasty.
Sator Pad Ped ($16.90)- Stir-fried petal net (petai) and prawns in spicy red curry paste, with pepper corn, Kachai and basil
I looooooove petai. I am slightly amused that at the warnings on the menu about the taste and smell of the petai. It can be a little unpleasant for some people (it's earned the name stink bean for a reason!), but I love it! Apparently I have a thing for vegetables that does strange things to your pee (petai, asparagus, beetroot etc). This is a nice dish, with plenty of petai and prawns. It's quite spicy and with some good flavours, even though the petai are a little softer than I prefer.
Yum Pla Dook Foo ($13.90) - Crispy minced fish topped with spicy & sour salad: green apple, chilli, lemon juice, crushed cashew nut, Thai herms and fish sauce (green mango seasonal)
This dish had tons of crispy minced fish which is like the catfish salads you get at a lot of Thai restaurants. The crispy fish bits were nice but not fish enough, it kind of felt like we were eating tempura batter. But it was still quite nice to eat! The green apple salad was a little bland, but I only had a little of it since they forgot to leave the cashew nuts out of this dish. The fish in this went really well with the papaya salad above!
Gaeng Som Goong Malagor ($16.90) - Prawns and slices of green papaya in a hot and hour yellow curry
Lastly we tried the prawn curry, which was more of a soupy type of curry than a thick gravy. It was uniquely flavoured and pleasant with rice. The bits of papaya were really nice. I'm not usually a big fan of watery curries but this one wasn't bad. Overall @Bangkok didn't have the crazy spicy, punchy flavours that I usually get at Chat Thai, but it was definitely more authentic than the usual westernised Thai takeaway places that keep popping up in suburbs all over Sydney. It's around the same price range, possibly even cheaper, which makes it very good value. Not too bad a substitute when you really can't be bothered waiting in line for Chat Thai. But usually I can be bothered :P

At Bangkok
742 George St
G11 Capitol Sq 730

@ Bangkok on Urbanspoon
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  1. Good to know there is an alternative to Chat Thai. The queue was crazy on the New Moon Tuesday. It stops me from going back. I absolutely love the Som Tum Moo Grob :)

  2. Lol @ 'typical azn place'- so true. I used to go take sticker photos there! Haha. But you know they're like $14 now! Outrageous. I'm glad you had a good experience here, I had a terrible one earlier in the year. Since then, the wait for Chat Thai doesn't seem so bad!

  3. Ah, it's hard to beat the lure of Chat Thai, but when you've only got an hour off for lunch that line is not your friend. I'll check out this place the next time I'm defeated by the Chat Thai line!

  4. Am I going crazy or does the red duck curry look like it is filled with prawns?

    Ooh I haven't tried petai but I'm totally keen to after your recommendation! I tend to very much like eating things that make your wee go weird :D

  5. Ellie said - Yeah its ridiculous how busy it is even on weekdays, it totally puts me off!

    Betty - Oh no you had a bad experience! What made it crap? I think we got quite lucky with the dishes we ordered

    Forager - Yes I can imagine that would suck if you were in a hurry!

    Conor - LOL thanks for pointing that out, that'll teach me to write blog posts when I'm half asleep!

  6. The crispy pork belly looks so good! Bet it would have gone a treat with the som tum. Pity it wasn't spicy enough though.

  7. bwahaha sticker photos! i used to get the photo cards too! the crispy pork belly looks soo good!

  8. Hee hee super azn place... I go for the claw machines XD! I want me some crispy pork belly!

  9. The Gaeng Som Goong Malagor looks delicious. I like Green Papaya. The prawns are nice and big too.

  10. I love reading your reviews. They always paint an unbiased picture. This place doesn't seem too bad. I've also never tried petai. I'm intrigued!

  11. Doesn't look too bad; thanks for the review. I don't venture into Capitol Square too often, but some of the places inside are pretty decent.

  12. The pork belly crackling looks so good! Good to know that there's some decent food in Capitol Square, I've had some bad experiences around that area.

  13. Simon - Yeah the pork belly + som tum combination was winner! A lot of the places seem to lower the spice level in Sydney :(

    chocolatesuze - oh yes, can't forget the photocards :)

    FFichiban - LOL I think I still have sticker photos from high school which I took there!

    A cupcake or two - The prawns were surprisingly good quality, I like green papaya too!

    Trissa - Aw thanks Trissa! I try to be fair :) You have to try petai, it's awesome in a spicy dish!

    joey@FoodiePop - I haven't tried many places there before, only the Irish pub, but I was surprised that it was decent!

    Jacq - Yeah I've had bad experiences too! I was surprised


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