WORD ON THE STREET
TUCKED INTO A ROW OF SHOPS IN A RESIDENTIAL NEIGHBOURHOOD, THIS TINY THAI EATERY HAS BIG IDEAS ON FLAVOUR AND SERVICE
Kids love dining out, but it can get expensive, especially as they get older. Once you get past the kids’ meals stage (and let’s face it miniscule serves of spag bol or fish and chips wear thin pretty early on in life) and they start ordering from main menus, it all gets a bit hairy.
It’s even worse when they begin to develop a sense of culinary adventure, only to discover belatedly they’re not quite ready for the spicy beef rendang and now want something else.
Every week parents ask me about affordable quality eating for families.
Often they’re seeking something a little bit out of the ordinary, something a bit finer than pub food, but not too fancy.
While Thai food has become mainstream, with a wide price scope, it is great to find a gem where the food is fresh and tasty, service quick and it’s light on the pocket.
Cue Thai Bangkok Street Food. Yes it’s a funny name, Bangkok’s in Thailand, right? But it definitely should be taken seriously.
We arrive with our BYO full-bodied red prepared for some serious spice (for adults only, it’s a fresh chilli on the side situation).
Shown to a table for four in this diminutive restaurant, we are seated at a simple timber table with clean white plastic cloth.
Bright red walls and the odd plant and knick knack are the only concessions to decoration.
Wait staff are friendly and efficient, bringing cold water and glasses, along with menus. There are a handful of tables inside and a couple on the pavement. It’s quite early on Wednesday evening and there’s a steady trickle of dine-ins as well as a good regular flow of take-aways.
We’re starting with chicken satay sticks, six for six dollars seems crazy, but who are we to argue? They’re crisp, tasty and piping hot. The satay sauce, on the watery side is a bit bland.
Next a house specialty, tamarind duck, which is proving popular with other diners, is served with a hearty portion of steamed rice. Lightly seasoned with tamarind paste, the duck meat is thinly sliced and stir-fried with loads of fresh veggies including green beans, red pepper, broccoli, zucchini, mushroom, onion and bok choy. It’s clean eating at its best and with a couple of slices of chilli, it’s a hit.
The kids love a good pad thai and this one with chicken is packed with healthy vegetables, tofu cubes, glass noodles (not over-sauced), a wedge of lime for zing and plenty of crushed peanuts atop. On the pad thai scale it’s a 10.
We’ve ordered green chicken curry and crispy pork, both of medium heat and while they’re quite tame in that regard, they’re still packed with flavour.
The curry, an excellent version in coconut cream with sliced bamboo shoots, beans, pumpkin, broccoli, basil and a hint of kaffir lime is an indulgence. But the pork, crisped to perfection with subtle chilli, coconut cream and again abundant vegetables, is its equal.
Rice is topped up for no extra charge and it’s a lavish banquet we really can’t finish, not matter how much we want to.