There are a few things that instantly strike me at Home Thai. The first being its visual similarities to Chat Thai, and the second being the trendiness of the waitresses. Where else am I going to find waitresses that carry Louis Vuitton designer waist pouches and use iPads to key in my order?The food is fabulous here too, and it appears the word has spread because it's only 6pm and the queue is out the door!
We start with drinks - the Nam Lum Yae ($3) is a sweet longan drink and the Nam Ma Toom ($3) is bael fruit ice tea drink which has a refreshing herbal undertone.
Not surprisingly, we accidentally over-order. I must really learn to order one less dish than what I think we're going to need! There are just four of us to feed but somehow it seemed logical at the time that we would need two salads and three dishes. With steamed rice for all ($2 per person).
So the first dish to arrive is the Pu Nim Yum Mamuang ($16.50) which is golden deep-fried soft shell crab served with a tangy and crisp green mango salad.
On the right of that is the Pad Cha Look Chin Pla Kay ($13.90), a stir-fry of fish balls, chilli, lemongrass, galangal, ginger, kaffir lime leaf, cherry eggplant, apple eggplant and my favourite bit - deep fried basil leaves! The little bitter bursts of cherry eggplant makes this dish really fun to eat.
The Gang Dang Ped (roasted duck red curry, $13.90) also features the cherry eggplant and apple eggplant, as well as red chilli, basil, kaffir lime leaves, pineapple, lychees and tomatoes. It's an aromatic explosion hitting all the taste buds - spicy, salty, sour and sweet.
And then there's the dish I highly recommend everybody order. Pad Pik Khing ($13.90) is a stir fry of crispy pork belly (yes with crackling!), chilli and fresh green beans in a thick curry paste.
The second salad is the Yum Hua Plee, consisting of shredded banana blossom, with chicken, king prawns, shallots, coriander, onion, coconut, cashew nuts, fried shallots and chilli jam. I really enjoy the crunchy texture of the banana flower and the delicious tangy sauce.
The bananas aren't ripe enough so an unpleasant bitterness overwrites the crisp sesame batter. But the pillowy deep fried bread sticks and fragrant pandan custard come to the rescue.
So the desserts were a tiny bit of a let down but I much prefer the food here than at Chat Thai. The serving portions were great and all the dishes really hit the mark. Plus this feast came down to just about $20-$25 a head. Bargain!
Shop 1 - 2 / 299 Sussex Street, Sydney NSW
Phone: (02) 9261 5058