Saturday, 17 March 2012

Chat Thai, Haymarket & The Galleries - Sydney

I hate Thai food.
No. 51 Grapao crispy pork belly with rice

LOL nah, I am just trolling with you. The fact is, Thai food holds a special place in my heart. Thai dishes are flavorsome and bursting with herbs flavour, also many of them are spicy; my tongue can really accept them happily.

I can't say I have tried many Thai restaurants in Sydney, let alone in Indo. So far, my favourite one is Satang Thai. I am still on my search though, any recommendations?

Chat Thai is one of the restaurants I had on my must-try list. I can finally cross it from my list, when an old friend tagged me along to the restaurant as a meetup lunch. Chat Thai has 5 branches in Sydney, and my first visit was at the Thaitown, Haymarket branch.

The place is tucked at the side of a rather wide road, and will be easily missed if there's no their signature yellow chat-cloud signage.

Clockwise from top left: interior, unique water cup/bowl, take away padt thai

It is not very bright inside, but quite cozy. There's an open dessert kitchen right next to the restaurant's entry, and I love watching the chef making the sweet Thai treats.

There are two stories of dining area, both using wooden tables and simple stools. I do love the open brick walls, I always love such a natural setting. The three of us were seated at a communal table, and I found the area to be too cramped. I would really prefer the individual tables, which look much less cramped. Well, it was kinda a full house that day.

The water cup is very unique and looks authentic with lovely patterns, and although the water is cool, I felt like trying their drinks. The young coconut juice is pretty much the same like the ones in Indo, and I don't really taste anything special.

Foreground: sweet young coconut juice; Background: Thai iced milk tea (cha dum yen) - both about $4 each

Gai satay or chicken satay was ordered as appetizer. We had one each, and that's a good call I say. The chicken satays are huge, compared to Indo's satay I usually have. It's tender and full of flavour, but I reckon the peanut sauce is not really needed although it's creamy and nice. Still, I prefer Indo's chicken satay.

Gai satay (chicken satay with peanut sauce) - $2 each

I chose padt thai (stir fried thin rice noodles with chicken, dried shrimps, bean sprouts, garlic and chives in a tamarind and palm sugar sauce), simply because I have to try every padt thai from every Thai restaurant that I visit.

It comes in very generous portion, I struggled to finish my meal. Loaded with contrast of flavours and textures, this one is a winner. Sweet, sour, nutty, and savoury sensations danced happily in my mouth, and the noodles are lovely. Having said that, I still think Satang Thai's padt thai is still my favourite among all that I've tried.

Padt thai - $10.9

I was still curious about Chat Thai, so I went to The Galleries branch, which is included in the food court. The great thing is, I had no problem grabbing a seat and table.

They're consistent with the black and yellow theme, and they also offer a hot bar here too. It's a pre-made hot food, choose some and they're ready to be served on your plate. The desserts, I notice, are served in take away containers, ready to be consumed anytime.

Chat Thai, The Galleries

There are also some seatings beside the counter, only fit for about 4 groups of people. I chose food court seating instead.

Most of the 'one plate wonder' menus are listed on the black board without any descriptions, so it may be confusing for those who aren't familiar with Thai menus. Rest assured, they also have paper menu lists on the counter which include menu description, and I will suggest you to read and choose the menu from there instead of wondering what the hell 'khao mok gai' is that written on the menu board.

Clockwise from top left: the counter, seating inside, customer pager and paper menu, menu board

After spending some time contemplating what to order, the words 'crispy pork belly' won me over once again. The menu no. 51, grapao crispy pork belly (stir fried crispy pork belly, fresh chilli and holy basil with fried egg and rice) was then immediately ordered.

In went the first mouthful, and I was over the moon with this menu. Again, the rice portion is really generous, but it'll be such a waste if I didn't finish all of it. The stir fried pork belly is definitely the hero; crispy skin, perfect layer of fat, and tender meat. They are quite spicy, and very flavoursome. The fried egg is also impeccable with half-gooey yolk in the middle, and the greens given are one of the tastiest greens I've ever had. Overall, a must try.

Grapao crispy pork belly with rice - $13.9

I am not quite satisfied my my Thai food venture here, but at least I know they have a magnificent grapao rice. Next up, let's try mango and sticky rice!

P.S. I know some of you want Vietnamese posts, and it's coming! This post was prepared first so I decided to post this one first. Cheers!

Currency: $1 = IDR 9,500

Rating: 4/5 (Recommended)
Great Thai dishes, esp the grapao pork belly rice; nice ambiance for both branches, very friendly and welcoming service, price is reasonable.



The Galleries
Shop 1 Lower Ground,
500 George St.

Phone: (02) 9283 5789

Chat Thai @ The Galeries on Urbanspoon

20 Campbell St.
Haymarket, Sydney 2000

Phone: (02) 9211 1808

Chat Thai Haymarket on Urbanspoon


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  1. Oh yeah forgot to mention but Thai Pothong in Newtown is my family's favourite, a bit pricey but constantly high quality of food. Let's try out some new restaurants when you have time! :D

    1. ooh sounds nice! thanks again for the recommendations :) i am free on weekends and tuesday so just tell me when u've free time too :)

  2. whereabouts do you live? city area?

  3. Hai Irene! thanks for visiting my blog. you also have a good blog anyway. sukses terus ya... :)

    1. Hi Sonya! Thanks for dropping by and leaving a comment. Cheers to us! :)

  4. The crispy pork belly looks delish!

    1. it tastes delish too! :) thanks for dropping by, love your blog :)


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