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Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Chat Thai

"Hey I'm hungry"
"I'm hungry too"
"You come"
"No you come" 

An argument started by many, resolved by few. We were in this situation last night, in these stalemates of course I lose by default to Ms Foodblogger as a matter of principle.

Starving and annoyed I drove out beyond the yonder and back. At this point I was in no mood to be creative or explore, I just wanted food. So we went back to a faithful serviant of Sydney, a well established eatery that has comforted the masses, Chat Thai.

Having recently been remodelled the Haymarket branch is an institution of late night food. Its history goes back decades to when it had a Chinese pseudonym to make it more recognisable to customers (not BS, you can ask them). Head Chef Amy Chanta now has spread Chat Thai to four different locations, each with their own specialities and traits.

We arrived to the permanently busy Haymarket branch, there are no reservations you can call in, you place your name on a piece of paper and wait for your number to be called. The biggest issue with this arrangement is you smell the food from outside, the wafting aroma's are enough to drive one insane when hungry.

We waiting outside in the cold for twenty minutes, but we knew it was all worth it. Then finally, "table for two" we took a step forward "table for two..... Tim" it was for another couple, my heart went up and down faster than a roller coaster, the disappointment was crushing. But it was short-lived, they were gone, we were in!!

Lots of prep work means fast service

Walking in I didn't recognise any major changes from the renovation, a new lick of paint and some elbow grease, but it looked fresh and vibrant, and as always bustling with life. We were seated between two other couples on a table resembling one from grade school (but smaller), this is the norm here and space is a luxury. Once seated we were given four different menu's to peer through, the drinks menu, the revamped dinner menu, the tonights special's menu as well as the tightarse special menu. Having been here several times I knew what I liked but changes meant some dishes were added, some unfortunately removed. We went through the myriad of dishes available and settled on a few that had the most appealing pictures, not the most scientific method but it seems to work for us.

Bpu nim padt pohng karee - Yellow Curry Soft Shell Crab - $21

The first dish that (finally) arrived was the Yellow Curry Crab. It was the most expensive dish on the menu by far, but OOOMMMMGGG, it is good. This dish is not for the faint of heart, there is no mild or medium, just extreme, if you choose to accept this challenge prepare for your lips, your stomach and other unmentionable parts to burn as it flows through your digestive tract. Served with rice noodles, (that don't do anything to subdue the heat), the dish is more than enough to make one man full. Something I recommend everyone try, but best to keep a few immodiums at hand.

Chili Fried Rice $14
Gai Yaang $13
Any dish that followed the Crab would fail to shine, but the old classics of fried rice and chicken doesn't usually disappoint. We ordered a Chili fried rice each with extra egg and an order of Gai Yaang, which is chicken grilled in turmeric and lemon grass, the traditional Thai flavours and then smoked with chili and tamarind sauce to give it extra kick.

The perfect ending to this dinner would of been sticky rice with mango, a dessert I cherish, but coming in this late meant my chance were slim to none as it is one of the most popular dishes on the menu. Saying that though Chat Thai has always lived up to its reputation, great wholesome Thai flavours at a bargain price, you can't really go wrong. Its a late night mecca for Sydney, an institution that has built its reputation from the ground up, its a favourite we have visited many a time, and intend to go time and time again.

Happy Eating 


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