I’ve mentioned before how Thai is not one of my favourite cuisines, but I’m willing to give anything a try if someone tells me it’s good. I’d heard good things about Khao Pla in Chatswood, so we visited one Thursday night on the recommendation of Electjai.
We let Electjai take care of the ordering since he’d been before, and the first thing we ate was this Isaan steak tartare. Raw beef was mixed with roasted rice, chilli flakes and lime juice. I don’t do well with too much chilli and while this steak tartare was absolutely delicious, oh man did it burn!
The problem with having a low chilli tolerance is that a lot of the time the food is still tasty so you just kind of have to put up with the burning. Luckily there was the perfect foil to all the hot Thai food with this iced Thai milk tea. Sweet, cold and milky, it did the trick in cooling some of the chilli heat, especially from that steak tartare.
I’ve mentioned before that Thai is not my favourite cuisine, but it’s hard to ignore when someone avidly recommends a restaurant to you. Queen Chu once mentioned that Papaya Thai served some pretty delicious food, so I got together a few friends to see what the fuss was about. The restaurant itself looked great with nice lights and candles (which sadly also made for a dark restaurant and dodgy photos), brightly coloured flowers and comfortable cushions for the wooden bench seating.
I left Queen Chu in charge of ordering and we started with tung tong (moneybags). These are filled with a mixture of chicken, crab meat, peanuts, peas and corn, wrapped with a wonton skin and tied with a shallot. The wonton skin is fried to a crisp and it shatters as I bite into it. The moneybags are also served with a sweet plum sauce on the side.
Group-buy coupons – love them or hate them, they’re definitely a way to dine at a fraction of the price you would normally pay, and often I find they’re a good way of trying out new restaurants. Most of the time, I tend to buy coupons to places that I’ve heard of before, but sometimes it leads me to discover new places that I’ve never even heard of.
Lotus Thai was one of those places. After wandering around the apartment complex which it is located in for a few minutes, trying to find the place (tip: look for the string of neon lights), we finally settled down into a spacious dining area which was relatively quiet on this Thursday night. We selected a bottle of house white to start, which is included in the deal.
There was no need to order as the deal includes a set 6-course shared menu for two, for $49. The chicken and lemongrass soup was swift to arrive and there was enough for two small bowls of soup per person, plus a little extra. The soup was heady with lemongrass and quite flavoursome, reminding me of some of the clear Chinese soups that my mother makes. Hidden in the soup were pieces of chicken on the bone.
You may have noticed that given the large number of Thai restaurants in Sydney, I have yet to review any of them on my blog. This is because I don’t really like Thai food – granted, I’m not all that familiar with Thai food and my knowledge about it is very limited, but I do know that there are certain flavours used in Thai cooking which don’t appeal to me. Namely coriander and kaffir lime. Bleh! (It also doesn’t help that I can’t take a lot of chilli)
As a result I don’t really choose to go to Thai restaurants, but on this night we were dining with family friends and the parentals had chosen to go to Red Spoon in Castle Hill. I always think that if I keep trying foods then maybe one day I will grow to like them, so I went along with this attitude hoping that my tastebuds will have magically grown to like these Thai flavours.
Well, I can’t confirm that this happened, but I was pleasantly surprised to find that I enjoyed most of the food that we ordered. Maybe because I tried to steer away from the dishes that I knew would be very strong on the coriander or kaffir lime leaf taste, but nevertheless it made me think that I should go out and try more Thai food before being so quick to strike off a cuisine completely.