Sailors Thai

106 George Street

Another meeting in town and another excuse to try another restaurant. Back in London, Nahm, run by David Thompson is regarded as one of the finest Thai restaurants in the UK. But it’s expensive; easily £100 a head. I’ve no problem paying that kind of money for French fine dining, but for some reason I won’t do the same for Thai, when ‘street food’ shows the cuisine at its best.

Arriving in Sydney it was pleasing to see David Thompson’s place relatively well priced and so removing any barrier to try it.

I visited the canteen (leaving the main restaurant for another time). As a lone diner seeing the long communal table gave me a feeling of dread. Where do you sit and how do others sit around you? Too much social awkwardness. However there are four tables on the balcony outside and I was able to get myself a spot in the sunshine.

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The service was genial and helpful. When the dishes are meant to be shared it was nice of the waiters to offer half portions to provide some variety. I guess it helped that I asked them to order for me (always a good way to get decent service & interesting dishes).

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I started with king prawn spring-rolls. These were also filled with glass noodles and accompanied with a nice sharp dipping sauce. These were actually a bit bland for spring-rolls. I expected a greater mix of flavours, but they were well cooked – the prawns were sweet & succulent with the pastry not too oily. A good balance.

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Next up was a half dish of crisp salty pork belly with hot & sour sauce. The texture & consistency of this pork was even better than Spice I Am. Lots of knobbly crunchiness, a bit a fattiness and unctuous meat. The sauce was rich & spicy which was fine at the beginning, but got a little cloying as the dish went on, desperately needing rice to even the taste out. But it wasn’t going to detract from the pork.

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A good-ol chicken & potato yellow curry was up next – Sweet, spicy with a good hit of turmeric. The potato was fall-apart soft and made for a thicker & smoother curry. It was a fine example and the accompanying chili, cucumber & onions added a little bit more taste & texture.

So, this was a pretty enjoyable lunch. Unfortunately I didn’t get to try the green papaya salad, but there’s plenty to like. I would put it on a par with Spice I Am, but that is also cheaper with no discernible difference in quality. So I know what I’d choose.



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