Hear ye, Hear YE!
I have RETURNED!
Actually: not yet. So I graduated as an Optometrist (finally) after 5 years and one repeat year of study - and my first posting is 10 hours away from Sydney in a large regional town called Toowoomba. For those who can't be bothered looking up a map - that's in Queensland, a different state, and situated 2 hours west of Brisbane (90mins for the lead-footed males) =P. Don't ask me how I know - officially I am a good driver =D
Four months into my posting, June has come around - an excuse to return to Sydney and catch up with friends and family. MOST importantly: to walk down the hallowed halls to receive my Degree: Bachelor of Optometry and Bachelor of Science.
Enough of the background: you're all here for the review, and so it begins...
Disclaimer: all images belong to me (Saleem Ha Photography), and is reproduced unedited from my iPhone5: what you see is what you get (and what I ate!)
There's this one friend of mine, whose company I enjoy immensely. (It can't hurt to mention that I've missed her terribly either... not seeing your close friends for months on end isn't nice). It also helps [for me] that she always seems to have a list of places to try - inevitably I don't have to rack my brain too hard to come up with a place to dine.
Although I wouldn't say I've got a great ability for spotting people, our meeting point at Town Hall station at 5pm meant that I had a hard time trying to spot her amongst a homeward-bound crowd: and my official excuse of not having seen her in four months is the reason why she found me rather than the other way around. Oops :P
We caught up on what's been happening, exchanging tales and gossip whilst meandering down to Sussex Street on a chilly winter evening. Getting there early by 5.30pm meant that we got a table straight away, though the place was already half full - looks promising.
You do the usual: sit down, appreciate the menu, with the tacky old-laminate drinks and dessert cards, then wait for the waitress to come around to take your order. I do have to warn you now: be prepared to keep an open ear out for accents - my friend had a fair bit of trouble trying to decipher what our waitress was saying. Me... no worries on that front - I get criticised for trying to mimic the same accents!
=== Verdict ===
The night went smoothly, and I did enjoy the experience and my company. But to be fair to the blog, I wouldn't rate this place highly compared to where I've been in the past. The food was good but not outstanding. The bill came to $71 for the 2 of us - seems steep at first, but fair considering we ordered two entrees, two mains (Salad and Noodle dish), two Steamed rice, two desserts dishes and two drinks. Bits and comments of each dish you will find below.
Value: not inexpensive
Yummyness: sating, but had better
Quality: no complaints
Overheard: "There's always Chat Thai..."
Entree: #2 Kao Kreab Pak Mhor ($6.50/6pc)
Intriguing little dumpling containing peanuts, palm sugar and a vegetarian substitute (either that or the pork edition, which I avoid).
I'm neutral on this one: dumpling skin is soft, with a crunchy mix of core ingredients. However, nothing about it gives you the little "wow" feeling of wanting more.
Entree: #17 Fresh Spring Roll ($10)
Now I don't eat pork (as many may know), so the opinion isn't quite mine. My friend liked it, no complaints... but not many comments about it either.
Containing Lap Cheong and other odds and ends, it was nicely fried but crumbled from slight chopstick pressure - either poorly made, or stuffed to the brim with goodiness - find out for yourself!
Main: #86 Banana Flower Salad with Prawn ($16)
Impressively served with three (four?) large prawns overlying a mix of lemongrass and yummy delights. For the full list - go look up their menu at this link.
Love: interesting mix of flavours coming together
Hate: (not my hate) "There's too much chilli - it burns"
Might not be for the un-chilli-able folk =)
Main: #109 Gravy Noodle Flat rice noodle ($12)
With most traditional South-East Asian fare, a "wet noodle" dish (friend noodle in thick gravy sauce) is divine when the noodles are well cooked, and a thick gravy that is flavoursome and balanced just right - not always easy. So as you see, thin stalks of Chinese Broccoli floating amongst chicken pieces over a bed of hor fun (rice noodles) was done quite well. Not brilliantly though - I've had better, but I'm happy they don't ruin one of the basic staples of an Asian kitchen.
Dessert: Deep Fried Banana pieces
Comment: WOW! Perfectly fried with no crumpling of the outer layers, soft gooey delicious banana slice inside.
A must have if you've no concerns about grease, oils, or "yeet-hei" (Cantonese for 'too much fried food')
Dessert: Sticky Rice Sliced Mango
I presume they'd use fresh mango in the Spring/Summer season - you can definitely taste the difference with the tinned mango used tonight. And the sticky rice... unfortunately something to pass over. I hate wasting food, and my friend even more so... but we both put down our spoons on this dish: the sticky rice had some flavour infused in it, but was too cold on serving.
Coupled with the knowledge that the girl (smaller) and boy (larger) (appetites) had shared two entrees, two mains, two bowls of rice, two iced drinks and the fried banana earlier... we had to let this one slide rather than stuffing every last morsel into a bloated stomach.
Home Thai (CBD South)
299 Sussex St (Street-front entrance, Shops 1&2)
Town Hall, Sydney 2000
P 02 9261-5058
No booking for dinner: stand outside for a ticket and wait up to an half-hour