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In a state of hibernation. My backlog has long become unsustainable. Will probably tweet more and write less full-length stuff.


Entries in Thai (10)


Ploy Thai

It didn't take me long to buy a copy of the SBS Eating Guide to Sydney. SBS stands for Special Broadcasting Service, which is a major network in Australia. Each year they publish an Eating Guide that contains a wealth of information about restaurants in the city. This guide is casual, and covers a lot of cheap, hole-in-the-wall type places. Arguably, the more important guide is the Sydney Morning Herald's Good Food Guide, which is more about serious fine dining. The Good Food Guide has a 20 point rating system, with special "Chef's Hats" for the city's best restaurants. The Good Food Guide Chef's Hats are the Australian version of Michelin stars - fine dining establishments all strive for them, and just a handful get the coveted 3 Hats.

Given my budget, I found both guides equally useful. While the SMH guide had all the fine dining info, the SBS one had lots of affordable places and tons of ethnic cuisine. This next meal at Ploy Thai was definitely an SBS suggestion. While I'm at it, let me also plug Grab Your Fork, a great Sydney food blog with a ton of pictures and information that I used liberally during my stay.






Anyway, back to Ploy Thai. One thing that struck me quite immediately in Sydney was the abundance of Asian food. Sydney obviously has plenty of immigrants from all over Asia. Most notably, there seem to be a good deal more Southeast Asian restaurants than we have in the US. I mean sure, we've got our fair share of Thai and Vietnamese, but Sydney has a ton more Indonesian, Malaysian and Singaporean places - I guess the geographical proximity really has an effect.


Ploy Thai is a little place on George Street, which is the main street that goes through downtown Sydney, connecting all the way from Circular Quay (the water) up to Sydney University. The inside is bare, to say the least, though clean and comfortable enough. But it was the random bits of Thai writing on the mirrored walls (admittedly mixed in with some English stuff) that signaled to us we were at the right place.

chicken laksa - A$10 Laksa?? I know you're wondering why the hell I ordered laksa - a Malaysian-Singaporean soupy curry-like noodle thing - at a Thai place. Yeah, in retrospect, maybe I shouldn't have. But basically I saw laksa written on the wall, and it'd been a LONG time since I'd had any, so I just went ahead and got it. That and, I guess I didn't want to trouble the waittress by asking for a translation for all that cool Thai stuff. But anyway, I'd find out later that laksa is everywhere in Sydney. I guess it's sort of like pad thai in America. You can find laksa in Malaysian/Singaporean places, Indonesian places, Thai places... just about anywhere. And the version I had at Ploy Thai was delicious, as un-Thai as the dish may be. The soup was incredibly fragrant, and had a rich, slightly sweet flavor. The chicken, though white meat, was still very tender. The noodles buried underneath were yummy. So I don't regret my decision too much. Then again, I also would've like to try some larb or something. Oh well... life is too short.




My mom felt like Thai food the other night, so I suggested we try out Jitlada (website hasn't been updated for a long time, but most of the info seems to be accurate). It's a tiny restaurant on the edge of Japantown - I'd been once a long time ago and had a nice meal. The main room is cozy and intimate, with the setting sun shining in. The last time I went, it seemed like a pretty hidden neighborhood spot, but this time around it seemed like there were at least a few tables of tourists who had wandered in. The restaurant seems to be doing alright.

shrimp in sleeping bags - shrimp marinated with Thai seasoning and wrapped with rice paper, served with sweet & spicy sauce - $7.25 The menu has a few cutely-named dishes like this one. As you can see, they're sort of like rolls, but wrapped around the shrimp themselves. The shrimp were fresh, bright, and meaty. A good app that I'd order again, although it was hard to finish on my own!

papaya wedges - green papaya mixed with rice flour and shredded coconut batter and sesame seeds, deep fried and served with sweet & sour sauce - $6.5 Another interesting dish - it's hard to see much in the picture, but these were quite unlike most fried things I've tasted. The texture varies throughout as you bite through coconut, papaya and batter. Quite good, but a little bit greasy and heavy with the batter and frying. Again, this should be shared by more than 2 - I think I ate too many...

jungle curry with tofu - Thai "country-style" curry with eggplant, long green beans, bamboo, karchai and fresh Thai white basil - $10.95 Best dish of the night. You can choose between chicken, pork, beef and tofu - we went with tofu so my mom could eat. The curry is thin, almost soupy, but bursting with flavor and a nice bit of kick. I'd love to try this again with meat.

Jitlada nuer yang (steak) - grilled NY steak marinated with Thai herbs, garlic, cilantro and lemongrass, served with spicy chili sauce - $13.95 This dish was pretty blah, but I guess that's what I get for going with a more boring dish. I was tempted by the garlic/cilantro/lemongrass, three things that I love, but this was basically just an average steak. It was more medium than medium rare. For $14 though you can't expect the best. I'm sure I'll go back to Jitlada at some point to try more of the curries. I can't remember what I ate on my first trip - it must have been curry as well, but it was a long time ago. I'm also curious about their soup - if the jungle curry is any sign, they probably make a pretty good tom yum.

Brown Sugar Cafe

Odd - I swear I've posted about Brown Sugar Cafe before but apparently I never have. Brown Sugar is about a block from the Den's Cafe (which, sadly, has closed and become a Jasmine Sola outlet store). Brown Sugar has historically gotten a lot more praise from pretty much everyone, though I always thought Den's was just as good. Anyway, Brown Sugar always has a ton of crowds while Den's stayed empty. Brown Sugar has a few locations. The one on BU campus had a fire last year, and opened again sometime this summer or this semester.

kow soi gai - flat egg noodles with chicken in light curry sauce - $6.95

country-style pad thai - $6.50 The kow soi gai is off a new "Thai-style" menu that I don't think they had before the fire. This is a good dish. Very flavorful, though not spicy at all. It's almost like a curry soup noodle - the sauce is addictive paired with the noodles. Definitely worth a try. The country-style pad thai is basically a spicy version of the pad thai. I don't normally order pad thai, but this dish was in the Globe's 54 Divine Dishes article from a while back so I thought I'd give it a shot. It was pretty good. Not very dry which is usually the problem with pad thai, and a slight hint of spice. I think Den's Cafe's version was better though. There are a few other dishes that look pretty interesting on that Thai menu, so I'll probably go back again to try more.

Nud Pob

So now it's back to Boston. I'm sure all of you love to see how a food-spoiled student living off-campus at BU eats... right? This year, you'll see some of the same, but also some new. First, some of the old: Nud Pob.

thai style egg noodles with ground pork, roast pork, fish balls, bean sprouts, chinese broccoli, peanuts - $7.15 This is a dish they only started serving some time in the summer, if I recall correctly. It's definitely a very interesting dish, as they put some sugar in it making the whole thing pretty sweet. The sugar matches well with the roast pork. It's not really something I could eat every day though. Of course, that's not a problem with all the other stuff I tend to order at Nud Pob.

Den's Cafe

Went to Den's Cafe for lunch the other day. I've never been there for lunch before, and it turns out the prices are a good amount lower.

pork garlic pork garlic "Pork garlic" as they call it... also with scallions and mushrooms. A little heavy on the scallions for my taste. The lettuce turned out to actually be a pretty good balance for the sauce. I still wanna try this green curry fried rice thing they have there some time.