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@ Bangkok

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Omelette squares flavoured by cha om veg and cooked in an orange flavoured  spicy and sour gravy with prawns. (The Gaong Som Cha-Om Goong)

We started with a fusion dish, where marinated minced pork wrapped hard boiled quail eggs and is served with a Chinese plum sauce.  It can be compared to the lobak of Penang Island, but its character is yet again different.  Good as a snack, this springboarded us for the mains which had a variety of sensations and flavours.  Thai cooking is mastering the interplay of sharp and aromatic ingredients, especially for the curries, salads, soups and stir fries - and yet at the same time it is also the quality of preparation as evidenced in the texture, bite and proportion of several components often found in one serving.  Thai food is best eaten in  humid and hot climate but still comes out well in the relative coolness of winter.  AtBangkok, I was recommended to ask for the larger menu in dark colours, for there is much more fun in this version and more delights to be discovered.

Initially I was not captivated by the pork mince in the foreground, having vision only for the omelette soup in the background. The mince turned out to be superb as well, they were accompanied by the preserved eggs ( so called as thousand year eggs)

Service was friendly and the male waiter took me all the way to the locked washrooms.  Dishes were not that chili hot or maybe the restaurant has modified them to better suit mainstream Australian tastes.
The availability of many dishes without the use of coconut milk is interesting.  The freshness of the ingredients used comes through especially in more delicate dishes.  Sited on one floor in the rather busy Capitol Square in Sydney's Chinatown, it can be a choice stop by after shopping along Campbell Street's Thai Town or before going to the Capitol Theatre.

The green coloured button shaped Petai or Sator bean is pungent, has a sharp kick and is used in south-east Asia to flavoured dishes.  here it is offered with prawn curry.

Inevitably Thai menu has incorporated many Chinese variations like wok stir fries, noodles and soups.
More importantly the cuisine reflects the careful and extensive use of what comes around the Thai beaches, countryside and farms. When Aussie produce like beans, seafood, meats and herbs are applied to Thai cooking, the result can be wondrous and tasty. As they cook fresh, Thai food is best eaten after they have been freshly cooked.  For the four of us that afternoon in NaBangkok (another name for this restaurant), there were no left overs, no take aways but only a sense of having enjoyed a rather different but delectable choice of menu.

Well braised chicken feet  is cooked in a spicy stewed soup, garnished by dried chili peppers and fresh basil leaves

AtBangkok has more variations in its menu than most of its competitors around Australia. There are unique dishes like the wantons made with deep fried quail eggs.  A twist on Shanghai dumplings, with pork, crab meat, prawn and water chestnut stuffed into a deep fried tofu outer skin (the Hoy Jor) was one of the several items that captivated me. Thai desserts in Australian commercial outlets do not have a wide choice and here they offer a fresh fruit salad in syrup milk and sticky rice durian.  There is however a spicier and special version of the popular Som Tum paw paw salad - here the Tum Sau mixes shredded green papaya, cold noodle, preserved crab, chill, Thai egg plant cuts  and peanuts garnished with a dressing that is concurrently sour, salty and spicy. In the future, I  aim to try the crispy fried pork belly stir fried with capsicum,peppercorn, green bean, basil and Thai chili paste (the Pad Pod Moo Grob) and the New Zealand mussels cooked in a rather thick tumeric curry and served with betel leaves (the Gaeng Bai Cha Poo).


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