Sunday, 3 June 2012

Thanon Khao San and other Sydney Thai leftovers

he says:

I have a few bits and pieces leftover from my trip to Sydney so I thought it would be easiest to put them all in the same post. Yes they're all Thai food again as that's all I ate during my time in Sydney.

One of the first places I saw on my first night was Thanon Khao San which translates to Khao San Road, the famous backpackers district in Banglampoo, Bangkok. The photo isn't great but these cool  street food carts are loaded with all kinds of Thai sweets. I found it very difficult to walk past but I had already made plans to meet my frien d at Yok Yor.

We returned after dinner to try of few of their dessert offerings. These are delicious coconut sticky rice pikelets called Blaeng Jii Khao Niaw. Khao is rice in Thai and Khao Niaw is sticky rice. I am guessing that the green ones are coloured with Pandan although I'm not certain. Thanon Khao San also sell Gluay Khao Tom Mud (Grilled Bananas with Sticky Rice in Coconut Leaves). All the desserts we tried were lovely but would have been much better if they were warm rather than cold.

I make it a habit to grab a takeaway menu from each interesting restaurant I come across as I then have something to help me decide if I want to return at some point. I was intending to come back to Thanon Khao San for their Kanom Jeen Namya Kang Tai Pla (Southern Curry with Kanom Jeen Noodles) as my good friends Sonny and June are from the south of Thailand and I wanted to tell them I had tried a southern Thai specialty. When I read the full description on the dine in menu it had a bit more information on this dish, in particular that it contained fermented fish stomachs... Yes I wimped out. Instead I opted for Kanom Jeen Jungle Curry with Fish balls. You don't see Kanom Jeen noodles that often and they're quite tasty but very similar to the Vietnamese rice noodles you get in Bun Rieu. I have read that they are made from fermented rice but any time I've eaten them I couldn't detect any distinct flavour that stood out.

Served with my Kanom Jeen Noodles was a side of pickled greens and sprouts. The waitress warned me that the Jungle Curry was very hot and although I was aware that this would be the case I thought I needed to give it a go anyway. I thought that at least it wouldn't be overly sweet like most of the Thai curries you get in Australia. Overall this dish was just OK, I ate most of it but about halfway though I decided to leave some room for a bowl of Boat Noodles down the road. The waitress was right though, it was very spicy and had my brow beading with sweat after just a few mouthfuls.

Just down the road from Thanon Khao San is Sukjai Thai. This place looked worth checking out but sadly I ran out of time.

I did spot these Patongo in the Sukjai display case and was very tempted to purchase a serve but I knew there was no way I would have room to eat them. Patongo is usually described as Thai Donuts and they are served with a gluttonous Thai Pandan custard.

This special little treat is Kanom Tuoy and is the first Thai dessert I can remember trying. It was the one that converted me from my 'Asian restaurants dont do good sweets' mindset. It's a steamed two layer treat with a pandan jelly base and a coconut cream topping. Very simple and very delicious. You can buy these frozen at your local Thai grocer and they're great but not as good as fresh ones of course.

I saw this sign on a bus in Sydney and had a bit of a giggle to myself.

And that's the end of my Sydney Thai extravaganza. Sydney definitely seems to have a greater range of Thai restaurants that sell more authentic Thai food but as always Melbourne is catching up fast. I just wish there was a Thai Town in the Melbourne CBD.

Thanon Khao San on Urbanspoon


  1. The food looks very delicious. I have always loved thai foods. :) I think they are one of the best in the world!

  2. Me too! That's why I am very proud to be Thai! We got great foods!:)