We end up at Spice Market in Cammeray, a Thai restaurant, which seems to be a bit of a favourite of Big Brothers. As there are eight of us at this family gathering we grab a big table in the outside courtyard area. It's a pleasant area to dine, but The Boy seems to be very worried about this pigeon perched just above our table...and everyone else is keeping one eye on the clouds are hovering ominously overhead.
As our group is quite large we decide to order two of each dish so that everyone gets to have a decent taste of what's on offer...a good strategy I think.
We start with Big Sister's favourite, Fresh Rice Paper Rolls ($6.00 for 2). The rolls on offer are vegetarian, but we ask for some prawns to be added which is no problem at all.
I think these would be some of the fattest fresh spring rolls I've ever seen. I'm totally impressed that the masses of fillings aren't busting out of the delicate rice paper. The rolls are stuffed to the brim with carrot, bean sprouts, cucumber and crushed peanuts...with a pretty mint leaf on top. The homemade tamarind sauce is lovely - slightly sweet yet salty, with pieces of coriander bobbing happily on top.
The Colonel puts in an order for duck...something that seems to be in short supply in their little WA town. We order the most beautifully tasting Roast Duck Red Curry ($22.00). The duck is served in a rich and creamy red chilli curry sauce, and accompanied with sweet lychees and fresh vegetables.
Just as we're about to start eating our mains, bit fat drops of rain start falling from the sky. There is a bit of a debate as to whether or not it's just a few drops or the beginning of a downpour. The consensus is to move inside to make sure we stay dry, and this is where things get a bit chaotic...
As we get settled at our new home inside everything we ordered ends up on our table within the space of about 5 - 10 minutes. There's really not enough room for all of the dishes, plus our own plates and glasses, and we end up just filling out plates with food to get rid of the empty serving plates of our table. STRESSFUL!!! Of course, I have to take a photo of everything before it's dished up, which nearly gets me sent out to the car to wait for everyone.
So, in no particular order of appearance, we have Chicken Pad Thai Noodles ($13.00). This dish is a jumble of thin rice noodles with chicken, egg, topped with bean shoots, crushed peanuts and served with a wedge of lemon. Yum.
Big Brother insisted we order the Lamb and Pumpkin Massaman Curry ($22.00) as it is his all time favourite dish here. The curry is made with lamb shanks and a huge pumpkin wedge which are stewed in massaman sauce until the lamb falls from the bone. I thought this was rather an unusual dish for a Thai restaurant but it is deliciously tasty. I'm not a fan of lamb shanks normally as I find the taste too strong, but this was subtle tasting, and the creamy massaman sauce was perfect!
My choice for the evening is a BBQ Beef Salad ($13.50). I am totally in love with Thai salads as the flavours and ingredients are always so fresh. I love the zesty dressings and I always feel healthy eating a Thai salad (even one that comes with fatty duck)! Spice Market's salad is tossed with grated carrot, mint, coriander, chilli, lemongrass, red onions, and has bit chunks of tomato and cucumber. The lemon juice dressing has my taste buds all aflutter!
Last but not least is a Sweet Basil and Chilli Stirfry With Chicken ($13.50). This is a nice dish that is served with tender chicken pieces and a selection of fresh seasonal vegetables. I have to admit I really love sweet basil in Thai food...an amazing flavour...so often order this dish when I see it on a menu.
All in all we had a lovely dinner at Spice Market. Unfortunately the rain and moving tables made things a bit stressful, but the food was absolutely delicious.