Thursday, November 10, 2011

Thanon Khaosan, Haymarket

It’s a little sad to admit that one of the major drawcards of dining at Thanon Khaosan for me was the cute little Tuk Tuk that is installed in the front of this Thai restaurant. Now I took a Tuk Tuk (that’s a lot of tooks/Tuks in one sentence) in Bangkok just for the heck of it and it was loud and dirty as you breathed in the fumes of all the traffic around you...and you couldn’t really see out the sides all that well unless you ducked your head at an odd angle. Tuk Tuks are better for looking at then riding in I’d say.

Despite the novelty Tuk Tuk at Thanon Khaosan this Thai eatery deep in the bowels of Sydney’s Thainatown (I always feel like I’m lisping when I say Thainatown), also serves up some pretty decent Thai food. There are quite a few items on the menu that I’ve not seen any of the other Thai places around – such as Tap Kai Yang (BBQ Chicken Liver with tamarind sauce).

On this visit The BFF and I are dining on another spreets voucher. This one was a real bargain, two entrees, two mains, two desserts and two glasses of wine all for $39. What a steal!

Apologies for the terrible, fuzzy, dark photos. I swear that as soon as we sat down and they saw my camera the lights were dimmed to near darkness!  It was nearly too much for the Canon G11 to handle.

We start things off with an order of Moo Ping (BBQ Pork with tamarind sauce – normally $5.00 for 3 pieces). This was a sensationally delicious entree. The pork was tender and moist, yet charred on the outside.

Next is an entree I’ve not seen on a Thai menu anywhere before. I’m not sure if it is an authentic dish or something that has been added to the menu for the Aussie palate. Either way I was chuffed with the Kiew Kai Tod (Fried Wonton Filled with Quail Egg - $5.00 for 2 pieces). Each skewer held three crispy wontons wrapped around a plump little quail egg - certainly an interesting dish. The yolk was quite firm which was a shame as I love the pop biting in a quail egg and hitting rich, oozey yolk. I’m not sure how you would get a runny yolk with deep-frying the whole thing?

For mains we shared a Som Tum Poo (Thai papaya salad with raw pickled crabs - $8.90). This dish was really interesting and probably one of those that I need instructions for. The papaya salad was the standard sort you would get pretty much anywhere, but the pickled crab was what we both found really interesting.

Two tiny little crabs sat hidden under the mess of papaya salad – shells still intact. They would’ve been no bigger than a 50 cent piece. The BFF and I debated over whether or not we should eat them, or if they were just there for seasoning or just decoration. Mid debate The BFF pops one into his mouth and crunches away declaring it is OK, kind of salty. I decide to try a leg off the second crab. Oh my god – it was SO salty, like drinking a glass of sea water. So I guess, now that the research has been done, you don’t eat the crab (or do you)?

The Ped Nam Buoy (roasted duck served with stir fried shitake mushroom - $24.90) was far less challenging for us. There was no question that you dug in and ate as much of this lush, fatty duck meat as you could.

Dessert was a slice of pandan jelly topped with a white coconut jelly of sorts, and a slab of peanut “something something”. Both were really nice, not to sweet and the peanut thingy-ma-jig reminded me a bit of Indian Barfi.

Display of sweeties on the cart at the front of the store.
Thanon Khaosan is at 413 Pitt Street, Haymarket. Phone 9211 1194

Thanon Khao San on Urbanspoon


  1. Ooh I've been here too and I have to admit the drawcard for me was the tuk tuk as well haha. I bet a lot of people are the same.

    The quail egg wontons sound fun, shame they weren't nice and runny though!

  2. Wow what a bargain meal! And everything looks divine, I love good authentic local food (and love chicken livers)! The tuk tuk is cute too hehe..

  3. I eat the crab. Delicious. Ideally, the rest of the salad should balance out the saltiness.

    Still pretty salty though...

  4. Your use of the word interesting and the description of the salty crab will keep me away from this place.

  5. Always wanted to do the whole tuk tuk thing. Going to Thailand on our honeymoon so will give it a go there - might just be a once off for novelty though haha

  6. love the tuk tuk when i was in Thailand :)

  7. I've still not eaten here despite walking past it a countless number of times, but I always know it as tuk-tuk Thai when referring to it!

  8. Ooh, I find those pickled crab a little nasty... salty, fishy if not a lttle ferment-y :P

  9. How cute is the tuk tuk at the front of the restaurant!

  10. they have a voucher on spreets right now. $6 pad thai + drink! :D

  11. oh the tuk tuk is so cute and i love all the sweets !


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