Chicken with chilli jam with rice $7.50
I've often gone by the theory that the smaller the kitchen to dining room ratio, the greater the chance of a decent feed.
Satang Thai has about a 1:1 ratio when it comes to kitchen versus dining area. You literally couldn't swing a cat in there, and yet somehow they fit in four tiny staff members, all clanging away over fiery woks or operating pneumatic cleavers on chopping blocks.
The dining area is equally tiny. There are rustic wooden benches and stools, but these are few and rarely vacant. Instead a constant crowd of uni students and office workers congregate on the footpath, waiting hungrily for their order number to be called, in a weekday game of lunchtime lotto.
The best thing about low overheads, of course, is the reassurance that more of your meal's price has gone towards to the raw cost of its ingredients. I'm the kind of cheapskate who would happily get their own cutlery to save a dollar. At Satang Thai there is a happy compromise; here the waitstaff will deposit a heavy silver treasure chest to your table which, upon opening, reveals a divided chamber of forks and spoons for table patrons to self-dispense.
There's a happy sense of casual familiarity about the place. Cans of cola and lemonade share communal fridge space with bags of sprouts and green vegetables for the kitchen. Another shelf contains jugs of chilled water which regular customers grab for their table, helping themselves to glasses on the service counter top. Tables have silver serviette dispensers and the plastic cover on the condiment tray pulls back to reveal pots of
The food? It’s cheap, tasty and fresh. And the portion sizes are more than generous.
Chicken stir-fried with mixed vegetables $7.50
Chicken stir fry is a health-giving mass of tender Asian vegetables, strips of chicken, carrot batons, mushroom and baby corn on a bed of rice.
The chilli jam chicken [top] is tasty too, even if it does err a little on the sweet side.
Chicken drunky stir-fried spicy rice noodles $8.50
Chicken drunky appeals to me immediately and not just because of its whimsical name. It has a slight taste of Chinese rice wine but chicken tipsy would probably be more accurate. The flat rice noodles are soft and slippery but although I love the heat, I find the sauce a tad oily and sweet.
Pad Thai with chicken $8.50
The pad thai is a mountain of noodle framed on each corner with careful piles of crushed peanuts, a tangle of sprouts, a bouquet of chives and fat wedges of lemon. The noodles are unusually thin for this dish and although I do prefer my pad thai less saucy and redolent with tomato, it's a satisfying lunch regardless.
Pad See Ew with chicken $8.50
Pad see ew has probably been my favourite encounter so far, a comforting dish of wide ribbons of rice noodle stir-fried with vegetables and egg, and coated in a thick sauce of breathtaking chilli and sweet soy.
There are one hundred satang to one Thai baht and given its menu, prices and "a la carte" offerings, the daily crowds at Satang Thai start to make perfect cents to me.
20 Quay St, Haymarket, Sydney
(opposite the Country Comfort near Railway Square)
Tel: +61 (02) 9280 0956
Eat-in or takeaway
(very limited seating)
Related GrabYourFork posts:
Other Thai restaurants in Sydney
Cafe Kasturi, Haymarket
Longrain, Surry Hills
Ploy Thai, Haymarket
Spice I Am, Surry Hills
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8/08/2006 11:57:00 pm