BBQ Pork Neck $9.50
After feasting on all things Thai at I-San City last week, we return to the same stretch of Pitt Street strip for more.
In the spirit of research we head to Saap Thai instead, only a block up the road and also reputed to serve authentic tasting cuisine.
Iced Thai tea with milk $2.80
It's a newer brighter shinier room here, and we're pleased to encounter the aromatic smells of lemongrass, coriander and fish sauce when we arrive. There are plenty of young uni students downstairs, but we're scooted upstairs with white tables, wooden chairs and a banquette lounge along both walls.
Tod Mun Pla Fish Cake $3.00
The Som Tum menu selection is very impressive. Here there are nine different som tum salads on offer, the pounded salad that contains green pawpaw, carrot, tomato and green beans. All are dressed with chilli, garlic and fish sauce but:
Som Tum Thai ($7.50) has peanuts and shrimp
Som Tum Pu ($7.50) has salty crab
Som Tum Thai & Pu ($7.50) has peanut, shrimp and salty crab
Som Tum Pu Pla Ra ($7.50) has salty fish and salty crab
Som Tum Talay ($9.50) has prawn, calamari and mussels
Som Tum Gung ($9.50) has peanut and prawn
Som Tum Pu Ma ($9.50) has raw crab
Som Tum BBQ Pork ($9.50) has peanut, shrimp and yes, bbq pork
Som Tum with Salted Eggs ($9.50) has peanut, shrimp and preserved eggs.
Som Tum Pu Pla-Ra $7.50
Green pawpaw, carrot, tomato, green bean, lemon juice,
fish sauce dressing, chilli, garlic, salty fish and salty crab
We choose the Som Tum Pu Pla-Ra, a salty fishy jumble that whilst warming, doesn't quite pack the psychedelic heat of the I-San City version.
Cashew nut seafood stir fry $12.00
with chilli jam and vegetables
We find that most of the dishes aren't quite as salty or spicy as I-San City. Instead there's a slight sweetness to the dishes that perhaps makes them more palatable to a majority of palates.
A few dishes stand out. The deep fried morning glory salad is an intriguing combination of lightly battered water spinach topped with pork mince and fried onions. The vegetables aren't are crunchy as I had anticipated, but the textural effect of golden batter with green vegetables and a saucy pork mince is rather addictive.
Deep fried morning glory salad $9.00
with Thai dressing sauce topped with deep fried onion and minced pork
Tom Yum seafood soup $9.00
The Tom Yum Soup has a beguiling scent of lemongrass and the BBQ pork neck [top] is tender, offering a bit more fire when dunked generously into the accompanying chilli sauce.
Vegetable stir fry with oyster sauce $10.00
Bamboo salad $9.00
with lemon juice, red onion, mint, coriander, spring onion, chilli and herbs
The bamboo salad arrives draped on regulation chunks of raw cabbage leaves. The cooked bamboo strips go well with zingy slivers of red onion and generous sprigs of bright green mint.
Nam Tok Beef $10.000
cooked with dry chilli, lemon juice and Thai herbs
Nam Tok is also garnished with mint leaves. There's also coriander and a light scattering of crushed peanuts. The beef itelf is thinly sliced and meaty in flavour, piquant with the taste of lime juice, fish sauce and a hint of chilli.
Grass jelly $5.50
It's been a busy night so despite the list of dessert options on the blackboard, only the grass jelly is available. These cooling squares of jelly, wavy on all sides from a decorative knife, rest quietly in a bowl of sweetened syrup, a couple of ice cubs chilling everything to a refreshing temperature.
M is trying grass jelly for the first time tonight. It tastes a bit like coffee, he decides.
We roll our way out the door and into the night, a chilly Sydney evening, just perfect for a spicy Thai dinner.
Saap Thai Restaurant
378 Pitt Street, Sydney
Tel: +61 (02) 9267 9604
Open 7 days 11am-10pm
BYO $1.50 per person
Related GrabYourFork posts:
Thai--Spice I Am
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7/13/2007 11:48:00 p.m.