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Saturday, January 13, 2007

Thainatown, Haymarket Sydney

fried noodles
Beef rad naa $7.80
Stir fried flat rice noodles and egg
with beef, gravy sauce and Chinese broccoli

I would never think to look for a restaurant on this stretch of Goulburn Street. We're opposite the Masonic Centre yet this unassuming blink-and-you'll-miss-it Thai eatery is filled with locals who are hungrily digging in to bowls of noodles, plates of rice, and mounds of spicy curries.

Sydney Eats guideIt's my second visit to Thainatown after initially discovering it via Sydney Eats. I like this guide. It's filled with eats that are high on flavour, and low on prices.

On my first visit with J, I tried their famous catfish salad ($10.50). A plate of raw cabbage slices is topped with fluffy fried catfish shreds and topped with a sour fish sauce dressing. J has the bbq pork neck ($9.50), a tumble of tamarind-marinated pork neck slices that comes with a saucer of potent dressing that reeks of garlic, tamarind and chilli. We also share the gui chai garlic cake (3 pieces for $5.00), which turn out to be fried dumplings chock-full of garlic chives.


Garlic is an essential theme ingredient here, as helpfully noted on their menu.

My second visit is with Veruca Salt and AN. AN has the beef rad naa, a jumble of slippery flat rice noodles stir-fried with slices of beef, chunks of crunchy Chinese broccoli, a little egg and smothered in a sweet salty sauce that has the backburn of chilli.

fried rice
Beef fried rice $7.80
with egg, onions, Chinese broccoli, tomato and spring onion

Veruca Salt opts for the fried rice--it looks a little wet for my liking, but Veruca is happy enough.

boat noodle soup
Boat noodle soup (black soup) $7.50
Rice noodles with blended herbal soup base, beef balls,
Chinese broccoli, liver and intestines

I've gone for another house specialty, the boat noodle soup. If you choose the beef balls over pork, you will be rewarded with a melange of liver and intestines.

The soup is sweet and herbal, reminding me a little of bak ku teh. The cavernous bowl is filled with soft rice noodles, blanched Chinese broccoli pieces, beef balls, soft slices of liver and the delicious chewy tubes of intestine. I love my offal.

The soup feels nourishing and innately good for you, even if there a pork belly cubes--dried and deep-fried to a golden crisp--scattered across the top.


The decor is minimal, the cutlery is in a metal box on the table, and the only soundtrack in here is the clang of metal on the woks in the kitchen. Sounds like a perfect Sydney Eat to me.

Thainatown on Urbanspoon
91 Goulburn Street, Haymarket, Sydney

(near corner of Pitt Street,
opposite the Masonic Centre which is next door to World Square)
Tel: +61 (02) 9211 0090

Open 7 days 11am-10pm

Related GrabYourFork posts:
Thai--Cafe Kasturi, Haymarket
Thai--Longrain, Surry Hills
Thai--Ploy Thai, Haymarket (closed)
Thai--Satang Thai, Haymarket
Thai--Selina, Fairfield
Thai--Spice I Am, Surry Hills
Thai--Uni Thai, Glebe
7 comments - Add some comment love

posted by Anonymous on 1/13/2007 08:13:00 pm


  • At 1/14/2007 9:30 am, Blogger Megan said…

    Catfish salad sounds wonderful. I *love* catfish.

  • At 1/14/2007 12:29 pm, Blogger TOASTMAN! said…

    Did you eat the liver and intestines?

  • At 1/14/2007 8:50 pm, Blogger TOASTMAN! said…

    Glad to hear it Helen! I allways knew you were the model of integrity! I got hooked on the stuff in Hong Kong. The first time I was nervous... by the end of the second week I was an addict.

    "One mixed beef min please".
    - "Are you aware that's tripe, and um.. what's that other it in English again?"

  • At 1/14/2007 9:55 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    ooh i lurveee the boat noodle soup!

    just dropping by to give a suggestion thou.. if you like Thai food, you might wanna try Thai Pothong in King St,Newtown.

    juz had it yesterday and I must say that it was the best Thai meal I ever had!! too bad i dun really kno which food was ordered.. coz my Thai fren ordered it for me

    but it's really worth a try hehee

  • At 1/18/2007 10:05 am, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    thainatown is my favourite take away place. LOL maybe cos it's just down the road. they are the only ones who offer thai milk tea around here.
    you have to give the thai milk tea a try next time.

    they just raised their price(disappointed). i suspect saapthai just down the road is by the same owner too. everything tastes the same.

    thai pothong has disappointed me too. it used to be just a small-eatery when everything was so much cheaper. the only thing different is the ambience. the food yeah, it wasn't too bad. i could get the same thing somewhere else at half the price and bigger serving too.
    i'm starting to sound like a cheap skate.

  • At 1/22/2007 7:22 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    love your work!
    do you think you could post some directions or guidelines on how o get there? "blink and youll miss it is right" - i tried going there recently after reading about it also in sydney eats, and couldnt for the life of me figure out where it was - although im not so familiar with that part of the city. any chance of directions from say, central? that would be great!

  • At 5/07/2007 10:17 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    hi, you should try Benjarong in Bondi Junction. I always love their lunch menu. one of Thai restaurant favorite by many Indonesians.


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