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Saturday, March 31, 2007

Thainatown, Sydney

Yentafo noodle soup

"You should try Thainatown," I told a friend who'd confided he was sick of his usual dinner haunts.

"I said I feel like Thai food, not Chinese," he said, rolling his eyes.

"I said Thainatown, not Chinatown."

And that's the cutest thing about this little Thai eatery. Just saying the name to someone new makes you want to smile. Especially if you deliberately throw in a fake Oriential accent.

Iced Thai tea $2.80

On my most recent trip to Thainatown, I was keen to try Thai tea, a black tea that is sweetened with sugar, poured over ice and topped with condensed milk. Layered into a glass like a creamy sunset, the tea was sweet and almost fruity tasting - like a rockmelon or cantaloupe, although maybe this was just taste by colour association.

Boat Noodle Soup $4.70 (small)
Rice noodles with blended herbal soup base
with pork and Chinese broccoli
(a beef balls and intestine version also available)

G-man and J-girl both had the small boat noodle soup, both feigning full stomachs from a late lunch they'd consumed earlier. I'd had the boat noodle soup last time, and even though I'd thoroughly enjoyed the tangle of noodles and greens in the dark earthy and herbal soup, I was keen to try something new.

Yentafo $7.50
Rice noodles with pink base "yentafo sauce" with
calamari, blood jelly, pork, fried tofu and morning glory

The G-man pointed me towards one of his hometown favourites: yentafo, a noodle soup made with red tofu. It was ordered in a flash.

The soup was a pale golden colour, livened by a pretty splash of red yentafo sauce. The red hues occur naturally from the wheat malt that is used to ferment the tofu.

Rice noodles were slurped alongside slices of pork, slivers of fish cake, sponges of deep-fried tofu and bobbing balls of pork. Cubes of cooked pork blood provided iron-richness, their hearty rustic look contrasting with delicate curls of fresh calamari, imprinted with precise lattice knifework.

The soup was spicy, sour and subtly sweet. A jumble of morning glory greens lay hidden beneath, a tangle of coriander and green onions added liveliness on top.

Nourishing and delicious, in any kind of accent.

Table condiments: sugar, chilli, fish sauce and salt

Thainatown on Urbanspoon
91 Goulburn Street, 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:
Thainatown, January 2007

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
5 comments - Add some comment love

posted by Anonymous on 3/31/2007 12:59:00 am


  • At 3/31/2007 4:42 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Hey Helen,

    Just thought I'd let you know, after 4 months travelling in Thailand we found that distinctive taste found in Cha Yen (Thai ice tea) is that there is actually tamarind added in some way.. also explains the incredible colour! Mmm

  • At 4/02/2007 12:42 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    thainatown has been the thai place i've frequented every single time since i came to sydney 5 yrs ago when they were still in that old crummy place...am disappointed they increased the price but i still love having take aways. i love the thai milk tea...i don't find it in many thai eateries around the city. i have introduced this place to ppl but they say it doesn't taste authentic?

  • At 6/18/2007 11:34 pm, Blogger Emily said…

    Thainatown is a winner, to be sure!
    I lived in Thailand for 3 years, and every time I go here, I feel like I'm back again, even down to the way they've set up the interior.
    Just a heads up, another great Thai restaurant is Thairiffic (there's one in Newtown and one in the Bondi Junction Westfield's, as well as a few other places).
    Authenticity is the key =)

  • At 10/21/2016 8:45 pm, Blogger Justin said…

    I went to a very local cafe in bangkok this morning to grab some noodle soup. There was no english menu, but there was a photo printed out of the yen ta fo from your blog.

  • At 10/21/2016 9:39 pm, Blogger Helen (Grab Your Fork) said…

    Hi Justin - Lol that is equal parts crazy and cool. The joys of Google image search. Thanks for legion me know. And what I would give for a real Bangkok yen ta fo right now!


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