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Thursday, September 27, 2007

At Bangkok, Haymarket Chinatown

Nam Prik Krapi $12.90
Shrimp paste chilli sauce with prawn crackers

I've never trusted hip Asian restaurants. Fancy chairs and slick logos make me think my money is paying more for overheads than the overly-sweet and under-spiced food on my fancy white plate.

But you can't always judge a book by its cover.

@Bangkok has funky white tables and plush ottoman stools in rich chocolate brown. So I'm delightfully surprised to find the dishes here are uncompromised in flavour and enthusiastic with heat.

The Nam Prik Krapi chilli sauce is pure fire on the tongue; the Som Thum green papaya salad packs a punch.

Som Tum $12.90
Green papaya salad with salted duck eggs

Khao Tang na Bangkok $12.90

Khao Tang is a thick creamy paste of shrimp and chilli that we ladle generously onto fragrant prawn crackers.

Hoy Jor $8.90
Minced prawn and pork with water chestnuts
wrapped in tofu skin, steamed and deep-fried

Hoy Jor--made from prawn, pork and water chestnuts--is rolled up with bean curd sheets and deep-fried until the skin blisters.

Yum Sam Grob $15.90
Thai salad with deep-fried dried squid, prawn and fish maw

My favourite dish is the Yum Sam Grob, a seafood salad made with cuttlefish, prawn and fish maw. Dried cuttlefish jerky is deep-fried until super crispy, the fish maw (the gas bladder that allows fish to float) has also been deep-fried to a golden puff that reminds me of pork crackling. We've excluded the prawns due to a guest allergy.

The dressing on top is typically Thai - a perfect balance of sweet, sour, salty and hot. A jumble of shallots, coriander, mint, chilli and kaffir lime leaves make you know you're alive. White radish, carrot and lettuce leaves cool the tongue, roasted peanuts and sesame seeds add extra crunch.

Pad Pak Ruam Mit $12.90
Vegetables stir fried with garlic and oyster sauce

Nam Tok Pla Salmon $15.90
Grilled salmon with fish sauce

Nam Tok Pla Salmon is sweet with fish sauce, and I'm a sucker for the Khai Yeaw Ma Ka Prow Grob, a chilli pork mince stir fry garnished with deep-fried whole basil leaves.

Khai Yeaw Ma Ka Prow Grob $15.90
Thousand year old eggs topped with
stir-fried minced pork, chilli, garlic and basil

Pla Muek Nueng Manow (not on the regular menu, so ask)
Whole baby squid

The Pla Muek Nueng Manow is the crowd pleaser, two whole baby squid dressed in a spectacular riot of colour. The squid has been cooked until just tender, bathed in a garlic and lime dressing and sprinkled liberally with chilli.

I've learnt my lesson now. Eat first. Judge later.

@Bangkok (At Bangkok Restaurant)
Shop G11, Capitol Square Building
730-742 George Street, Haymarket Chinatown, Sydney
Tel: +61 (02) 9211 5232

Related GrabYourFork posts:
Thai--I-San City
Thai--Saap Thai
Thai--Satang Thai
Thai--Spice I Am (Aug07)
Thai--Spice I Am (Nov05)
Thai--Thainatown (Mar07)
Thai--Thainatown (Jan07)
Thai--Uni Thai

15 comments - Add some comment love

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posted by Helen (Grab Your Fork) on 9/27/2007 11:39:00 pm


  • At 9/28/2007 12:10 am, Blogger Gun said…

    I don't recall that we (I) ordered these many food!! And we ate them all + Lindt Cake???

    What a scary group we have become. he he he :P

  • At 9/28/2007 1:56 am, Anonymous Linda said…

    I miss that restaurant so much. I went there 7 times in 2 months. I am no longer in Sydney, I can only look from your photos =(

    Khai Yeaw Ma Ka Prow Grob is my favorite. Next time you go, you must try Clear Soup Pork Leg Tom Yum, it is the best I have ever tasted.

    They have different menu for lunch. Visit lunch time to try their noodles, they are good.

  • At 9/28/2007 12:23 pm, Blogger Felicity said…


    How would you rate it compared to Spice I Am?

    It looks like the menu is a lot more interesting than your standard Thai place...

  • At 9/28/2007 4:21 pm, Blogger Hungry Hamster said…

    yum! they look so authentic!!

  • At 9/29/2007 12:14 am, Blogger Rachel said…

    At last a thai place that doesn't offer only "australianised" thai stuff on the menu... I can't wait to try it! Thanks AG :D

  • At 9/29/2007 11:20 pm, Blogger Helen (AugustusGloop) said…

    Hi Gun - We did indeed. Your memory fails you! And we ate it all too!

    Hi Linda - I was eyeing their noodles but we were in a large group so sharing was the way to go. I will have to check our their lunch specials definitely!

    Hi Felicity - The menu is a lot more varied with many unusual/authentic dishes. From the dishes we had, it would say it was very good. More menu choices and better value than Spice I Am.

    Hi Hungry Hamster - It sure tasted great. I was very happy!

    Hi Rachel - There are quite a few places around Thainatown that serve more traditional fare, like I-San City and Saap Thai. Hope you enjoy your meal!

  • At 9/30/2007 10:26 am, Anonymous mama bok said…

    Yummy..!! i love all the pictures.. i almost reached out to eat them. .muahahhahah!!

  • At 10/02/2007 9:53 pm, Blogger Helen (AugustusGloop) said…

    Hi Mama Bok - Hope you didn't bump your nose :)

  • At 10/05/2007 10:07 am, Blogger Morgan said…

    There were a lot of us eating that night, so it's no surprise we managed to get through it all :)

  • At 11/29/2007 12:38 pm, Blogger Chilli Maniac said…

    The 3rd picture is not called "Toa Jiew Lon". That must be "Khao Tang" in fact. Although they look similar, the flavours are so different. Khao Tang@BKK is a mixture of sweet n' sour n' a bit salty tastes and served with a bunch of fresh veggies (not with prawn crackers). I like both of them anyway.

    Well, their Som Tum and Yum Sam Grob look so yummy. I'm gonna try some next time.

  • At 11/30/2007 10:42 pm, Blogger Helen (AugustusGloop) said…

    Hi Morgan - We did very well indeed. As always :)

    Hi Chilli Maniac - A Thai friend ordered most of the dishes that night so I had to try to match them up to the menu the next day. Thanks for the tip though, altho' you say the @BK Khao Tang is served with veggies, yet this one was served with prawn crackers?

  • At 12/01/2007 5:52 am, Anonymous Chilli maniac said…

    Oh...sorry Helen...I meant Toa Jiew Lon is served with veggies, but Khao Tang is served with prawn carckers. The 3rd picture is therefore called "Khao Tang na Bangkok" (@Bangkok).

    Thanks alot. :)

  • At 12/24/2007 7:48 pm, Blogger Helen (AugustusGloop) said…

    Hi Chilli Maniac - Thanks for the clarification :)

  • At 2/02/2008 9:53 am, Blogger This is Lendra! said…

    i love almost everything here!! My favorite is their Fried Rice with chicken and basil.
    Their papaya salad is also amazing, so crazy spicy!

  • At 2/03/2008 11:09 pm, Blogger Helen (AugustusGloop) said…

    Hi Lendra - I haven't had a chance to try their fried rice yet, but yes I do love a fiery som tam!


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