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Thursday, October 13, 2011

Spiedo, Xanthi and Chat Thai, Westfield Sydney

EDIT: Spiedo and Xanthi have both closed

The best type of shopping trip, I say, is one that involves feeding my stomach. The new Westfield Sydney may well be littered with stores, but I tend to bypass the bottom levels and head straight to the top - the dining levels.

Level six plays home to the newest set of culinary tenants: Spiedo, Xanthi, Chat Thai and Chinta Ria... Mood for Love. We were invited on a level six dining tour recently, involving a progressive lunch that hopped from one restaurant to the next.

Veal and pork-filled casoncelli $31 and
Spiedo Bresciano slow spit roast with polenta $35

We start at Spiedo, the bright and airy Italian restaurant headed by Alessandro Pavoni of Ormeggio at the Spit. There's a relaxed vibe about the place, and the open kitchen provides plenty of appetite-inducing entertainment.

Lumache alle erbe e crema di patate ($20) is the first dish to arrive - a huddle of braised organic snails with silverbeet nestled in a lake of smooth and creamy potato puree. Devoid of the usual drowning of garlic butter, the earthy flavour of the snails is much more noticeable, but they've been cooked with such care, the snails remain tender.

Veal and pork-filled casoncelli is drizzled generously with burnt butter, but it's the deep-fried sage leaves and crunch of crispy pancetta that proves most addictive.

The Brescian slow spit roast is a marvel to behold as we slowly pull apart the layers to find pork ribs, pork scotch fillet, quail and duck. The exterior surface has been glazed in a sweet marinade, and despite the menagerie of animal proteins, each is equally succulent.


We move onto Xanthi for mains, hit with a succession of Greek dishes sent out by head chef and owner David Tsirekas.

Barbecue haloumi $10, Greek salad, zivana tsipouro and fried calamari $9

It's my second visit to Xanthi and there's much less of a lunchtime crowd than during dinner. It's easy to forget you're in a shopping centre with the billowing drapes overhead and drapes that stretch across the back wall.

We dabble our way though a series of ouzomezedaki, or small sharing plates, that include a vibrant Greek salad littered with fat cubes of fetta, thick slices of barbecued haloumi cheese, and tender rings of deep-fried calamari covered in stripes of lemon ouzo mayonnaise.

Barbecue smoked lamb cutlets

Somehow we find room for lamb cutlets - cured, smoked and then barbecued - and slices of spit roast lamb that are deliciously fatty and tender.

Lamb from the spit $36 for 250g

Pork belly baklava $18

And despite our flagging appetites, the signature pork belly baklava is quickly demolished. Shreds of pork belly are sweetened by a paste of date and pistachio and then wrapped in layers of flaky house-made filo pastry. A date and mastic sauce has been dolloped on top, but it's the planks of bubbled pork crackling that everyone has their eye on.

Head chef and owner David Tsirekas at the pass

Chat Thai

It's not often you find a comprehensive dessert menu in Asian restaurants, but Chat Thai has you covered. There's a whole parade of street snacks on offer, with many available to takeaway.

Chat Thai open kitchen

Just like the Campbell Street outlet, there's a hive of activity out the front, with chefs juggling the production of dumplings with manning the grill and pounding som tum papaya salad with a mortar and pestle.

Saar koo pbraak mohr sago dumplings with pork and peanuts and Khao geip pbraak mohr blue butterfly pea infused rice dumplings filled with pork and peanuts;
Thai iced coffee and longan drink;
Sticky rice with mango and house-made young coconut ice cream; and
Bhua lhoy coconut soup with rice dumplings with khanom buehng wafers

Dessert stretches across three stages. My stomach is threatening to do the same thing.

If there's one thing that characterises many Asian desserts, it's a love of starch. Dumplings made with sago and blue butterfly peas are stuffed with a mix of caramelised pork and peanuts that blurs the line between sweet and savoury.

Sticky rice with mango is much more familiar territory, and the purple-blue rice is wondrously vivid, tinted by the use of blue butterfly pea flower.

A small bowl of warm coconut soup holds wild black rice, cubes of cooked taro and thin shavings of fresh young coconut. Khanom buehng are most intriguing: folded wafers spread with palm sugar meringue and salty sweet strands of candied duck egg yolk.

Shop 'til you drop? I think we just did.

Grab Your Fork dined at Spiedo, Xanthi and Chat Thai as a guest of Westfield and Tourism NSW.

View Larger Map

Westfield Sydney
Level 6, Shop 6004-6005
Corner Pitt Street Mall and Market Street, Sydney
Enter via 77 Castlereagh Street and the lift up to level 6
Tel: +61 (02) 8072 9999

Opening hours:
Monday to Friday 9am-11pm
Saturday and Sunday 10am-11pm
Spiedo Restaurant and Bar on Urbanspoon

Westfield Sydney
Level 6, Shop 6003
Corner Pitt Street Mall and Market Street, Sydney 
Enter via 77 Castlereagh Street and the lift up to level 6
Tel: +61 (02) 9232 8535

Opening hours:
Sunday to Thursday 8am-11pm
Friday and Saturday 8am-midnight
Xanthi Bar & Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Westfield Sydney
Level 6, Shop 6002
Corner Pitt Street Mall and Market Street, Sydney 
Enter via 77 Castlereagh Street and the lift up to level 6
Tel: +61 (02) 9221 0600

Opening hours:
Lunch daily 10am-5pm
Dinner daily 5pm-10pm
Chat Thai Westfield Sydney on Urbanspoon

Related Grab Your Fork posts:
Westfield Sydney - Becasse Chef's Table
Westfield Sydney - Charlie & Co Burgers
Westfield Sydney - Quarter Twenty One Cooking School
Westfield Sydney - Xanthi, Sydney
Westfield Sydney - Level 5 Stage One Tour
Westfield Sydney - Level 5 Stage Two Tour
Haymarket - Chat Thai 
15 comments - Add some comment love

posted by Helen (Grab Your Fork) on 10/13/2011 12:08:00 am


  • At 10/13/2011 1:59 am, Blogger Sophie said…

    Pork belly baklava? Sounds delish! Gotta try out these one day. I love Chat Thai; often I'm at the Campbell one and always keen to have their desserts... Mm, mango sticky rice!

  • At 10/13/2011 8:01 am, Anonymous Tina @ bitemeshowme said…

    How exciting is Level 6 at Westfield Sydney? There is just so much on offer. So, what was your favourite? :)

  • At 10/13/2011 8:05 am, Blogger Michelle Chin said…

    i hope they'll open a chat thai in melbourne. :)

  • At 10/13/2011 9:03 am, Anonymous Tina@foodboozeshoes said…

    Yet to try Spiedo properly, but couldn't do it all in one sitting!!!
    That pork belly baklava looks really different to the one I had maybe a month back...?

  • At 10/13/2011 10:24 am, Anonymous chocolatesuze said…

    heh i will fight anyone for the last piece of pork belly baklava

  • At 10/13/2011 10:30 am, Blogger joey@forkingaroundsydney said…

    The pork belly baklava seems to have morphed back into a form closer to that from Perama, so that's great. The desserts at Chat look lovely too.

  • At 10/13/2011 11:01 am, Anonymous Hotly Spiced said…

    I'm ashamed to admit, I've never been brave enough to try snails. I do like the look of the food at Xanthi. A pork belly baklava! Who would have thought of that.

  • At 10/13/2011 12:53 pm, Anonymous rockahenry said…

    lol sounds like my kind of shopping trip...

    wonder if they'll provide an online service soon

  • At 10/13/2011 2:00 pm, Blogger Mel said…

    Wow - what a great progressive dinner. I've had a peak on Level 6 and can't decide where to try first.

  • At 10/13/2011 9:03 pm, Anonymous justachef said…

    That all looks incredible - great food, great photos.

  • At 10/14/2011 8:53 am, Blogger Stephcookie said…

    Ooh very interesting to see the pork belly baklava has changed again! And I love that somewhere regularly serves the blue sticky rice in Sydney, it's my fav! :)

  • At 10/18/2011 11:21 pm, Anonymous Sara - Belly Rumbles said…

    30 years ago it was the Walton's (or Coles/DJ's/Grace Bros) cafeteria to eat in town. 20 years ago it was the same places, but the cafeterias had gone and they had cafes in their place. Now Westfields really is marking itself as the place to eat. Wonder where we will be eating for lunch in town in 20 years time?

    BTW very happy to venture to Westfields to eat in the present, loving the variety and high quality on offer (I just avoid it in peak times as the crowds are a killer).

  • At 10/19/2011 3:49 pm, Anonymous Vivian - vxdollface said…

    i love how you tsipouro is offered!

  • At 10/22/2011 11:19 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Helen, there's another restaurant in Westfield Sydney CBD that you need to give it a go: Cara&Co ! Review it please!

  • At 10/24/2012 11:06 am, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Oooh I want to try these out!


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