Thai Food Trail
1. Green Curry at Khao Pla
7/370-374 Victoria Ave, Chatswood
Visit Khao Pla for a Thai favourite - the green curry. As I was here at lunch time, they serve it a little smaller and with rice which is great, so you can try other dishes from their offerings. It’s a dish known around the world for its rich green colour and fragrant aromatics, it is also palate pleasing. The colour comes from the green chillies used to make the paste and the aromatics from the other herbs and spices such as lemongrass, galangal, garlic, shallots and more. I’m warned about the chilli, but I found it had the perfect kick to it. The green curry at Khao Pla was nice and creamy, made with chicken thigh fillet, Thai eggplant, wild ginger, kaffir lime leaf, chilli and Thai basil. It is the perfect size for a lunch special.
2. Thai Iced Coffee and Sweet Sticky Rice at DoDee Paidang
Westfield Chatswood, Shop 330/331, 1 Anderson St, Chatswood
At the top of Chatswood, I wanted to visit Dodee Paidang for a popular Thai dessert.
Before the dish comes out. I order a Thai iced coffee, and whilst it’s night and the drink does have caffeine, it’s a good reminder of my Thai travels, having a coffee early morning, strolling the markets or whilst going to view a Muay Thai fight at night. Served with ice, it is made the traditional way with condensed milk; sweet, strong and creamy.
A popular dessert in Thailand is sweet sticky rice and you’ll find this practically in every town, village, city and with pretty much every street vendor on a white styrofoam tray. The sweet sticky glutinous rice is served with fresh sliced mango and coconut milk. I had planned to order this at Dodee Paidang but unfortunately, they were out of Mango, its popularity evident, so I opted for the Durian. If you’ve been to Thailand, you’ll know this fruit is a delicacy but it’s also a very strong smelling and an interesting tasting fruit that is very polarising. People love it or hate it, but it’s certainly worth a try if you’re feeling adventurous. Whilst not as aesthetically pleasing, it is made with practically the same recipe, yet durian replaces the mango. Try popping into Dodee Paidang for one of these or another of their desserts like the banana fritters.
3. Pad Thai at Nahm Jim
Westfield Chatswood, 1 Anderson St, Chatswood
A visit to Nahm Jim, located in Westfield, I see the set up and decor, reflective of a typical street food style vendor like you’ll see on the bustling streets of Bangkok. A favourite street eat in Bangkok is the Pad Thai and this dish from Nahm Jim, will certainly conjure happy memories of a visit to Bangkok and watching vendors prepare it fresh in a wok before your eyes. The Pad Thai is always a favourite. It is a strir fry rice noodle dish that is simply delicious. The silky noodles have a slight redness in colour from being wok tossed in their special seasoning, this dish has subtle flavours sweet and spicy, a generous squeeze of lemon juice provides a sour element. Some peanut crumb and bean sprouts add a crunchy texture. You can order it with chicken, prawn or just as vegetable, which has a good amount of diced tofu too. This is a great start to the Thai food journey in Chatswood.
4. Deep Fried Barramundi at Thai Naan
230 Victoria Ave, Chatswood
The next stop on this food adventure takes me back to the island beaches of Thailand. In Chatswood, the experience was at Thai Naan, an upmarket Thai restaurant with friendly staff who offer welcoming hospitality, like you receive in islands of Thailand. I enjoy some seafood dishes that use fresh ingredients, an always enjoyable part of Thai cuisine.
One of these, thebetel leaf, native to South East Asia is cultivated for use chewing or cooking and you can often find this leaf used in many Thai dishes. I have a dish at Thai Naan that makes for a great little entree or nibble. It’s a popular street food dish in Thailand, designed to be eaten in a single bite, the betel leaf is served with crispy shredded coconut and a chargrilled prawn, topped with a roasted cashew. A delicious little morsel that is perfect to whet your appetite.
I also order the whole Barramundi, which is deep fried, resulting in the fish having a crispy skin that contrasts well with the delicate moist flesh. I ordered this a few times when travelling to the Thai islands like Koh Samui and Phi Phi. Here, it is topped with a mix of sautéed onions and capsicum. The sauce is sweet and sour, it has a good hit of spicy chilli and garlic, all of the main elements and flavours that Thai cuisine is known for. I do love this dish and it is perfect with a glass of crisp white wine or an ice-cold beer.
5. Tua Bap Goong at Chat Thai
Chatswood Place, Shop 12, 260 Victoria Ave, Chatswood
Continuing the beach adventure in Chatswood was at Chat Thai, a magical place with outstanding food. I’m here for a refreshment, and the coconut juice, full of electrolytes, quenches my thirst. This is typical of a drink consumed while sunbaking on the beach on one of the many islands of Thailand. Whilst having a drink, I also opt for a little snack. The Tua Bap Goong are tasty glutinous dumpling made from coconut rice, filled with minced prawn, coated with desiccated coconut and served with a coconut sauce. These dumplings are an interesting taste adventure, both sweet and savoury. The use of coconut and prawn provide the sense of an exotic beach holiday. These are often also consumed in Thailand as a dessert, so you may opt to have them at the end of your food trail like me.
I hope you have enjoyed this little food trail in Chatswood, find some new favourites and also get a taste of something new. This can get you inspired for your own food journey.
Written by thewhereto
Visit thewhereto's Blog
Visit thewhereto's Instagram