Wednesday, 2 April 2008

Chat Thai

If Chat Thai were a woman, and I mean a real woman, she would be Angelina Jolie as Mrs Smith. A golden blend of dark, mysteriously sexy, ultra stylish, and ooooo so delicious. Cosy as the power couple became during and after the movie, the brick walls, dim mood lighting, large contemporary canvases, traditional Thai water holders, furniture from a faded era mixed with bentwood chairs give the place character. Well thought out and considered, the kind of effort you’d exert to adopt a Cambodian child. The queues for this place just as long so take a ticket and get in line.

Speaking of effort in producing a super child, superb food exits the kitchen though for the chefs probably nowhere near as pleasurable performing the processes the two went through (but who knows, whatever floats their boat) and a hell of a lot faster (unless Brad has anxiety issues). Instead of a cold bucket of water to snap one out of these thoughts, try Orileng, traditional thai black coffee or the heavily reduced caffeine Cha Dum Yen sweetened iced red tea.

The “no fanks Turkish… I’m sweet enough” Pad Thai is Girl, Interrupted quality without the over the top Lisa Rowe tendencies. The honest stir fry of rice noodles, peanuts, garlic chives, bean shoots, egg, sweetened ever so slightly by a bit of honey, so frequently ruined by Western bastardisation, has won me over. Gaeng Keaw Gai, chicken green curry made with galangal, kaffir limes lemongrass is lovingly cooked, so aromatic with an unexpectedly distinct lime kick at the end that so many green curries tried before have lacked. Yes Mrs Smith... I have been a naughty boy. Taking on a Jolie persona, Mu Pad Prik Khing is smoking as the dominatrix in the black latex corset and CFM boots: pork loin mince stir fried in a paste of roasted chilli, galangal, with green beans and fresh chilli gives the tongue and month and all mighty whipping. Continuing the flavour pleasure, Bpla Choo Chee, the snapper in a deeply rich red curry made from you guessed it, galangal, kaffir limes, lemongrass, palm sugar, garlic and chilli, explodes in the eating orifice like a fighting married couple with access to an excess of firearms and weren’t afraid to use them.

The final phase is a happy ending in the form of Lodt Shong Singapore, that is coconut milk with pandan flavoured balls of glutinous rice. Also taste the fresh mango and a sticky, glutinous coconut rice that’s probably taken all the fat from Jolie’s thighs.

Chat Thai truly have their act together, having refined the art of great food at a great venue. Bradgelina would be proud.

3.5 / 5 yums!

Where? 20 Campbell St, Haymarket, NSW
What? Mains most under $12

Left to Right : Orileng, Cha Dum Yen, Pad Thai, Gaeng Kea Gai, Mu Pad Prik Khing, Bpla Choo Chee, Mango Glutinous Rice, Lodt Shong Singapore

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