Thai is Sydney’s favourite cheap eat, which explains why Thai restaurants outnumber foodies with their cameras in the city alone. But don’t settle for oily noodles and boring broths, we bring you a guide to the top Thai restaurants in Sydney, so you can order Thai the way it should be: fresh, fast and packed with flavour.
There are now five Chat Thai outlets across Sydney but that hasn’t diminished the line of people waiting to enter the Haymarket dining room, with its glass-walled kitchen pumping out noodles and good vibes. Luckily, you have until 2am to sit down to a meal of some of the most authentically delicious South East Asian dishes in the city.
The Yok Yor Chefs wear fluoro construction hard hats, but don’t expect any accidents in this kitchen. The lengthy menu handles all the Thai staples beautifully and offers some unmissable classic street food options, like boat noodles and barbecued meat skewers.
The original incarnation of Spice I Am packs its customers in, day and night, not least because it’s BYO and doesn’t charge for corkage. So what does get added to your bill? Seriously traditional dishes dosed up on flavour and spice.
Once seafarers sought refuge in Sailors Home at The Rocks, today Sydneysiders retreat to the sandstone building for a warm reception, exceptional dishes and million dollar views. Upstairs, sit yourself at the communal table by the open kitchen for a rapid-fire succession of punchy street food, or take the road to fine dining downstairs with its extensive, refined Thai menu.
Most Thai restaurants don’t come with their own gift shop, but Thai Potong likes to do things differently. The iconic restaurant has been a Newtown mainstay for over 20 years and has been selling its entertaining mishmash of buddha statues, bejewelled necklaces and life-sized robots for just as long. The combination of traditional and modern Thai dishes, along with the heady excitement of sharing a dining space with over 400 people, makes this the perfect choice for a lively meal.
Like Peter Pan, some restaurants will never get old and Longrain, still at the top of its game after 10 years on many a “Sydney’s hottest” list, is one of them. The hatted Surry Hills kitchen continues to offer a sophisticated modern Asian menu inspired by Thai and Chinese flavours.
Tuck shop by day, restaurant by night, Muum Maam makes little gluttons of all its Surry Hills diners. We love the open kitchen, the burst of red and orange Thai street art and the classic dishes made with seasonal ingredients and accompanied by fresh coconut juice, squeezed on the premises daily.
If you pounce on the pad Thai without even looking at a Thai restaurant’s menu, House is not for you. This is the place to come for Issan-style street food: zingy salads, protein from the grill and everything hot, hot, hot!
Sometimes culinary gems have nondescript dining rooms and this one, just opposite Marrickville Station, is one you shouldn’t judge on appearances. The menu is reminiscent of that of Spice I Am, all fresh and vibrant but with noticeably lower prices and the guarantee that you’ll never have to queue to get in.
Southern Thai cuisine is known for its heat and tongue-tingling, nose-watering spiciness and that’s the order of the day at Chinatown’s Caysorn Thai. Try the house specialty: sour fish curry with lime juice, but pile on the Asian salad ingredients to douse the fire in your mouth.