They say, eat to live and not live to eat. But if one were to travel Sydney and come across different cuisines, this adage may become a passing fad. Offering global tastes, this place offers a diversity of food- both veg and non-veg. The traveler might wander off in the meandering lanes but the smell of food would lead him to the right destination- Thai Restaurant.
Sydney, capital of New South Wales, is situated on the south east coast of Australia. The most populous city, Sydney is the home of Bondi Beach, Opera House, Sydney Harbor, Queen Victoria Building, Darling Harbor, Rugby, Huge Jackman, AC/DC, Kangaroos, and exquisite food culture.
Whether you are a tourist or a denizen, Sydney offers a number of attractions to get high on. The essence of global cultures can be witnessed in people, streets, places, architecture, and specifically food. The streets of Sydney are open to view a variety of food from Japan, Italy, Lebanon, India, and China to common English food. However, the Thai food is the capital ‘P’ of popularity in Sydney.
Thai food is known for its proportion of 5 fundamental taste senses in each dish: sour, sweet, salty, chili, and bitter. Balance, detail and variety are of great significance to Thai cuisines. Thai carte du jour mostly consists of rice, noodles, fish, fresh vegetables, unique aromatic herbs, coconut flavor, little meat, insects, exotic fruits, and shakes.
Many popular Thai dishes were originally Chinese introduced by Teochew people. Sydney has a large number of Thai restaurants situated on Alfred St, Cumberland St, and Harrington St. For food lovers, an entire meal can be available from $15-$40. Mostly all the restaurants have an Asian vibe, modern decor, some art pieces adorning the place and green plants adding beauty. Traditional Thai restaurants still follow the distinct culture of serving food while sitting on the ground on wooden or bamboo mats.
Since 95% of Thais are Buddhists, they leave religious offerings of fruit at the base of a Buddha statue with burning candles, incense and the like in restaurants. There is a serenity that encapsulates as you enter the scene.
A whole course meal starts with the conventional appetizers followed by main course and desserts at the end. Hors d’oeuvre includes spicy green papaya salad with dried prawn, tomatoes, yardlong beans & peanuts (Som Tam Thai), salad of grilled beef, shallots & celery or mint (Yam Nuea Yang), spicy and sour prawn soup (Tom Yum Goong), etc. Money Bags (Tung Tong), a crispy filled pastry created in the royal kitchens of Thailand, are a staple appetizer on numerous menus. Thai iced tea, sweet Thai black ice coffee and shakes of exotic fruits are also offered to please all.
Main course is a mix bag. Pad Thai, a dish of thin rice noodles with bean sprout, crushed peanuts and red onion; or, perhaps, a serving of Massamun Curry made with coconut milk and onion accented with cashews and fried red onion; Pad Kra Pao Kai Yeaw-Ma, a traditional Thai dish, consisting of minced pork, chili, basil leaves, and century eggs; Lad Nah– stir fried flat noodles with Chinese broccoli in bean sauce; Beef ribs salad, roast duck with picked lime salad and stir fried green vegetables with chili & yellow beans, etc are delightful gourmet dishes. Flash fried soft-shell crab offer another taste sensation for the diner.
Thai food is often served with a variety of sauces (Nam Chim) & condiments like fish sauce, sweet chili sauce, sriracha sauce, or Nam Phrik (spicy chili sauce). Fruits are customarily served after the meal. Pandan fried ice cream is a favorite dessert of many.
Non vegans can experiment with their taste buds by relishing over insects, butterflies, worms alike. Traditional Thai vegetarian restaurants carry a yellow sign with the word ‘che’ written in red in Thai script for distinction. Few restaurants serve excellent wines and hand crafted beers for the English touch.
While in Sydney, if you want to treat yourself with some delicious Thai food, you know which road to take.
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