The whole object of travel is not to set foot on foreign land; it is at last to set foot on one’s own country as a foreign land.” – G.K. Chesterton

Thursday, 15 July 2010

Thai @ Chilled Out Thai, Sydney

For dinner on our final night in Sydney, we ate the yummiest Thai food at Chilled Out Thai, not far from my sister's house in Maroubra. I try to avoid using superlatives when I can, but I do mean it when I write that this rates as our best encounter with Thai cuisine so far. For some reason, I had never really gotten into Thai food, in spite of - or perhaps because of - the fact that it is such a popular cuisine. Thai dishes are similar to Malaysian food (due to the two countries being geographically close to each other), but in my opinion are not as good, perhaps even bordering on blah and ordinary. I freely admit that Thai cuisine is not amongst my favourite food, however the food at Chilled Out Thai made me rethink my assessment about Thai cuisine. Perhaps Thai food is actually flavourful and delicious, but I've only ever been exposed to mediocre dumbed-down versions in Australia and Japan.

According to my sister, there are a few Thai restaurants in the area (because, you know, it's a popular cuisine), but Chilled Out Thai is her favourite one. To be honest, I wasn't too keen on having Thai for dinner, but I was a pretty happy camper when we left the restaurant after our meal. It's a lovely restaurant with a modern decor and cute Thai waitresses who were smitten with our little dining companions who made up half of our group (7 year old nephew, 4 month old niece and my 20 month old son). The food was cheaper at the Thai restaurant next door, but I'd rather pay a little extra to enjoy my meal than putting up with average food. On the menu were the usual suspects such as pad thai, tom yum and green curry (in fact all three curries - red, green and yellow - were available), but the dishes to pay attention to are those that come under the Chef Suggestion heading.

My nephew requested the Pineapple Fried Rice, which came served with prawn, chicken, vegetables and of course pineapple pieces. It was pretty good and got everyone's approval.

My sister played safe and had the Tom Yum with Prawns. The soup had a nice spicy kick and a balanced sourness.

Rob was curious about eating banana flower (aka banana blossom and banana heart), so he ordered the Yum Hua Plee (a spicy salad with prawns and banana blossom). This one was really good, easily the best dish at the table that night. Big juicy fresh prawns, and the crispy blossoms added a nice texture to the salad. The creamy and spicy coconut dressing was delicious and completed the salad very nicely.

I wanted something light and healthy to offset the lack of vegetables in our holiday diet, so I got the Green Papaya Salad with BBQ Chicken. Chilled Out Thai's version was tasty with large slices of delicious barbecued chicken. Proof that healthy can be delicious (and vice versa).

Dessert that night was Black Sticky Rice with Custard. It wasn't quite what we expected, but it was very good. The rice was served differently to bubur pulut hitam (Malay for "black glutinous rice porridge", one of our favourite Malaysian desserts), with the nutty chewy cooked grains presented almost al dente rather than like a creamy porridge. The custard was kuih-like, soft almost like a pudding yet firm enough to hold its shape - it was a delicious accompaniment to the rice. The dessert was finished perfectly with a drizzle of coconut cream. The dessert changes every few weeks, but I reckon this particular one ought to stay on the menu permanently.

We were pretty satisfied with this meal, which was the first time I was impressed with Thai food. Chilled Out Thai is a hidden gem in the suburbs.

Sticky Rice on FoodistaSticky Rice


  1. tom yum :D
    I love tom yum! I've tried the version with chicken too, instead of prawns and it was delicious as well. ;-) would u mind adding the foodista widget for sticky rice at the end of your post? I wanna share this to my friends in Foodista, the widget will direct them to this post when they go looking for posts on sticky rice. Thanks, keep on posting. im loving your food escapades :D
    Amy from Adelaide, SA :)

  2. my bad
    My bad, I gave you the wrong widget. Here's where you can get the widget for sticky rice:
    thanks xx