Chai Thai

We regularly walk to and from the SO’s physio appointment, and pass this little Thai place enroute – Chai Thai.

Chai Thai

It is a tiny hole-in-the-wall eatery that’s tucked at the very end of a shop row, which is also home to Vespa Pizza and Tandoori King. Yet, despite its little size, it always has a bustling trade and so after one of the SO’s sessions, we dropped in for dinner.

The night we dropped in, Chai Thai wasn’t at its busiest – there were a couple of other customers and takeway orders during our visit. The decor was simple – sort of Asian happy street food meets Ikea yuppiness. Lighting was bright, so diners would have no trouble seeing what’s on the dinner plate, but it does not necessarily impart a sexy romantic vibe. Think casual relaxed dining.
Chai Thai

Chai Thai - Table setting

Chai Thai - Plate motif

I haven’t seen this rooster brush painting motif since my childhood. It was extremely popular back in the early 80s and my grandmothers had several dishes with that print.

There aren’t any weird surprises with Chai Thai‘s menu. It’s broken down into entrees (spring rolls, fish cake, papaya salad, etc), soup (tom yum or tom kha), curries (green, red, yellow, penang and massaman), dishes which are not curries (veg, beef, chicken, pork, duck and seafood), noodles and rice.

Chai Thai - Crispy squid with sweet and sour sauce. AUD$8

Crispy squid with sweet and sour sauce. AUD$8

Chai Thai - Tamarind prawns - lightly battered prawns with a seasonal tamarind sauce. AUD$18.90

Tamarind prawns – lightly battered prawns with a seasonal tamarind sauce. AUD$18.90

Chai Thai - Southern Style Chicken - crispy fried boneless chicken marinated in turmeric based secret recipe, served with sweet chilli sauce. AUD$14.90. Coconut rice. AUD$5.50

Southern Style Chicken – crispy fried boneless chicken marinated in turmeric based secret recipe, served with sweet chilli sauce. AUD$14.90. Coconut rice. AUD$5.50

Both the Tamarind prawns and Southern Style Chicken were amazing! The batters were light, crisp and crunchy, and served on beds of fresh salad greens – the ‘healthy’ green element to each dish.

Our two main disappointments were the sweet and sour sauce from the crispy squid. The sauce was much too thick and sweet, overpowering how beautifully cooked the calamari was.

The second was the coconut rice – it had been overcooked in far too much liquid, resulting in a mushy but fragrant white paste. I think that’s an almost unforgiveable sin for a Thai restaurant.

Would we go back again? Sure! The service girls were bright and chirpy, and I’d like to try their curries. Hopefully they have their regular Thai rice cooked right. Wouldn’t be much of a Thai place if they didn’t.

 

Chai Thai on Urbanspoon