Sujet Saenkham, owner of the ever-popular Spice I Am restaurants, has done it again. Just when you were starting to think you understood regional Thai food, he gives you a real taste of Southern Thai (complete with its Chinese, Malay and Indian influences) that leaves most of Sydney’s Thai restaurants for dead. Sujet has taken over the space occupied by the longstanding Harry’s Singapore Chilli Crab restaurant on the upper floor of Triple Ace Bar. While the pub setting has been tempered with an unassuming name, and wood-heavy décor, pub prices for booze remain. Plan B 2012 Chenin Blanc ($36/bottle) might not win any awards, but it’s an affable companion to Asian cuisine, starting with gloriously sticky and stretchy Pak Mor Youan ($9). They’re rice rolls stuffed with pork and spring onions. For a completely different textural experience, follow them with crunchy and compelling banana flower fritters – Hua Plee Tod ($12) – and Mieng Ka Na ($16), a sweet and sour pile of pork floss, lime and chilli you wrap in supple Chinese broccoli leaves. Your must-have dish is the Gaeng Het Pho ($28), a well balanced bar cod curry with explosive Thai black mushrooms. Hainan chicken fans will enjoy Gai Pae Sa ($20), which takes the dish somewhere new with a bright ginger and chilli condiment.
Surry Hills Eating House
Level 2, 198-200 Elizabeth Street, Surry Hills
Ph: (02) 9212 4092 spiceiam.com