Tuesday, April 20, 2010

chat thai, haymarket

Fish and chips? A chiko roll? Or an even more cliche take-away?

My friend Z and I met up today for lunch at one of my old haunts, the food court below Woolworths at Park Street. I used to work in a building nearby, and the beef noodles are just as I remember. As is the minimalist setting of what my old workmates used to call the place - "Salmonella City". In all the times I've eaten there, I have to say I've never got sick. Touch wood that that isn't about to change now!

After finishing lunch, my friend said, "let's get dessert!" I responded with predictable enthusiasm, and we started heading towards Mizuya where they have 50c green tea ice cream cones at lunchtimes (at least they did about a month ago, can someone confirm if they still do?) Then, suddenly, my friend said, "what about Chat Thai?"

That girl is a genius.

I've been to Chat Thai once before (after making a booking) and it was very good. So packed though. We tried to go once more (without a booking) and decided not even to try waiting it out. I still remember my soup-based dessert from the first (and until today, only) visit though - utterly delicious. I know one of my regular commenters here (in fact the only commenter!) loves soup-based desserts, but unfortunately for her I can't remember exactly what was in it. Tee hee.

Now, my friend had her heart initially set on some sort of fried dough to be dipped into kaya (coconut jam), which she said she'd thought about getting once before when she was by herself, but had decided it was too big for one person and got an egg tart from Ho's Kitchen Dim Sum instead. This is where I beg to differ from my friend - how can one dessert ever be too big for one person?? :)). But it turned out they only sell those between 10am to 12 noon. We got there at around 1:30pm so had a choice of about 5 different desserts (which change again at 4pm! So make sure you turn up at the right time to get your choice!). It appears that the website menu doesn't include desserts, so I can only give you the number of what we eventually chose - this is the number 2 dessert on the 12 noon to 4pm  dessert menu, which was described as some sort of coconut dessert crisped up on a griddle. It cost us $6 for a box of 8 and came packed in the cute little box as above.

"Can you smell it?" my friend asked as we squeezed our way out of the restaurant onto the street. "Mmm, coconut..." I responded. We opened the box up and it struck me that they looked a lot like ้›ž่›‹ไป” but slightly larger and in separate pieces. Then we each took one and bit into little pieces of heaven. Imagine smooth, silky coconut cream encased in crispy, crunchy shells of slightly charred goodness.

Only problem?

"Hot! So hot!" We made our way back towards my friend's workplace waving our hands in front of our mouths as the coconut cream scalded our tounges. But it was so worth it. It's good I don't work any closer, otherwise I can imagine ducking out at 10am every morning to get a dessert from the 10am to 12 noon selection, then dropping in again at 12 noon to try something from the 12 noon to 4pm selection, then just after 4pm for something for afternoon tea. Despite the distance, Chat Thai, and your slightly distracted waitstaff (we asked the waitress at the counter about 3 times to place our order... but to their credit as soon as they actually acknowledged it, our order came very quickly), I'll sacrifice my work hour (and my waistline!) for you.

Chat Thai
20 Campbell Street
Haymarket NSW 2000

Also at Galeries Victoria (where chapflap said he once got dessert from, but it wasn't as good as the Haymarket one), Randwick and Manly

You can find more information here, but there don't seem to be dessert menus unfortunately

We saw a sign there that said it was going to be 20% off on Monday 26 April I think because it's their 20 year anniversary. So get prepared for it to be even more packed (if that's even possible?!)

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