Marrickville Organic Food Markets

Hosted by the Addison Road Community Centre every Sunday from 8am to 3pm, this market is a little slice of heaven. Under a leafy canopy in dappled sunlight you’ll find an assortment of stalls selling organic fruit and veg, meat, dairy products, bread, cakes and pastries, jams and chutneys, honey, pasta, nuts and dried fruit, olives, and a whole lot of tasty treats to eat on the spot including yum cha, enormous bacon and egg rolls, martabak (Indonesian pancakes), the ubiquitous gözleme, gluten-free and vegan options, smoothies and Belaroma coffee.

There’s also a beautiful flower stall and some recycled clothes, handmade jewellery, bric-a-brac and plants, especially as you get further into the fringes of the market. For the hippies there’s a chai tent and for the kids there’s a bouncing castle and face painting. Consequently, the market is visited by hippies and people with kids – and, the double whammy, hippies with kids. Sans kids, Mr T and I presumably belong in the hippies category – or wannabe hippies, anyway. Surrounded by the buildings of the community centre including Reverse Garbage, The Bower and Sidetrack Theatre, there’s a real and quite lovely feeling of, well, community. I think I’ll shut up now and let the photos do the talking…

Veggies, Marrickville Organic Food Markets

Venus Whole Foods, Marrickville Organic Food Markets

Veggies, Marrickville Organic Food Markets

Venus Whole Foods, Marrickville Organic Food Markets

Veggies, Marrickville Organic Food Markets

More veggies, Marrickville Organic Food Markets

Oranges, Marrickville Organic Food Markets

Oranges, Marrickville Organic Food Markets

Handmade German bread, Marrickville Organic Food Markets

Handmade German bread, Marrickville Organic Food Markets

Cakes, Marrickville Organic Food Markets

Cakes, Marrickville Organic Food Markets

NuttyLand, Marrickville Organic Food Markets

NuttyLand, Marrickville Organic Food Markets

The Pasta People, Marrickville Organic Food Markets

The Pasta People, Marrickville Organic Food Markets

Crowds at Marrickville Organic Food Markets

Crowds at Marrickville Organic Food Markets

Gluten-free fare, Marrickville Organic Food Market

Gluten-free fare, Marrickville Organic Food Market

Gluten-free and vegan salads, Marrickville Organic Food Markets

Gluten-free and vegan salads, Marrickville Organic Food Markets

Martabak, Marrickville Organic Food Markets

Martabak, Marrickville Organic Food Markets

Flowers, Marrickville Organic Food Markets

Flowers, Marrickville Organic Food Markets

Responsibly Gorgeous, Marrickville Organic Food Markets

Responsibly Gorgeous, Marrickville Organic Food Markets

Tomato seedlings, Marrickville Organic Food Markets

Tomato seedlings, Marrickville Organic Food Markets

African clothing, Marrickville Organic Food Markets

African clothing, Marrickville Organic Food Markets

Marrickville Organic Food Markets

Marrickville Organic Food Markets

Face painting, Marrickville Organic Food Markets

Face painting, Marrickville Organic Food Markets

Marrickville Organic Food Markets

Marrickville Organic Food Markets

Marrickville Organic Food Markets
Addison Road Community Centre
142 Addison Road, Marrickville
Visited 9 September 2012

Advertisements

Cornersmith, Marrickville

There are other good cafés in Marrickville but this is the one, I think, that has really put our home suburb on the map, such is its popularity. Mr T and I wandered down there today for only the second time since it opened almost exactly a year ago. On my first visit I was a bit nonplussed, slightly put off by the lack of meat options – there was only some organic salami that day. Today they had wagyu corned beef and pasture-raised ham (all their meat is organic and sourced from local providore Feather and Bone) as well as house-smoked ocean trout. What’s on the menu entirely depends on what seasonal, local produce they’ve bought in.

Menu

Menu, Cornersmith

On arrival we add our name to the list on the blackboard beside the door but we don’t have to wait long to get a table in a perfect spot from which I can see all the action and take photos. It’s a small light-filled room with white-tiled walls, an ornate ceiling and funky bare light globes hanging down above the counter. You can sit on high stools at said counter or at little tables that line the floor-to-ceiling window that runs the full length of the café on the Illawarra Street side. On the counter is a big Italian coffee machine churning out great coffee and behind are several black-boards displaying the menu, and below them shelves filled with jars of pickles, chutneys and jams, all made on the premises. Run by a husband and wife team, Cornersmith is open for business Tuesday to Sunday and on Mondays they close for pickling. Whatever fruit and veg is in season features heavily on their menu, and come Monday is also turned into various preserves which are served with the meals and also bottled and sold to visitors. According to articles I’ve read, some of their produce is grown and given to them by locals who have a glut of something or other, in return for lunch or a jar of pickles. I love that kind of community spirit. They even use and sell honey from bee hives on their roof, supplied and tended by a company called The Urban Beehive. It’s altogether a thoroughly feel-good kind of venture!

Cornersmith

Cornersmith

Today the menu features a lot of zucchini – roasted with okra as a side dish with harissa, feta and mint; in a salad with asparagus and grapefruit; and in the form of zucchini pickles. Everything that comes out of the kitchen is as pretty as a picture, full of vibrant colour, a love letter to fruits and vegetables, like a harvest festival on a plate! It’s very wholesome and healthy, but not even a little bit puritanical or worthy – it’s just fresh, beautifully presented, delicious food. We start with a latte for me, a strawberry, green apple and beetroot milkshake for Mr T, which comes in a glass jar with a straw (to me it’s just strawberry flavoured but Mr T can detect the earthiness of the beetroot), and a muffin to share.

Latte and strawberry, green apple and beetroot milkshake

Latte and strawberry, green apple and beetroot milkshake, Cornersmith

The muffin is a thing of beauty: topped with pumpkin seeds and a slice of oven-dried nectarine, just below the crunchy surface is a well of ricotta (from local Italian cheese factory Paesanella) and then big chunks of fresh juicy nectarine, all subtly flavoured with cardamom.

Nectarine, cardamom, banana and ricotta muffin

Nectarine, cardamom, banana and ricotta muffin, Cornersmith

We also order one each of the two ‘plates’ to share – the ploughmans plate and the Cornersmith plate. The ploughmans is meant to feature the wagyu corned beef but in fact comes with ham. When Mr T points this out later we receive an apology and a little dish of the beef to try – it’s full of flavour but a little dry and powdery on the tongue. The ham is moist and smokey and is accompanied by crumbly, bitey Maffra cheddar, dressed heirloom tomatoes with basil, zucchini pickles, a perfect sliced nectarine and toasted sesame seed sourdough. The Cornersmith plate consists of a little glass jar of chunky, herb-flecked house-smoked ocean trout terrine, creamy labneh sprinkled with caraway seeds, sharp pickled celery, a delightful salad of rocket, watercress, finely sliced blanched asparagus, zucchini and flaked almonds, and sesame seed toast drizzled with olive oil. I am absolutely in heaven as we pick, using only our hands, at these two laden wooden boards, vocal in our appreciation of the quality and flavours of the food.

Ploughmans plate (ham, Maffra cheddar, heirloom tomatoes, nectarine, zucchini pickles, sesame seed toast)

Ploughmans plate (ham, Maffra cheddar, heirloom tomatoes, nectarine, zucchini pickles, sesame seed toast), Cornersmith

Cornersmith plate (house-smoked ocean trout terrine, asparagus salad, pickled celery, carraway labneh, sesame seed toast)

Cornersmith plate (house-smoked ocean trout terrine, asparagus salad, pickled celery, carraway labneh, sesame seed toast), Cornersmith

I am entirely won over by my experience at Cornersmith today and it’s officially my new favourite Marrickville café. I want to eat there, support them, tell everyone about it and buy their pickles and jams. I’m a committed Cornersmith convert!

Cornersmith

Cornersmith

Cornersmith
314 Illawarra Road, Marrickville
Visited 16 December 2012

Nom Pizza, Marrickville

I’m going to say it – Nom Pizza is now my favourite pizza in Sydney. Hell, I even like the crusts! Opening in June this year on the corner of Sydenham and Victoria Roads in Marrickville, a handy (and dangerous) five-minute walk from our house, Nom is the real deal. They make ‘la vera pizza Napoletana’, or true pizza from Naples, characterised by a thin, crisp base, sparsely topped with a few simple, fresh ingredients and cooked in a brick, wood-fired oven. At Nom they make the dough once a week and if you’re really lucky you get it a few days old (as we did on Thursday night) when the flavour and texture is fantastic: chewy, slightly salty and… oh, I don’t know what the flavour is, it’s just delicious!

Prior to this week I had tried the pumpkin and feta (roasted pumpkin, feta, pine nuts, rocket, truffle oil), the prawn (buffalo mozzarella, garlic prawns, chili) and the BBQ meatlovers (BBQ sauce, buffalo mozzarella, double smoked leg ham, salami, chorizo, pepperoni). They were all divine, although the BBQ meat lovers is clearly a bit of a concession to Australian tastes and would no doubt be considered an abomination in Naples!

On Thursday night as I’m walking home from the station, two of the guys are standing out the front of Nom with freshly made pizzas on wooden boards, offering slices to passers-by and trying to drum up a bit of custom. I’m drawn in by a cheeky smile from the other side of the junction and I avail myself of a slice of the ‘funghi’ with thinly sliced mushrooms, fior di latte cheese (like mozzarella but drier), a scattering of dried chili flakes and a drizzle of olive oil. It’s so damn good I decide right there on the spot to put the defrosted snags in the fridge for another day and persuade Mr T it’s a Nom Pizza night. It doesn’t take much to twist that rubbery arm so we’re back an hour later for more. We can’t decide what to have so the manager Ryan’s advice is to let the two Neapolitan pizzaiolos (trained artisan pizza makers) ‘go freestyle’ and create something unique for us. Alfredo stays fairly traditional with tomato sauce, fior di latte, salami, marinated aubergine, black olives and anchovies.

Tomato sauce, salami, marinated aubergine, black olives, anchovies and fior di latte

Tomato sauce, fior di latte, salami, marinated aubergine, black olives and anchovies, Nom Pizza

The other guy (whose name I missed, unfortunately) lets his imagination go wild and we watch in amazement as he forms two mini calzone (Ryan calls them ‘mezzaluna’, or half moon) on opposite sides, one filled with feta, the other with assorted meats. Down the middle he puts tomato sauce, fior di latte and rocket which, with a slosh of olive oil on top, wilts in the oven. Once cooked he drapes three generous slices of prosciutto on top and some shavings of parmesan. And another drizzle of olive oil for good measure!

Freestyle pizza with feta, assorted meats, tomato sauce, fior di latte, rocket, prosciutto and parmesan

Freestyle pizza with feta, assorted meats, tomato sauce, fior di latte, rocket, prosciutto and parmesan, Nom Pizza

Following much banter and taking of photographs with our new best friends, we race home as fast as our legs will carry us to engage in an absolute orgy of overeating. The pizzas are both to die for, the first one a perfect example of great quality, proper, simple pizza, the other an extraordinary piece of sheer theatre. Mr T cuts it into thick slices as if it were a loaf of Turkish bread. We could really do with a knife and fork but it’s so much more fun to slurp the wet, oozing, salty goodness into our mouths direct from the plate!

Nom don’t deliver as they don’t want the pizza sitting around deteriorating in cardboards boxes any longer than necessary, so you’ll have to collect it yourself. But they’re such a charming bunch of blokes that you’ll enjoy the interaction – and seeing the amazing wood-fired oven that dominates the shop. They do have a few tables and chairs outside on the pavement (make that old giant cable spools and hessian-covered milk crates) but no alcohol license, not even BYO, as yet. Here’s hoping! In the mean time they do have 1.25L bottles of brightly coloured, old-fashioned Saxby’s fizzy drinks in flavours like creaming soda and toffee apple. I’m not going to say any more except go there, and don’t spare the horses!

    Tomato sauce, fior di latte, salami, marinated aubergine, black olives and anchovies

Tomato sauce, fior di latte, salami, marinated aubergine, black olives and anchovies, Nom Pizza

Freestyle pizza with feta, assorted meats, tomato sauce, fior di latte, rocket, prosciutto and parmesan

Freestyle pizza with feta, assorted meats, tomato sauce, fior di latte, rocket, prosciutto and parmesan, Nom Pizza

Nom Pizza
Shop 2, 205 Victoria Road, Marrickville
Visited 18 October 2012

Petty Cash Café, Marrickville

Petty Cash Café has been in my ‘hood for a couple of years now, and I’ve been meaning to check it out pretty much all of that time, especially since it’s right opposite the gym we go to. And now we’ve been twice in the space of three weeks! The first time, Mr T took me there practically straight off the plane from London, in a bid to prevent me from going to bed and ruining my anti-jet-lag strategy. I had the Mexican Breakfast which is an enormous pile of scrambled eggs on sourdough toast, studded with slices of chorizo, roasted red capsicum, chilli and coriander. Seriously yum and very filling – I didn’t need to eat again until the evening.

Mexican Breakfast

Mexican Breakfast, Petty Cash Café

Mr T had extremely tasty duck, orange and pistachio sausages served with wickedly creamy mash, bok choy and a couple of different relishes which are all made on the premises. The sausages come from acclaimed AC Butchery in Leichhardt and they don’t supply just any old cafe, you know!

Duck, orange and pistachio sausages, mash, bok choy, relish

Duck, orange and pistachio sausages, mash, bok choy, relish, Petty Cash Café (photo borrowed from Petty Cash facebook page!)

Our second time was this very morning to meet fellow Inner-Westie friends (and a Redfernite, which is near enough). Coming straight from the gym on a rather chilly day I’m a little nervous that the only table that becomes available is outside, but it matters not – there’s a huge pile of multi-coloured, crocheted knee-rugs to wrap oneself in. In fact, if there are no tables, which looks to be a regular occurrence, you can take some of said rugs into the park opposite and they’ll bring your order out to you to eat picnic-style. They’re nice like that, the bunch who run this place; several armfuls of tattoos between them, they’re friendly, down to earth and proud to be producing good, homemade food in a relaxed, homely environment with quirky, nana-chic charm.

Coffees all round to start with, which come out in mismatched cups and saucers, and very nice coffee it is too.

Flat white

Flat white, Petty Cash Café

Mr T has a Belgian hot chocolate which is always a mistake since nobody, but nobody, makes it as strong as he likes it, except him. True to form it’s not up to scratch, but it’s not really their fault. I go for the Petty Cash Breakie (vego version): eggs (poached) on sourdough toast, haloumi, roasted tomatoes and homemade baked beans.

Petty Cash Breakie (vego version)

Petty Cash Breakie (vego version), Petty Cash Café

The roasted tomatoes could do with a bit longer in the oven but the baked beans are great – sweet, spicy, tomatoey goodness. Mr T finds his lemony lamb burger a bit underwhelming on the flavour front. Jono very much enjoys his poached eggs on toast with a side of relish, and Mindy’s boys hoover up their bacon and egg Turkish sandwich with barbecue sauce.

The star of the day, for me, is our shared ‘second breakfast’, accompanied by more coffees, of toasted brioche slices sandwiched with vanilla ice cream and chocolate ganache, covered with copious quantities of chocolate sauce, maple syrup and sliced strawberries. So eager am I to dig in that I completely forget to take a photo! It’s a bugger, really, because it means I’ll have to go back again soon and order the same thing – such a great pity, but there you have it.

Petty Cash Café
68 Victoria Road, Marrickville
Visited 12 August 2012

Everest Kitchen, Marrickville

That Marrickville is one of the best foodie suburbs in Sydney is a fact that was once again confirmed on Saturday night when we and our friends Matt and Amy ate at Everest Kitchen, a Nepalese restaurant they had recommended to us ages ago. I’m so glad we didn’t wait a moment longer to try it out, and also that we had aficionados to show us how it was done.

Matt and Amy are both vegan, so in order that we can all share the same food, Mr T and I opt to go vegan for the night too. As such we close our menus and leave the ordering to the experts. They choose two traditional Nepalese entrée sets plus a serving of steamed vegetable dumplings, then to follow, two traditional Nepalese dhindo sets, each with a different curry. Both our entrées and mains are made up of a little bit of various different things – a fabulous way to sample lots of dishes. I’ve eaten vegan food before and I’m well aware that it can be very tasty, but I am honestly blown away by the vibrancy and freshness of the flavours we experience during this meal.

Traditional Nepalese entree set

Traditional Nepalese entrée set, Everest Kitchen

Our entrée sets (one of which is pictured above) include, clockwise from top, a potato cake, vegetable dumplings, beaten rice, soy bean salad, potato salad, fried lentil dumplings and a spicy roasted tomato sauce. Everything is just so delicious. The soy bean salad reminds me in texture of both Sugar Puffs and wasabi peas and is flavoured with finely chopped onions and fresh herbs. The potato salad has all the great qualities of a well-made traditional potato salad with the added mild warmth of turmeric and mustard seeds. I love the dumplings (fortunately we have another plate of them) – I struggle to identify the flavours but they’re fresh and spicy and so good I’d swear they contained meat if they didn’t taste so… well, clean. The beaten rice is a bit of textural fun, like flattened out Rice Crispies (there seems to be a bit of a breakfast cereal theme going on here!). The fried lentil dumplings are wonderfully crisp and crunchy on the outside, and the divine spicy roasted tomato sauce is reminiscent of satay, which is odd considering there’s nary a peanut involved.

Traditional Nepalese dhindo set

Traditional Nepalese dhindo set, Everest Kitchen

The key dish in the above (slightly depleted – must remember to take photos straight away) traditional Nepalese dhindo set, our main, is a potato and bamboo shoot curry. I love the bouncy, slightly fibrous texture of bamboo shoots. Our other dhindo set contains a curry made with no less than nine different kinds of bean. Both sets include the same colourful array of accompaniments – stir fried mustard leaves, pickled radish, tomato salsa, more of the potato salad (in substitution for the dairy-based raita), dhal and, in the middle, the dhindo which is made from millet flour. This carbohydrate looks rather grey and unappetising but I copy Matt and discover it’s really quite good mashed out on my plate and topped with dhal and tomato salsa. The bright green mustard leaves are peppery with a slightly bitter quality, the pickled radish is crunchy and piquant, the tomato salsa is sweet and mildly spicy, the dhal is comforting – once again, the variety and subtlety of the flavours, the freshness of the ingredients, is what delights here.

At the end of the meal we are given feedback cards to fill in and I circle top marks for all aspects of the meal and service. The windows are filled with many more completed cards offering glowing reports. Given we are one of only three tables on a Saturday night, I only hope that word of mouth spreads and this place gets the support it so clearly deserves.

Everest Kitchen
314 Victoria Road, Marrickville
Visited 26 May 2012

Marrickville Pork Roll

A Vietnamese chicken roll (Banh Mi) from Marrickville Pork Roll is my weekend treat when there’s nothing appealing in the fridge for lunch. This place is a tiny hole in the wall, barely big enough for the two women behind the counter and one customer in front of the counter – there’s pretty much always a queue up the street. This photo was taken last weekend. There were flags lining Illawarra Road – the Australian flag and the flag of South Vietnam pre the fall of Saigon on 30 April 1975.

Marrickville Pork Roll

Marrickville Pork Roll

So, onto the chicken roll! It’s a big white roll spread with paté and mayonnaise and stuffed with plenty of chicken, carrot matchsticks, cucumber batons, spring onions (or shallots as you Aussies call them), coriander and fresh chili, and drizzled with a delicious gravy-like sauce. I take it home (if I can resist it for long enough!), sit on my back step and devour it with a cold beer – something that I always have on hand in my fridge!

Vietnamese chicken roll

Vietnamese chicken roll, Marrickville Pork Roll

Marrickville Pork Roll
236a Illawarra Road, Marrickville
Last visited 5 May 2012

Anniversary eating

Celebrating 10 years with Mr T on Anzac Day this week, we decide that instead of blowing hundreds of dollars on fine dining (we’ll save that for a certain person’s 40th later this year!) we’ll spend the day cycling to the newly refurbished MCA and visit various food outlets along the way. We start at Double Roasters, a ridiculously popular cafe, given how recently it opened, on Victoria Road, Marrickville, a mere two minutes cycle ride from our house. While we peruse the menu, Mr T has a Belgian hot chocolate, made with real dark chocolate, which is the only way to make it as far as he’s concerned. I have a latte which is creamy and smooth, made from beans that they roast on the premises.

Latte

Latte, Double Roasters

To eat I choose ‘baked eggs’ with homemade baked beans, prosciutto and spinach which comes in a rustic earthenware dish. It’s not really baked eggs as I’ve had it before since they are in fact poached and come sitting atop the sea of beans. However, I’m not complaining because they’re perfectly cooked and their deep yellow insides ooze out when I stab them with my knife. The beans are sweet, herby and richly tomatoey and the prosciutto lends a lovely saltiness to the whole combo. My only complaint is that there’s not enough of the toasted roll to mop it all up and the spinach is a bit token in quantity.

Eggs, baked beans, prosciutto & spinach

Eggs, baked beans, prosciutto & spinach, Double Roasters

Mr T has the Croque Monsieur which is two very thick slices of spongy white bread sandwiched with good quality ham and Gruyère cheese, topped with plenty of Gruyère cheese sauce browned under the grill – delicious!

Croque Monsieur

Croque Monsieur, Double Roasters

Feeling guilty at not going to our favourite Marrickville cafe, Mr T persuades me that we should also pop in to Bourke Street Bakery, just around the corner, so they don’t feel left out. We share two delectable tarts with perfect pastry – rhubarb and almond, and strawberry crème brulée.

Rhubarb and almond tart

Rhubarb and almond tart, Bourke Street Bakery

Strawberry creme brulee tart

Strawberry crème brulée tart, Bourke Street Bakery

Suitably replete, we cycle on our way to The Rocks to visit the MCA, and afterwards, in need of a sundowner, we head to the new Sydney Theatre Company bar, The Bar at the End of the Wharf. I like the rustic beach-house feel of the decor but I’m sorry to say that the barman, while friendly and willing, is not very capable when it comes to my order of a Manhattan and a mocktail. Nonetheless, we enjoy ourselves playing some table tennis on one of the covered outdoor deck areas.

Now dark, we make our way over to Darlinghurst to try a new place for dinner that I’ve read good things about – Buffalo Dining Club. We sit upstairs in a cosy space that fits only five small tables and Peter, one of the three owners, looks after us magnificently. He brings me a festive glass of Perrier Jouët in a beautiful matching glass and tells us about the menu. This is a buffalo mozzarella bar, a craze started in Rome in 2004. The mozza is the real deal, flown in three times a week direct from Naples, and the rest of the menu is all about what complements this delicate, milky, pillowy cheese. A globe of mozzarella comes with two side dishes but we can’t choose just two so we get four – beautiful chargrilled baby aubergines, mildly spicy braised lentils, crisp garlicky broccolini and tart white anchovies. Also accompanying the mozzarella are bowls of thinly sliced, firm, nutty bread and various types of crunchy, savoury biscuit. To complete the picture we order 60g of San Daniele prosciutto, so moist and wafer thin that it pulls apart a bit like fairy floss. The whole experience is quite heavenly – the quality of the produce and the combination of flavours are a delight. For lubrication, when the bubbles are gone, I sip a delicious, well-chilled glass of Howard Park SB from Margaret River.

Buffalo mozzarella, prosciutto and side dishes

Buffalo mozzarella, prosciutto and side dishes, Buffalo Dining Club

(Disclaimer: Mozzarella may appear smaller here than actual size because we had started to eat it!)

We had planned to follow up with the buffalo ricotta gnocchi with tomato sugo but decide a modicum of restraint is called for, especially given the hills we have to cycle up to get home! But I console myself that this is definitely not the last time we’ll be coming here.

Double Roasters
199 Victoria Road, Marrickville

Bourke Street Bakery
2 Mitchell Street, Marrickville

Buffalo Dining Club
116 Surrey Street, Darlinghurst

All visited 25 April 2012

Let’s Eat Thai, Marrickville

Given the gloom and the rain we had on Tuesday, we realise that eating near the water is not going to be the glorious experience we’d envisaged. We therefore opt instead to take our English house-guest, Mark (Mr T’s first cousin once removed), to our favourite local – Let’s Eat Thai on Illawarra Road in Marrickville. This place serves up some of the best Thai food we’ve eaten in Sydney and it’s incredibly reasonably priced – we never seem to be able to spend more than about $25 per head. Its heritage is assured – the chefs here are veterans of Spice I Am in Surry Hills, our other favourite Thai restaurant in Sydney!

When we first discovered this place, the odd one out in an otherwise Vietnamese-dominated restaurant scene, we became instantly addicted to the pad prik king with crispy pork, and have to order it every time we come here. And this occasion is no exception. The pile of chunky pork cubes are decadently fatty and slathered in the most delicious sweet, sticky curry paste, and topped with finely sliced kaffir lime leaves and red chilli.

Pad prik king with crispy pork, Let's Eat Thai

At Mark’s request we order fried rice, which we normally wouldn’t bother with, but it makes a nice change, filled generously with pieces of chicken and crowned with chunky slices of cucumber and lime wedges to squeeze over. We also choose a chu chee curry which has a thicker sauce than the usual green and red curries, and is deliciously creamy and tasty. We add to that my perennial favourite, a green papaya salad (or ‘tom sum’), crunchy, sour and chilli hot with little nuggets of dried shrimp, roasted peanuts, cheery tomatoes and raw snake beans.

Green papaya salad

Green papaya salad, Let's Eat Thai

Other favourite dishes we’ve ordered on previous visits to Let’s Eat Thai include crispy fish salad, a potent concoction of crunchy fried anchovies, red onion, chilli, shallots, mint and coriander. This full-on flavour punch is not for the faint of palate, but we love it. It seems to fit in the northern Thai category of dish which is typically very salty and sour. Expect to work up a sweat! The other is whole deep-fried snapper with mango salad. Underneath the huge pile of fresh, colourful salad, the fish is beautifully pre-portioned into crispy parcels of goodness – so there’s no messaging about with bones!

Snapper with mango salad

Whole deep-fried snapper with mango salad, Let's Eat Thai

Let’s Eat Thai
353 Illawarra Road, Marrickville
Last visited 17 April 2012