A personal diary about life in a country town, Bungendore NSW Australia

  Thursday 3 April 2003
The new Rockpool at left, above the long table in the Sailors Thai Canteen, below, the small balcony. 
This is not a review of Rockpool

We stared through the window though. Very schmick refurbishment. It just got another 18/20 review in the SMH so the new decor must have impressed and the food still good. I was taken there for dinner some time ago and really enjoyed it (and I also wrote about a visit to Perry's XO here). We looked in because we were walking past, heading for the (considerably cheaper) Sailors Thai Canteen, just up and across the road in The Rocks end of George Street. 

Sailors Thai has been around almost as long as Neil Perry and Trish Richard's Rockpool. Doug and Susan eat there often, but it was the first for us, although we'd planned it a couple of times in the six years that David Thompson has been garnering praise as the chef. (And since 2001 at Nham in London but he's apparently still involved in guiding the Sydney restaurants.) 

The main restaurant is downstairs and the lower priced Canteen is at street level with a long communal table, and a small terrace balcony with a few tables outside. The night was still warm enough so we took a corner table on the balcony. The menu changes but Doug has a few favourites and selected, so we ate the green papaya salad, popiat(?) rolls - a silky soft cold version of the deep fried popiah Thai 'spring rolls' with rice noodle wrapping and fresh ingredients crunching inside. There was marinated octopus with a spicy chilli sauce, a delicious smoky wide flat noodle dish, and shared between four, it still left enough room for the desert. Black sticky rice in condensed milk, not overly sweet, came with two Chinese garish 'yum cha style' desert pieces - a wedge of green coloured sago, and a square of multi-layered agar agar desert jelly. The wine list is small but adequate and we started with a Singha beer, followed with a Pinot Noir that fitted with the food just fine.

I've picked up and put down Thompson's definitive book Thai Food (Ten Speed Press) a number of times. Now I'll have to buy it. 

  Fred Harden 2003 <thinktag> After a few days, these entries are added to the Archive Menu