It’s Monday night, and only the tenth time this Balmain newbie has opened. Unlike other restaurants I passed on my way down Darling Street, this one’s full. The menu reads like the greatest hits of Sujet Saenkham’s three other ventures. From the northeast street food of House you’ll find Sai Krok Isaan ($10) a mellow pork sausage stuffed with herbs and rice. Team it with a crisp taste of southern Thailand, Bour Tod ($12/6pieces), betel leaf fritters topped with nuts and prawns. From the Surry Hills flagship you’ll find my favourite, Moo Pla ($15), an intensely hot, coconut-free curry with apple and pea eggplants, and meltingly thin pork belly. Contrast it with Yum Hua Plee ($29) banana flower salad to give your mouth some sweet relief. Unwrapping Homok ($8/each) parcels is always a pleasure, but here the tasty basa fish curry within surpasses all I’ve tried. In fact, I’m prepared to call this the best Thai on the peninsula, if not the inner west. Wines are well priced (there’s no BYO) with the 2007 Grande Maison Monbazillac ($49) coming up trumps. It’s a perfect match for the must-have Thai happy ending, Better Than Sex ($15) with brioche, pandan gelato, Thai caramel… wow!
Spice I Am (Balmain)
237 Darling Street, Balmain
Ph: (02) 9555 9224 www.spiceiam.com