One of the signature dishes Thailand is known for is the Papaya Salad. When I had this in Thailand, the way restaurants could use raw paw paw and turn it into a delicious, refreshing dish when mixed with the right ingredients really amazed me. Unfortunately, that amazing taste was not replicated by the papaya salad at Chat Thai. The papaya was not crunchy and did not taste fresh (as it should!), but the cherry tomatoes and beans were crunchy and were flavoursome. The dressing is one of the most important aspect of the dish, but it was rather salty without much sweet and spicy taste at all.
We ordered Pad Thai and Crispy chicken with coconut rice as our mains. The Pad Thai was presented nicely and I was really hoping it would have a great taste to match. The noodles were fresh and the chicken and prawns tasted fresh and juicy, but the pad thai in general had more of a sweeter taste, which might not suit everyone's taste buds. If you prefer a more savory taste, make sure you add some fish sauce (or chilli sauce) to the pad thai to give it a more balanced taste.
The fried chicken with coconut rice was my favourite dish of the night. The outer layer was crispy and not too oily. The chicken tastes like it had been seasoned prior to cooking, which gave the chicken lots of flavour. It was moist and tender, which, when eaten with the slightly sweet tasting coconut rice, was a rather enjoyable meal.
Fried chicken with coconut rice
I absolutely love Tom Yum Goong. When I saw it on the menu, I was really hoping it would taste as authentic as what I had tried in Thailand. My tom yum noodles looked very appealing when it arrived. But it was such a shame that the chef had not done this Tom Yum Goong justice. The soup was very salty and not very spicy, if at all. I could taste the fish sauce in the soup with some tangyness, but it was just a salty and sour soup with no seafood taste at all. Perhaps the soup was not made with prawns and shrimp?
Tom Yum soup with rice noodles
The chefs at Chat Thai have put a new and different spin on traditional Thai cuisine, but unfortunately, I'm not sure if I like it. I think there's been mixed feelings about this restaurant, so I will leave it up to you to give Chat Thai a go. I am definitely keen to try out Chat Thai in Sydney (not affiliated with Brisbane's Chat Thai in any way) and report back with my experience.
If anyone has been to Chat Thai, what was your experience like? Feel free to leave a comment and let me know!
But in the mean time, I think I will keep trying different Thai restaurants, until I find the restaurant which serves the best tasting Tom Yum Goong in Australia!
(Credit to honeyhype for helping with the photos!)