Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Chat Thai, Sunnybank, QLD

Having travelled to Thailand and got a taste of traditional Thai cuisine, I kind of got spoilt with such good food over there that it's been hard to find anything comparable in Queensland ever since. I'm always keen to try new restaurants and Chat Thai was no exception.

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.
Papaya Salad

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.
 Pad Thai

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!)

Chat Thai on Urbanspoon


  1. Sounds disappointing. Had I known about Chat Thai when I was up in Brisbane I would have given it a go. The Chat Thai places we have here are quite good as well as the new breed of more authentic Thai popping up in the southern CBD, or Thainatown, as it's being referred to these days

  2. I was just in Sydney and I managed to try out the 'real' Chat Thai! Food was definitely tastier and more authentic than Brisbane's one I must say. I was lucky the chefs were making those deep-fried dough sticks at night (usually lunch time only, right?) and managed to get some. They tasted really nice with the pandang dipping sauce. There are a few other dishes I'd like to try, so I might have to go back.

    If you have any good authentic Thai restaurants to recommend, please let me know :)

  3. oh dear! I was planning a return to try their salads and it is unfortunate that the balance of sweet sour salty and spice did not turn out right. I understand how difficult it is to find authentic Thai here having had good Thai overseas be it from the country of origin or other SE Asian countries. Thai Aroy at Indooroopilly is not too bad at all though i must admit i haven't visited for sometime now. Another would be Thai wi-rat at fortitude valley.

  4. @ Food Hunters,
    Yeah, I didn't really enjoy my salad, though, based on votes on urbanspoon, people seem to like Chat Thai. You could always give it a go and see what you think?

    Thank you for those suggestions, I will definitely check them out next time!

  5. i had the "owner" left me a comment after i complained that the tastes werent really up to par..made me think twice if it was their off day, looks like their food isnt just up to par.

  6. @ Joe,
    Yeah, I didn't really like it. I just had Chat Thai in Sydney a few days ago and the difference in taste and quality was pretty big... I am really glad I tried Chat Thai in Sydney though! :)

  7. I wish I read the reviews before going to eat there. The place looks nice with the open kitchen and everything, but the dishes I ordered were not that great to put it nicely. I'm Thai and I realise most Thai restaurants modernise Thai food for the general Australian public but most restaurants still make it taste decent. The food I ordered at Sunnybank Chat Thai was bland, bland, bland. That's one thing Thai food is not. (Me ranting - I had to put 9 spoons of chilli flakes, 3 spoons of sugar, all the vinegar chilli that was in the container and 3 spoons of fish sauce into my Lard Na to give it a tiny bit of taste(no exaggeration).) I agree about the papaya salad, not very fresh but mine tasted sour and nothing else. And it was not hot, on any level. I ordered in Thai and said Pet Pet(hot hot); the lady didn't even know what I was saying so I had to translate. I could go on for hours but I should stop. The only pro was quantity. (There you go "owner", can't complain about me, I wrote a pro.)

    And Thai wi-rat is definitely awesome. I go there all the time. It's super authentic in my opinion. Try the Korat set.