I had high hopes for Dodee Paidang. I wish I could say that it’s because I know Melbourne has finally upped its Thai food game, but unfortunately that isn’t the case. Dodee Paidang actually originates from Sydney, where the Thai food is top notch. Having been to one of the branches there, I can vouch for the quality and authenticity of Dodee. Whilst this isn’t quite as good as Melbourne having its very own good born and bred Thai restaurant, the prospect of not having to leave good Thai food when I eventually move back to Melbourne is pretty exciting.
Most people are surprised to find out that my sister’s 10 years younger than me. But frankly, what surprises me more is that she’s on the cusp of turning 16. In my head, she will always be an amorphous age somewhere around 6 or 7, and the fact that she will be in first year uni when I’m in my final year of med school leaves me equal parts amused and baffled. For the first time in our lives however, my sister and I won’t be in the same city for her birthday. But thankfully she made a trip to Sydney a couple of weeks before her birthday during school holidays, and we took that chance to celebrate with a lavish dinner at Chat Thai.
It may sound bizarre, but one of my favourite go-to snacks is tom yum noodles. And although that sounds fancy on paper, the reality is that it’s barely any more involved than instant noodles. All I have to do boil up some noodles, add in a spoonful of tom yum paste from the Asian grocer, and if I’m feeling really fancy and/or hungry, I’ll chuck in some frozen fish balls or a hard-boiled egg. It may not be much, but sometimes the bold flavour of tom yum and the comfort factor of noodles is exactly what I need when I’m up studying until 2am, and as a result, feeling generally displeased with all my life decisions up until that point.
My sister doesn’t realise how lucky she is, being able to travel around overseas on my parents’ dime. When I was her age, we didn’t go on a whole lot of overseas trips, as my sister was only 5 or so, and that naturally made the logistics rather complicated. But now that I’ve moved out and my sister is 15, the fam-bam is all of a sudden free to globe-trot. In the last 2 years, they’ve been to Korea, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, and most recently, Thailand.
Doctoring aside, one of the things that excited me the most about moving to Sydney was regular access to all the amazing Thai restaurants. Melbourne may be a culinary big-shot, but they never seem to get Thai food right, not in the way Sydney does. Even my local take-away in Sydney is as good, if not better than the top Thai places in Melbourne. And seeing as I haven’t been in Sydney long enough for the novelty of good Thai to wear off, I was rather excited about my visit to Spice I Am.
I snuck off to Sydney for some serious business last week, and of course, with serious business comes serious eating. I’ve long come to accept the fact that Thai food (and maybe even Asian food in general) in Sydney is superior to what’s available in Melbourne, and although it will never cease to upset me at least a little, it also gives me an extra reason to be excited when flying interstate. Spread out over 3 levels (well, more of 2.5 levels – you’ll need to see it for it to make sense), Home Thai is one of the most popular and highly-rated Thai restaurants in Sydney, and so there were predictably half a dozen tables ahead of us when we put our names down for dinner. But unlike the cosy, family-styled Thai restaurants you tend to find around Melbourne, Home Thai runs like a well-oiled machine, and we were seated within 15 minutes.