33 Ultimo Rd
Sydney, NSW 2000

They say don’t judge a book by its cover, but when a restaurant is named Porkfat, it’s a winner right out of the gate. But it gets better. Though unassuming – it only seats about 30 all-up – Porkfat’s sharp, tight menu of 10 or so dishes, as well as a handful of seasonal specials, has actually earned itself a chef’s hat with its dedication to authentic Thai cooking. And just like the food, the service is slick yet suffused with a joyful vibrancy. Sydney may be saturated with a plethora of high-quality Thai restaurants, but Porkfat easily sits amongst the best of them.

Rating: 14/20 – and porkfat isn’t just a name either; there’s none of that olive oil business here.
Good-to-know: don’t be a cowboy and order the food ‘spicy’ unless you really truly mean it; they’re serious here, and the guy at the next table was left in literal tears after doing the same.

Papaya Salad with Salted Duck Egg ($22)

Papaya Salad with Salted Duck Egg ($22) is a must-order for me, no matter how often it makes me cry. And this is well and truly Thai-spicy, even after requesting it to be less so. But the fresh crunch, soaked in an intensely flavoursome dressing, is just so very addictive. Especially when had with a bowl of Jasmine Rice ($4) and a sliver of duck egg.

Grilled Pork Jowl with Smoked Chilli Nam Jim ($31)

On the other end of the spectrum is the Grilled Pork Jowl with Smoked Chilli Nam Jim ($31), in all its smoky, fat-edged glory. Do not miss out on the nam jim; the sticky sweetness of the tamarind does wonders to bring out the richness of the pork.

Baked Tiger Prawn with Vermicelli ($28)

A popular (and non-spicy!) choice on the menu is the Baked Tiger Prawn with Vermicelli ($28), which is apparently something of a comfort food for the head chef. And the savoury noodles are indeed a familiar treat, though the ante is upped with enormous, plump prawns, as well as little nuggets of crispy pork fat waiting to be excavated from amongst the tangle.

Amphawa’s Homemade Coconut Ice Cream ($15)

There’s only one dessert on the menu, but it’s a doozy. Amphawa’s Homemade Coconut Ice Cream ($15) tastes like it’s made from nothing but the finest fresh coconut cream, whilst the slippery palm seeds and crunchy roasted peanuts adds texture to each bite.

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