A year had passed since my first visit to Riverside Thai, so I headed back to Pyrmont to see what owner/chef Paul Kanongdachachat has been up to.
His nearly two-year-old restaurant has retained many of the more unique Northern Thai influenced dishes I enjoyed, as well as throwing in some new things, like Fried Taro ($12/4).
Taro, which has come across from China, is generally enjoyed as a Thai street food. Here the four crisp fritters would make a clever drinking snack, as their starchiness literally soaks up your Singha Beer ($8). We eat them after they’re dipped into a sauce where diced roasted peanuts float on top of a traditional nam jim.
Presented in an eye-catching shade of lime green, Thai Crispy Egg Pancake ($17) or khanom buang, has a history that goes back about six hundred years. Traditionally made with rice flour and duck egg, the Riverside Thai version arrives stuffed with prawns, lightly salted radish, young coconut and bean sprouts. Dished up with salad and a bright and spicy cucumber relish, it is perfect hot weather eating that you’ll like if you enjoy Vietnamese banh xeo.
Kanongdachachat also puts his own twist onto some dishes, creating some modern Thai fusion plates like his clever Riverside Scallops ($19/4). Mounds of juicy wet salsa are piled on top of scallops that have been cooked on the half shell. The salsa is given a Thai twist with a chilli, garlic, lime and fish sauce dressing that’s got lively kick. My only complaint is that the baked on scallops were hard to dislodge from their shells without making salsa fly everywhere.
Sticking with warm weather dishes, we hit up the Barramundi Fillet with Green Mango Salad ($24). Rather than a whole fish which can be tricky to dismember, bite-sized, fried fish fillet pieces rest underneath spicy, green mango salad. It’s a simple dish that lacks much middle, but I enjoy it anyway because we’re dining on a warm evening.
Continuing the Chinese connection that I mentioned earlier, another menu newcomer - Roast Duck Curry with Plum Sauce ($29) - uses a big, beautifully meaty duck made by the talented Wok Master chef in Randwick. Kanongdachachat teams it with Chinese broccoli, scattered sesame seeds, and a spiced plum sauce. It’s fractionally sweet for my palate, but I find it hard to complain when it arrives with a balancing soy chilli sauce.
Riverside Thai is a small but pleasing Thai restaurant that stands out from the crowd with innovation and by presenting Thai dishes that you might not already be bored with. However, if you are craving a more standard, pick-your-protein pad Thai, you’ll find it at the back of the menu in the street food section.
NOTE: See my initial review of this restaurant back HERE.
Shop 2, 42 Harris Street, Pyrmont
Ph: (02) 9571 9566