Chat Thai – Possibly Sydney’s Hippest Thai Restaurant


[Sydney, Australia] One of the hippest places to dine in Sydney is a Thai restaurant. Of course, the definition of ‘hip’ is nothing but universal, especially in an Aussie context. Okay, I think Chat Thai IS HIP, along with Thai restaurants House and Yok Yor.

Located right opposite Capitol Theatre near the heart of Chinatown, Chat Thai may redefine your impression of the typical Thai restaurants if you have yet to be in this part of the world.

First things first. The queue just to get in is extremely long. We took about an hour during the weekends, and two hours is not uncommon.

Chat Thai opens till 2am, a rarity down under where many restaurants close by sunset. Well, except maybe the Asian operated ones. My tip, come AFTER 10pm, BEFORE the musical opposite ends. Plus, there are always supper items at a cheaper rate.

The first thing you do there is to check for availability of a table. If you see a line, quickly take a pen and write your name CLEARLY on a waiting-list by the door. DO THAT FIRST. Ask for estimated time, and come back 15 minutes before. If not, just wait around, because they can always give the table to the next customer.

Once inside, you should experience buzzling energy, two floors of dining area, exposed brick walls, quite cramped spaces, and lots of plates going around. (Not in any order).

Some history: Chat Thai was established in 1989, family owned and operated, sources ingredients from Thailand.

The menu is extensive, anything from Todt Mun Goong Prawn Cakes (AUD$14.90), Som Dtum Green Papaya Salad ($12.00), Gaeng Keaw Gai Green Curry Chicken (AUD$14.00), Dtom Yum Goong (AUD$19.00), Padt Thai (AUD$13.00), to Sticky Rice and Mango (AUD$8.00).

There were 10 of us at the table. The comments ranged from “OMG, so good”, “very delicious”, to “not authentic enough” and “over-rated”. This bearing in mind that some were ‘Thailand-virgins’, meaning they have never stepped in the Land of Smiles before.

I liked Chat Thai, though House’s dishes were more intense. Different preference.

Seriously, I came here 4 times in a week (with different people) when I had choices. Most of the time for its Ba Mee Mhu Daeng Barbequed Pork Egg Noodles (AUD$10.90) and Beef Glass Noodle Soup (AUD$5.00 only when I came during supper).

We do not get restaurants like this back home in Singapore, while dining Thai actually feels in, happening, forward. The energy there was infectious, as though you want to order more and more and more.

The edge of Chat Thai is that the restaurant serves individual yet large enough portions. And seafood, meats, vegetables were so very fresh. There is a different in quality of the beef and pork used here, even when you compare to Thailand.

Chat Thai Thaitown
20 Campbell Street, Haymarket, Sydney, Australia 2000
Google Maps
Tel: 02 9211 1808
Opening Hours: 10am – 2am Daily

Other branches:
Galeries Victoria. Shop 5, Lower Ground Food Avenue
Westfield. Level 5, Market Street, Westfield Sydney
Manly. Shop 10, Manly Wharf East Esplanade Manly
Randwick. 222a Carrington Road Randwick

Other Sydney Entries
The Grounds Of Alexandria (Sydney)
Bourke Street Bakery (Sydney)
Pie Face (Sydney)
Single Origin Roasters (Sydney)
Sydney Fish Market (Sydney)

* Daniel’s Food Diary pays for food review unless otherwise stated.

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One Response to “Chat Thai – Possibly Sydney’s Hippest Thai Restaurant”

  1. Christopher Foo
    May 15, 2015 at 5:25 pm #

    Dined there 4 out of 6 nights few years back. Yep, that’s how much we loved it. Did you order the dish with the shredded omelette and acacia leaves swimming in spicy broth. Can’t recall the name but it was awesome. All the flavours so intense and in your face. Nothing like what we get here.

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