I absolutely love living in north west Sydney except for two things: the distance from the city and the lack of good cafes, pubs and restaurants. There are not many good dining options in the north west and it frustrates me to no end. The prices tend to be quite high and the quality quite poor. That said, there are a few that I do enjoy and one of them is our local Thai restaurant, Thai Splendid.
Dylan and I eat Thai quite a lot and we order the same dishes time and time again. So recently we have been making a point of ordering different dishes and trying things we wouldn’t normally try (not for any particular reason other than not being able to go past our favourites). Ordering different dishes can be disappointing but it can also be very rewarding.
Deep fried dumplings ($8.00).
Deep fried dumplings. Thai? No. I don’t think I have ever seen dumplings on a Thai menu before (or anywhere in Thailand for that matter) but hey, why not? I made the mistake of diving straight in and burnt the roof of my mouth which was silly but I don’t think a burnt mouth made much of a difference. The dumplings were, not surprisingly, very Chinese in style. I could taste pork but nothing else. They reminded me more of Chinese dim sum rather than dumplings (but that’s probably because I prefer steamed dumplings to the fried variety). The sweet soy sauce didn’t do much for me either and I thought the starter was quite average.
Red curry with beef ($13.90).
Red curry paste is made from long red chillies and tends to be milder than green, but we like the kick of a green curry and hence the red is often forgotten. It is however one of the greatest curries of all time and I’m glad we did choose the red this time. A nice rich soup with the right amount of heat, sweet and sour – though Dylan thought the chilli was near non-existent (but he will always prefer the heat of a green curry). The serving of beef was quite generous and the curry wasn’t overloaded with vegetables. A good quality red curry for a local Thai restaurant.
Crisp salmon in fresh Thai herbs ($27.00).
Beef and chicken are usually a given but fish is something we wouldn’t generally select at a ‘local’ for fear of it being massacred. The fish was definitely crispy and the first bite was a little dry but my fears were quickly set aside as the juicy salmon was discovered in the second bite. A very sweet sauce was surprisingly well matched to the crisp salmon. I enjoyed all of the Thai herbs, especially the coriander which was awesome as usual, though a little sparse, while the basil was light and fresh. It would have perhaps been perfect with just a little more coriander to break up the sweetness of the sauce and fried onions.
Jasmine rice ($2.50 per person).
Rice. There’s not much to say about the rice, it was typical takeaway style rice cooked in a rice cooker to fluffy perfection.
It’s no Sailor’s Thai, but it does well for a local.
Rouse Hill Town Centre
Rouse Hill NSW 2155
(02) 8883 1003
Thai Splendid Website