Finishing a hectic week at work late on a Friday night and not having had any lunch (that’s how hectic it was – I don’t ever miss a meal!) meant I was exhausted and completed ravished. Wanting to go straight to bed when I got home, Dylan and I decided to grab a quick bite to eat while we were still in the city. We made our way down to World Square Shopping Centre thinking we’d try our luck at Din Tai Fung but naturally the queue was ridiculously long so instead we went downstairs to one of our favourite Thai restaurants, Thai Express.
Tau Hoo Tod / Tofu Squares ($8.90).
Presented on a plastic plate with iceberg lettuce and a little garnish of coriander is not the greatest presentation in the world, but nevertheless taste is the most important thing. The tofu was cooked really well despite the anaemic appearance, with a crisp outer and soft, silky inner. There is something magical about tofu that always makes me feel good; I always feel better having eaten it and relished this starter.
Curried Soft Shell Crab ($18.90).
Soft shell crab is always awesome and I thought this was a pretty generous serving. I wasn’t entirely sure if I would like it when reading the menu as I had flash backs to curried egg sandwiches that used to be sold at school with blobs of mayo that I’ve never understood why anyone would eat. But knowing there would be no mayo involved I was keen to see how the curry flavour would work with the crab – and I was not disappointed. Just like it should be with crispy battered shell, soft and flavoursome flesh and clean curry flavours. I will definitely be ordering this one again.
Sen Lek Kee Mao Neua / Fire noodles with beef ($14.50).
I love Thai noodle dishes but was scared off this at first due to the description in the menu “Nicknamed ‘drunken fire noodles’ as Thais believe that only beer can put out the flames in your mouth after eating this deceptively mild-looking noodle dish.” I thought I wouldn’t be able to handle the heat, but Dylan has ordered this many times before and convinced me I would enjoy it. The ground chilli flakes were placed to one side of the plate so we could each control how much ‘fire’ we added to the noodles – which is perfect when Dylan and I are sharing as he will always order dishes with a tonne of chilli! Funnily enough as Dylan added so much of the chilli to his noodles I was left with only a small amount and actually could have had some more. Loved the stir-fry flavour of the noodles – that lovely gritty, oily coating, without being greasy or heavy – and the beef was tender and juicy.
Singha Beer ($6.50) and Pinot Gris ($8.00).
A few friends wonder why Dylan and I love Thai Express so much as it’s not a favourite of expats, but there is something about it we both adore. The flavours are always consistent, the produce of high quality, the service friendly and the food arrives speedily. What’s more Thai Express dishes are always fresh and light rather than oily and heavy as a lot of Thai food can be. If you can get past the proximity of the tables in the restaurant and the plastic crockery, it really is a nice little Thai spot.
World Square Shopping Centre
644 George Street
Sydney NSW 2000
Thai Express Website