Finally, beloved Sukjai! This is the Thai restaurant I’ve been raving on and on about for ages. I revisited this place today for a final (well, second last) summer catch-up with the girls before everyone jets off for holidays or visits to the motherland. The food was as amazing as ever.
The story of how I discovered Sukjai is another ‘happy accident’ story. Since The Boyfriend and I started dating, Chat Thai has kind of been ‘our restaurant’. It’s the place we love to go to for any occasion: late-night snack, post-exam celebration, dessert, Friday night dinner. But since it’s has really gained popularity in recent years and there’s always such a crowd waiting to get in, particularly on weekends, we haven’t always been successful in getting in before hunger pains start to gnaw at our stomachs.
On one such evening, we were both starving and it was already half past eight, nearing nine. Not able to wait in line any longer, we started strolling (actually, more like frantically making our way) down Pitt St near Haymarket, when we stumbled upon a row of Thai restaurants – one of which was Sukjai. We were initially drawn to it because of its kooky interior design, but the food here is also fantastic!
This place is really only less dear to my heart and stomach than Chat Thai because of their limited dessert menu. I can never praise Chat Thai’s dessert menu enough – pandan sticky rice, creamy coconut ice-cream with sticky rice, that green drink with pandan jellies and dried mango strips which I can never remember the name of. It’s my dessert dream come true! Anyway, back to the awesomeness of Sukjai:
What did we order this time? Just the classics: pad see ew, garlic soft-shell crab, Thai green curry and a green papaya salad with crispy pork. The soft shell crab was simply divine – not much batter at all, and the crab was soft and filled with sweet white flesh, sweet as only crab can be. Yum!
The thing I like about Sukjai is that the dishes hit just the right note. The green curry is sweetish yet a little bit spicy, the crispy pork cooked perfectly and the papaya salad tangy and refreshing. Their pad see ew is also delicious, but nothing extraodinary. None of the dishes are flashy or anything, but really have that homey touch to them. Everything is flavoursome and fresh, and the portions aren’t shabby either! Plus it’s just so fun to eat here.
After a satisfying lunch, we strolled down to Princess Coco Chocolaterie, which definitely wasn’t around before I went on exchange. Or perhaps I’m just a little out of touch? In any case, it was my first visit to this delightful cafe. Princess Coco is very luxe and French chic – a glittering chandelier, lush velvet chairs in royal purple and gilt, chalkboard menus, orchids and flowers and vintage knick-knacks all around. And macarons, of course!
Elle got me this lovely handmade sketchbook as an early birthday present. It’s so beautiful, and I’m actually by intimidated its pristine white pages, because I haven’t drawn for so long. For those who have known me since my high school days, you’ll know that I love to paint and draw and look at/create art and once aspired to be a designer.
I’ve gone down a different path since those days, and it’s been years since I last owned a sketchbook – except for this brief stint last semester when I did a Chinese calligraphy course at Tsinghua, and was into painting lotuses and water-lilies and all that. But it’s hard even to continue doing Chinese style painting here. Even though I brought all these sheafs of creamy calligraphy paper and several bamboo brushes back to Sydney with me, I don’t have the ink or the paints. So I’m really looking to filling this book with drawings and little illustrations and watercolour sketches.
At Princess Coco’s we ordered the fondue, which consisted of: caramelized bananas, fresh strawberries, coconut marshmallows and little custard profiteroles. The chocolate itself is a rich, dark chocolate which simply melts in your mouth.
Having some time left after dessert, and feeling rather drowsy as our food comas set in, we decided to head to My Sweet Memory, a kitsch Korean cafe up the road (yes, the same as the one in Strathfield). The coffee here isn’t remarkable, but they have a great cake selection, and again, it’s a really pretty place to catch-up with friends, have a nice long chat or read a book.
415 Pitt St
Sydney NSW 2000
(04) 3582 5852
158-166 Day St
Sydney NSW 2000
(02) 9269 0881
My Sweet Memory, CBD
95 Bathurst St
Sydney NSW 2000
(02) 9000 0000