90 Wentworth Avenue
Surry Hills NSW 2010
+61 2 9280 0928
When it comes to the battle of which city serves up the best Thai food in Australia, I’m sorry but I have to say that Sydney definitely beats Melbourne. That’s not to say that Melbourne doesn’t have great Thai restaurants. Nope, in fact, Melbourne’s Thai restaurant scene has caught up in the last five years or so. But when it comes to variety, accessibility and heat factor, Sydney definitely wins. And Spice I Am is one of Sydney’s darlings of the Thai restaurant scene.
I’m not saying that it’s the best Thai restaurant in Sydney. I’m not even saying that it’s the cheapest or most authentic but it’s a solid all-rounder that rarely puts a foot wrong. Spice I Am has several outlets in Sydney but I tend to stick to the original one on Wentworth Street, which is on the city-Surry Hill border. They do a lunch special from Tuesdays to Fridays where they offer a limited menu at slightly cheaper prices so if curries, soup and stir-fry dishes are your thing, then I highly recommend going for lunch. FYI, it’s cash only so leave your cards neatly tucked in your wallet.
In the past, I never ordered spring rolls at restaurants – they’re easy to make at home and being a typical Asian tight ass, all I think about when I see spring rolls on the menu is ‘EEEEK THE MARK UP!’ For some reason, I’ve ordered the mini spring rolls at Spice I Am several times and they’re always delicious. The filling is delicious and filled with a reasonable amount of pork mince and best of all, they’re actually bigger than ‘mini-sized.’
The last time I visited Spice I Am, I ordered the po taek soup; it is a mixed seafood soup gently flavoured with fresh Thai herbs, lemon juice and a burst of chilli. Add some mushrooms for a bit of earthiness and a bit of rice for carb-loading purposes and you have yourself a meal. I love this soup because it’s so comforting, delicious and very light – a great alternative to the omnipresent tom yum (though that’s also available here). Meanwhile, my dining partner Bean loves to go for the curries – this time he had the kang ka ree (yellow curry) with chicken. It’s a delicious curry that’s packed with potatoes and red onion, perfect to mop up with spoonfuls of rice.
You won’t find boat noodles or papaya salads during lunch service at Spice I Am but you’ll still find something that you’ll like – and you’ll definitely come back wanting more.