Twelve Spices Lao & Thai Cuisine, Sydney

Lex and I love Thai food and it’s probably the type of food we eat most regularly, along with Italian. We’ve been to Twelve Spices a few times and the food is always delicious. It’s not so good as a takeaway joint though, the food is a lot fresher and tastier when you dine in.

Our last visit to Twelves Spices was a few weeks before Christmas on a Friday night. It was actually a memorable occasion as we decided during the meal to go on a family holiday this July to Thailand! The service at the restaurant is pretty good and quite prompt. You tend to be in an out of there quite quickly. Sometimes it does feel like they are rushing you through your meal, but that’s because the place is so popular with locals and they obviously want to bank of that.

What we ordered:

We’re creatures of habit Lex and I, and we generally tend to order similar dishes each time we go. The food always comes out at the same time so the entree/main principal doesn’t tend to apply here. We like to order a few servings of the jasmine rice and Lao sausages – these are homemade Lao pork sausages with fresh herbs and spices in a light, tasty sauce. More often than not instead of the sausages we go with the Thai Papaya Salad for a fresh and spicy hit – this is green papaya salad with lime juice, fish sauce, tamarind, cherry tomatoes and chilli, topped with peanuts. We order ours hot and be warned: it’s hot! We get through a whole bottle of table water because of the spice! We’ve tried it mild also, but we much prefer the flavour hit with the hot option.

We’ve also tried the Thai Beef Salad here and I must admit this is one of the better that I’ve tried in Sydney. It’s a combination of wok-tossed beef strips, cucumber, red onions, lemongrass, tomatoes, coriander, shallots, mint and lime leaves, and chilli lime dressing. Again, this has a distinct chilli kick but the combination and intensity of flavours really sets this apart from the many other Thai Beef Salads I’ve had.

The Red Curry is delicious and quite a generous serving also. We get the chicken which sits healthily in a red curry that includes garlic, lemongrass, kaffir limes, and of course long red chilli. If we don’t fancy the Red Curry we sometimes go for the Massaman, but I think the Red has a stronger flavour and is so tasty with rice.

The newest addition to our regular order is their beef in chilli basil sauce (are you picking up on the fact that Lex and I like chilli?). The beef is really tender and the garlic in the sauce adds flavour to the vegetables. As with the Red Curry, the sauce on rice alone is super yummy!

If we’re feeling extra hungry/naughty we also order the Twelve Spices’ Soft-shell Crab. This is a very generous serving of crab and if you order this I’d probably recommend only ordering one other main. The crispy soft-shell crab is marinated in a chilli basil sauce and is topped with basil, kaffir lime leaves and shallots. Whilst it does have a hint of chilli, it’s not overpowering so if you’re not a chilli fan this dish could still work for you.

One other thing to add about Twelve Spices is their impressive fresh fruit shakes. Using seasonal fruit, these shakes are an icy blend and come served in cute mason jars! My favourite is the passionate shake and Lex always goes for the Lychee. Be warned though, they tend to be a little slow with the shakes and often our food comes before the shake, go figure!

Lis x

P.S Twelve Spices have previously not accepted bookings and with the restaurant being so busy this sometimes deterred Lex and I to go. However, that’s changed now and if you call up you can reserve a table. Beats waiting around for one when you get there!

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