A trend is visibly emerging in this blog: the first is my extensive use of hyphens and brackets, and the other is the number of Thai restaurants Lex and I visit. Spice I Am is a favourite of Lex and his family, so he booked a table for us two to visit on my birthday (very romantic!). To give this next story a bit of context, I want to tell you what we wore out to dinner – I was in an ankle length black Kookai dress with heels and jewellery, and Lex was looking sharp in suit pants and a shirt. We dressed like this because Spice I Am in Darlinghurst is a little bit posh and fancy. What we didn’t realise at the time were that the other locations (namely Surry Hills), are not as posh and fancy as the original in Darlinghurst. Without knowing this important fact, Lex decided to be adventerous and book a table for two at the Surry Hills spot as we’d never technically been to that restaurant before! We found a carpark right opposite which was almost completely full on a Saturday night (we drove around for half an hour – or so it felt!), and made our way to the restaurant. To our horror, it was a takeaway version (with a few tables of table-service) of the Spice I am in Darlinghurst…We felt so awkward amongst the locals who were there in their t-shirts and Havianas, but we would have felt even worse if we gave up our table. So we sat down, the waiter filled our glasses with water and Lex made a quick dash to find an ATM. In that time we both came to the realisation that we’d be better off somewhere else…we called a cab and off we went when the waiters were occupied (we spent so long finding a carpark that we didn’t have the energy to lose our spot and try again somewhere else!).
We decided to try our luck at the real Spice I Am, and to our relief (finally!) we managed to grab a table for two without a booking. When you first enter the restaurant you’re immediately transported into a fusion-style setting with contemporary brick walls coupled with glimpses of Asian decor such as the subtle lanterns near the kitchen. The decor is incredibly sophisticated and elegant (now you understand the reasoning behind our outfits!).
- Spice I Am, Darlinghurst
- Spice I am, Surry Hills
- Spice I am, Balmain
- House, Surry Hills (Thai street food restaurant)
What we ordered:
Lex and I ordered two dishes to share. The first was a delicious chilli Red Curry that was medium-hot and served with Thai eggplant and pea eggplant. I would have liked just a tad more spice to give it a bit of a kick, but overall the Red Curry was delicious and moorish. We also ordered the Massamann curry which is their signature dish. The curry comes with slow cooked chunks of deliciously tender beef, served in a thick coconut curry with onion, potatoes and peanuts. The good thing about ordering a Massamann is that it is a mild curry, so if you’re not good with spice this could be a great dish for you. I was in the peak of my Massamann Curry phase when we went to Spice I am (now I’m in a Green curry phase), and I must say that this was by far the best Massamann I had (and have) tasted.
After dinner we stumbled across a band performing in the courtyard of a Church. It was super casual with plastic chairs and a plastic container doing the rounds for donations, but it was exactly what we needed…a cosy spot to let our stomachs rest after all that food.
Here’s hoping Lex takes me to Noma for my birthday this year. At just $485 per person for their tasting menu he’d be crazy not to!