Three people in the office are now undertaking what we’ve dubbed “The Food Challenge”. The aim of The Food Challenge is to develop healthy eating habits, and some of the rules that have been listed include:
- No biscuits (we primarily blame the free supply of Family Assorted from upstairs catering);
- No fro-yo runs;
- No chocolate, sweeties or pastries;
- Low GI carbs only;
- No soft drinks;
- Healthy snacks only.
However upon the first day there was already a breach and so I helped set out the penalties:
- 10 burpees; or
- 20 push ups; or
- 50 squats; or
- 50 sit-ups;
- One two minute plank.
Now naturally I’m required to be exempt because of my food blogging 😉 But the three participants have agreed to have a “cheat day” once a week (but they wouldn’t go overboard), and with that in mind two asked me where I could suggest for lunch. I had been eyeing up Chat Thai on Level 6 of Westfield for some time, and so with a booking made for Thursday 1.15, three of us traipsed down to Westfield.
There was a bit of a queue at 1.15, but we had a booking and so sailed through with ease. We were shown a table and I had a musical chairs moment deciding on where to sit, as the spot lighting in the restaurant meant that was either a choice of very bright light or blocking the light with your shadow. The noise level was medium to loud at that peak hour. The restaurant is furnished in a very modern manner, however for some reason the ceiling panels don’t seem to extend quite all the way to the right side ceiling where the silver foil air conditioning piping is exposed.
Water arrives promptly at our request, in pretty little silver aluminium cups.
Of course we had already carefully examined the menu the day before (nothing like misusing office time and IT resources) and decided what we were going to have. I had been uhh-ming and ahh-ing for a while, but ultimately decided to get the Ba mee nahm bped ($15), which was roasted duck and egg noodles in five spice broth.
My dish was the first to arrive after only about 10 minutes of waiting and as it was noodle soup, I excused myself and dug in as soon as possible. I was delighted that the duck was flavoursome and tender and I had been given a few breast pieces of duck, rather than the fattier pieces I had been expecting. It was accompanied with thin noodles, bok choi, and a scatter of crunchy Chinese eschalots. The broth wasn’t as heavy or as spicy as I had been imagining – it was simply warm, comforting, and quite light.
We had decided to get some Fresh spring rolls ($12) to share, and they had arrived shortly after my noodle soup:
These were fresh spring rolls of smoked fish sausages, chicken and crab drizzled with a caramelised tamarind relish. Served cold, they were deliciously meaty and moreish, with the tamarind relish quite sweet and a gorgeous accompaniment to the cold meats in the silky rice-paper skins.
Service was a little slow because of how busy the restaurant was, and it was probably about another 10 minutes (20 minutes after we got in) that the Ki Mao ($12.50) arrived.
The Ki-Mao was stir-fried wide rice noodles with chicken, chilli and holy basil in a dark soy sauce. It looked like a small serving (and I’ve heard the servings at the Chinatown branch are larger) but it was quite enough. There wasn’t much chicken that could be located, but the dish was flavoursome and the chilli a bit too much for my work colleague, who had to order a coconut water to cool down her tastebuds.
It was with some amusement that the last dish, a salad, took the longest to arrive. This work colleague was refusing to cheat and went for the Larpb gai ($12.50):
A simple spicy minced chicken salad adorned with various herbs, it was what he had been expecting and nothing much more than that. But then again, who comes to a nice Thai restaurant and just eats salad?
I also went back a couple of weeks later and got some takeaway sweets which another work colleague had come back to the office with. A coconut jelly set in a beautiful flower mould, and some sticky black rice which came with a coconut custard. I’m not certain as to the individual prices, but in total the two cost me $9.50. The website menu lists the sweet coconut milk infused sticky rice and coconut custard at $4.50, but whether this is the same thing that I got I’m not sure
The coconut jelly was on the harder side for a jelly, but deliciously creamy and containing large pieces of young coconut flesh. The sticky rice is similarly moreish, full of chewy sticky black rice and lots of creamy coconut milk goodness and a slight saltiness that only makes it more addictive. You get a substantial amount of sticky rice and custard in one takeaway container so it’s good for sharing or splitting into a couple of portions.
The standout dish was definitely the fresh spring rolls. Chat Thai is quite reasonably priced considering its prime location in Westfield, the good quality of ingredients and fancy decor. However if you’re coming for a quick weekday office lunch, I’d recommend you order take-away.
Chat Thai Westfield
Level 6, Westfield Sydney Shopping Centre
188 Pitt Street Mall
Sydney NSW 2000
(02) 9221 0600