Friday, October 7, 2011

House, Surry Hills

Howdy y'all,

I was planning to post a recipe today, but was kind of on a high after looking back at my inventory of Sydney posts that I can't wait to share with you so I'll do that one next (in a few days) hehe.

Anyway, if you've done enough research about places to eat in Sydney, House and Chat Thai are two Thai restaurants that must've caught your attention, as it did mine. However, we ended up choosing House over Chat Thai this time around for two main reasons (though, I hope I get to try Chat Thai in my next visit to Sydney). They were:

1) It was also recommended by the same amazing blogger that introduced me to Porteño
2) I've read so much about their BTS (Better Than Sex) dessert that I had to try it

What I enjoyed most about eating at House is that it introduced me to a whole new world and dimension of Thai Cuisine. Specifically, Northeastern Thai cuisine. In a nutshell, the website explains that Northeastern Thai cuisine places a heavy emphasis on the use of fermented anchovies, contains very little soup/gravy and uses close to no coconut milk. Inneresting, riiight?

So NO, you wont find your usual Pad Thai, Green Curry or whatever you've been used to anywhere here. It totally broke my mindset of what I knew and expected Thai food should be and I LOVED it. Let me show you what I mean...

View outside of the restaurant (located within walking distance from Central Station)

"Nua Daed Deaw" -- Deep fried sun dried marinated beef strips served with jim-jaew dipping sauce

Tender and lots of flavour. A really appetising starter to the meal...

Sticky Rice

What a charming way to serve your rice. To me, it was more chewy than sticky. Different to the texture of glutinous rice, or "lo mai fan", served in Chinese cuisine. This long grain rice was really enjoyable to eat, well separated with a nice bite

"Tom Saap Kra Dook Aorn" -- Spicy soft pork ribs soup with lemongrass, glangal, kaffir lime leaves, Vietnamese coriander, Thai sweet basil, lime and chilli

Soup was great. The consistency was slightly thick but jam-packed with natural flavours. It was intense, but the mixture of sweet, salty, spicy and sour really opened up my appetite to keep going for the next sip. Really well balanced. Also, the soft, tender pork was simply delicious!

So much fresh ingredients that went into making just one bowl of soup. Lovely

"Yum Sea Food" -- Spicy salad of calamari, prawns, green mussels, celery, tomatoes, coriander and onion served with chilli and lime dressing

To me, the calamari in the salad was the most outstanding part of the dish. It was perfectly chewy and tender. And together with a bit of crunchy raw onions or tomatoes in one bite, DELICIOUS.

"Tum Mua Pla Krob" -- Green papaya salad with crispy anchovies, dried shrimp, beans, thai eggplant, cherry tomatoes, peanuts, garlic lime and chilli

Though we had two salads, this one tasted totally different from the one before. It had a stronger peanut flavour in the dressing but was just as delicious. Loooove crunchy young papayas. Or even mangoes, for that matter.

With the meal, they also gave a complimentary cup of raw vegetables (cucumber, green bean, lettuce, cabbage) which was SO nice to eat with all the leftover dressing from the salads.

I really enjoyed the flavour and freshness of the salads. Would love to come back and try more of the other salads one day, if possible. They've got such a wide selection.

"Larb Gai" -- Traditional Isaan salad of minced chicken with eschallots, shallots, vietnamese coriander, mind ground roasted rice, ground chilli and lime

This dish was spicy but sooo delicious to eat! Minced chicken was still tender and not overcooked. Yummo~

BTS (Better than Sex) Dessert
(can you see the syrup dripping off the sides?! sexxxxxy)

Finally, I present to you... The long awaited, one and only... BTS (Better Than Sex) Dessert *rooooaring applause from the crowd*

The BTS was so good... Sooo FRIGGIN' good............ You absolutely need to eat it with all the brioche, ice cream and syrup in each bite to fully taste this FOAHHH... I almost stood up in excitement.....

The "Pandan" ice cream served on the thick, crispy brioche was really smooth and creamy. And the "Gula Melaka" syrup, which had a slightly more roasted flavour was just incredible. You CAN NOT go wrong with putting pandan and gula melaka together, the combination is just unbeatable.

One last, glorious look at the BTS... Ooooooh... Aaaaaaah... FOAHHHHH ok, stop.

Can you see how cleanly we finished off the plate of BTS in the middle? Joy... Pure, unadulterated joy......

Overall, what I really enjoyed about the meal there (besides the BTS, of course) was that though the food was flavourful, it was still light (from the soup and salads). We didn't feel overly full, but it was just nice. Also, it was great to sit outside during the day because it was more open and the weather was perfect.

Hope to come back and try more of the other stuff on the menu because now that I've had a taste of what Northeastern Thai cuisine is like, I simply love it!! It's just a refreshing change...

Peace! =)

House on Urbanspoon


Michelle Chin said...


Michelle Chin said...

Anyway, the BTS dessert reminds me of the french toast i had in hardware societe. seriously, i remember the sensation of eating it. i don't know how sex feels like but it is certainly dopamine-inducing!

Hannah said...

*whimper* No fairsies! Not only are green papaya salads up there with my favourite dishes in the world, but that dessert sounds SO good and I can get nothing at all like it in Canberra!!

penny aka jeroxie said...

Hmmm... mixed feelings about House. Will check it out for myself.

Winston said...

@michelle: Omg rly?! AIYAH MICH Y U NO COME SAY HIIIIIII =(((
I'm always around the city and tramming a lot so if you live in the city chances are I'll bump into you again! Maybe next time we can go somewhere to makan or sth haha... Hey I really need to try the French Toast at Hardware now then! It seems like every one's got a fav French Toast place I'll need to give that one a go! =D

@hannah: I know! I love Thai dishes that uses young green papaya/mangoes. So crunchy and sour. Hey hey if you're interested in replicating it, Ellie of the former Almost Bourdain (now Gourmand Recipes) has got a really good recipe:
I'm sure you can make one just as good in the comforts of your own home in Canberra! ;D

@penny: Yeah, sure! It's always nice to question something and make your own opinions about a place. I was browsing through other blogs and realised that half the dishes I ordered were not commonly what people ordered. Other people chose more "mains" while we opted for more salads. Let me know if you happen to try it out one day! =]

Anonymous said...

Hey Winston, glad you enjoyed your meal at House. I love they salads more than their main too. How come you get double scoops of ice cream in your BTS? Not fair!

Winston said...

Oh yaaay, you too!! Being quite the carnivore, I was surprised to find myself being very satisfied with just the different salads/entrees. Not a lot of places I can say that I'm happy to just have more salads and less meat haha...

And LOL at the double scoop ice cream -- I had no idea!! I'm not sure if it was because we brought up that we were visiting from Melbourne or sth? I don't know, I think it was the particular waiter and waitress that was just really really friendly. And we had such a good time talking to them throughout the meal! We really did think that they were both some of the nicest staff we met in the entire trip! So genuinely nice and friendly, totally made me enjoy the meal even more =]

Michelle Chin said...

Because I wasn't sure it was you but I thought it was you but because of the pictures, confirm it is you! Not being rude but I think it is funny to say hi to someone you're half sure about...

If I'm free enough. I'm only free after 11nov. :( Unfortunately.

Yasmeen said...

Great photos - you've got me hungry nearly at 10pm! I love finding new restaurants, especially ones that challenge the norm of a certain cuisine's mainstay presence.

A dear Thai friend of mine in the US took me out for "real" Thai at a place of her choosing, and I was so happily surprised to discover a zillion things that weren't on any menu I'd ever seen.

Thanks for stopping by my blog so I could find you. We have Leaf in common... actually we are neighbors, she and I :)

Winston said...

@michelle: Haha that's okay! Yeah yeah sure thing. Who knows, maybe I'll bump into you again. Hey all the best with your studies kay! I hope you get into the course / uni that you want for next year. GAMBATEH!! =)

@yasmeen: oh cooool... leaf's your neighbour?! help me say HI hahaha... it must be so fun, the two of you foodies living so close. can always pop by and munch on each other's cooking haha jk

yeah i know what you mean! i feel like i learn much more abt the cuisine when i see things totally unfamiliar to me. theres always so much to discover eh. and no worries, your recipes are really fresh and creative, love it! im won over so now youve got one more follower haha =]

Lauren aka Ms Baklover said...

Oh you chose the right fork in the road over Chat Thai, I say! I was just in Sydney and while it was good, it didn't blow my mind... No chilli at all - my kids could eat everything, which is great for kids, not great for chilli fiend mum and dad!

House looks fantastic - I love places that have a more regional approach.

Winston said...

Hey Laura! "Regional" is such a good way to put it! It's definitely different so I'm not sure how many people would embrace and enjoy it like I did. But I have a feeling you'll definitely love this place, I hope you get to try it one day!

Appreciate your comment on Chat Thai too. I'm sure it was not bad, but House is just a newer and more interesting Thai food experience, I guess. I'm not sure since I've never been there myself! Btw, thanks for dropping by my blog, Lauren! Have a great start to the week! =D

Agnes said...

I really liked House when we went there earlier this year. But there was only two of us, so we couldn't try many dishes. And we definitely missed out on dessert by the looks of things :)

Winston said...

Hi Agnes! Oh nooo... Hope you don't feel like you've missed out. Cause now you've got sth to look forward to if you visit the place again by any chance haha. Glad to hear you're a fan of this place too! I hope you were just as happily surprised to try a different kind of Thai food as I was. Thanks for dropping by, I'm browsing through your reviews so interesting! =D

msihua said...

Ooo...the dishes look quite similar to the ones we had in BKK... so yayy for looking like the authentic stuff! Need to try this the next time I'm up in Sydney :)

Winston said...

Hey! What's BKK? I tried searching your blog for BKK but couldn't find anything haha... If it's good I must add it to my list of places to try next time I'm there. AIHHHHHH, why does Sydney have to have so much good food?! I can never finish trying all the places I want to go. Instead of getting shorter, my list just strangely keeps getting longer and longer with each visit. Preposterous! ;p

Winston said...

Wait, nvm. It just occurred to me. You must've been referring to Bangkok HAHAHA. D'OH!!!

The InTolerant Chef ™ said...

This is just the type of food I loooove! If I could only choose one cuisine to live on forever it would be Thai. There is such a huge variation but all have amazing flavours and textures. The lightness of these dishes is what makes it so appealing.
How did you divvy up the dessert evenly between you all? I bet you took a spoonful each in turn, while being carefully watched by the others to make sure each spoon wasn't bigger than the rest :)

Winston said...

HAHAHHA!!! yes, it WAS tricky... i almost grabbed a ruler lol jk... i dunno, we naturally just ate at the same pace and if we had to go to to the bathroom, we'd hold it until we're done. i can only imagine coming back to an empty plate if we did go to the loo hehe... yeah thai cuisine is so interesting. and i agree, it's the lightness that i didnt expect from thai but enjoyed a lot. i'd love to visit canberra one day! hope you get some interesting thai cuisines over there too =D

Ashley said...

Aaah, I remember being here last year....that shot of the BTS has me DROOLING REMEMBERING IT AGAIN. ARGGHH :L Need to go back to Sydney soon!!!

Winston said...

ASHLEY!! Because I 100% know what you're going through (feeling tortured by the pik of BTS again!) I sincerely hope you get to go to Sydney again soon! Hahaha... Now YOU'RE making me feel jealous and want to go back to Sydney too! =O

Anonymous said...

Hey! Yet again another amazing discovery :) Meh, I might do my honeymoon over at Sydney instead of the Baltic Sea cruise we wanted to do with the boyfriend! Or both =D ('cause we're awesome).
I agree about the BTS dessert. Any dessert with brioche is obviously BTS.
I know nothing about Northeastern Thai cuisine and this restaurant might be the answer to all of my questions about a certain type of cuisine that I'll never, ever experience on this side of the planet. France is really into mainstream Asian and/or European, although we do have Lebanese and Moroccan, which is some sort of gastronomic colonial heritage.
Thank you for this wonderful blog :)
I was also wondering: I've read a bit about your Excavation Project, and I know that your faith is very important for you. Here in my country, being a Catholic is clearly a statement more than a spiritual journey, and although I was raised a Catholic myself, I've never found the right people to share thoughts about the faith I could've had.

Winston said...

Hi Marie Anne. Your comments never fail to make my day!

I TOTALLY know what you mean. I haven't found ppl to talk to abt things until recently too. I've sent you my email add on Twitter, feel free to shoot me an email, I'm happy to chat anytime! Thanks for dropping by The Excavation Project

Hey hey do keep me updated on your plans if you happen to visit Australia one day. I think you and Nicolas will love it! So excited that you guys are planning your honeymoon! Wherever it is, I'm sure you guys will have nth but a blast! =)

Iron Chef Shellie said...

Gah! forgot about that BTS dessert!! next time for sure

Winston said...

Ohhh cool you went to House too?? NICE!! I swear it sounds like we've got PRETTY similar Food Itineraries hahaha... What can I say, but great minds think alike?? Hope you had fun there anyway! Yes... Def go back for BTS, or even better, attempt them at home and make me jealous!! ;p

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