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Spice I am. I am Spice. Spice I am. Green Eggs and Ham.

Prepare yourself for some of the best Thai food in Sydney. At Surry Hills' Spice I Am, you will be tempted to order everything because as you look around you, it will all look so pretty and exciting. But restrain yourself, I beg of you! Two dishes in and you will start to feel like Violet Beauregarde, bursting at your rotund blueberry seams. Save it for another visit.

Okay, so you might miss out on something fabulous, but rest assured that new fabulousness will take its place. That’s one of the joys of this place; its ever-changing specials menu. Frankly, I don’t even bother with the normal menu – I just order the specials (although the Crispy Basil Pork Belly – heaven!). I want to enjoy whatever the chef was inspired by that day when he visited the fish markets or the produce stall, because his excitement permeates from the kitchen to the dish and finally to me, as I contemplate that little bit of sauce I just can’t bear to leave behind. This week the specials were Crispy-Fried Soft Shell Crab, King Prawn in Coconut & Chilli and Whole Chilli Barramundi. The King Prawn was sweet and hot – just right! The crab was crunchy & munchy, the sauce improbably lick-worthy. There were only two of us, so we really couldn’t justify the barramundi as well… but it did break my heart a little to turn it down.

The service is attentive and super-quick, and somehow it feels like moments from the time you order to when the dishes appear – beautiful, fragrant and steaming on your table.
Buried in a little nook on Wentworth Street in Surry Hills, you could so easily miss this place. Roomy it is not. Cosy? Well, perhaps you could even go so far as to call it a little cramped. But bustling and alive? Most definitely! On a Friday night you will have a long wait – they don’t take bookings and this place is as popular as a trashy teen on prom night. So give them your mobile number, plonk yourself down at The Chamberlain Hotel or wherever nearby that takes your fancy, and have a couple of beers until you get “the call”. Alternatively, you could be smart and go at 6pm on a Thursday and waltz straight in. Or you could just get take-away.

The d├ęcor is smart enough that you could get away with bringing a first-time date; it’s warm, modern and pleasantly stylish – not a jot of laminated floor or linguistically cryptic handwritten menu to be seen. Spice I Am is warm, welcoming, Moorish and interesting. You won’t be disappointed.

90 Wentworth Avenue, Surry Hills.
Open for lunch and dinner until 10pm every day except Mondays.

words: Kristen Hodges


September 10, 2009 at 8:39 AM Fiona said...

I just had to write to tell you how much I love reading your articles!!

Side Street is fantastic! I love the way you write... it's as if you were just talking to me! WOW!!

Congratulations! It's a fantastic magazine! I almost wish I had a copy of it in front of me so I could reread bits over my morning coffee! Our internet is still crap, but I am trying to be very patient because I can't wait to read your stories!

Well Done! I am looking forward to reading your books... hurry up and get them published!!!

PS I want to go to that Thai restaurant!

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