As you would all know, sometimes life throws you a curve ball and all plans and schedules have to be abandoned. I’m having one of those weeks and with time feeling tightly squeezed we’re looking for a few shortcuts.
And I’ve found one.
It’s called, ‘Eating out’.
But we’re on a budget.
So I’ve been looking for restaurants that are affordable but also serve good food.
And I think I’ve found one.
And it’s in Mosman, not far from where I live.
Just over a year ago Basil Nut Thai opened in a little, hole- in-the-wall that is such a tiny space that if you blinked while walking past, you’d certainly miss it. Seating only a handful inside and just as few on the pavement, the restaurant is BYO and open for lunch and dinner. We didn’t book and by a stroke of luck they’d had a cancellation and we were able to take the only available table. We were fortunate that the table was inside as dining outside on a slightly chilly night was not something I was looking forward to.
The restaurant is always totally full. It’s totally full at lunch, at dinner, on weeknights and weekends. You need to make a booking. And quite often it’s difficult getting through on the phone. And when you dine there, you can see why. It’s because the food is not only delicious, it’s affordable, beautifully presented and unique compared with what’s on offer at your standard Thai restaurant.
The menu is extensive with over 60 choices which is incredible given the size of the kitchen.
The tables that are indoor are the same as the tables outside, and are purpose built for outdoor living but never mind. There is a ‘no-fuss’ vibe with no tablecloths on the tables and the takeaway menu being adequate for the dining-in menu as well. There’s no soothing or entertaining music and the serviettes are disposable, small, thin and easy to tear.
There were a surprising number of entrees on the menu and we ordered Money Bags…
And we ordered chicken satay skewers…
And we ordered salt and pepper squid…
And we ordered Vietnamese rice paper rolls with duck…
We ordered two main course dishes with a serve of boiled rice.
I loved this dish. It was very clean and fresh with plenty of crunch from the greens and wonderful flavours from the duck.
This dish is only available for dine-in customers and is the most expensive dish on the menu. Most of the main course dishes are between $14.00 and $18.00. Isn’t this a wonderful piece of theatre! The curry is cooked in a green coconut and then when cooked you peel back the lid and there it is. King prawns, ling fillet and calamari in exotic seafood curry sauce with herbs, spices and basil cooked in a whole green coconut. It was generously filled with seafood and you could scrap the softened coconut from the shell – bliss!
Carl and I didn’t feel like dessert and there were only four on the menu anyway. But you don’t choose a Thai restaurant on the strength of its desserts anyway. When Alfie eats out he doesn’t think a meal’s complete without a dessert so he ordered a Pandan Tapioca Pudding with shreds of coconut and ice cream for $9.00.
And he didn’t like it. But Carl loved it.
Basil Nut is open for dinner seven nights a week. It’s BYO and in a suburb that can charge up to $15.00 corkage per bottle of wine, there’s no corkage charge here at all. The service is okay but efficient and the food is delivered to the table very promptly. The dining experience of being squeezed into spaces that are one size too small is similar to that of flying long-haul economy except you have a first class dining experience; and the other patrons are very friendly too. And given the tables are so close together, it’s beneficial to get along.
Basil Nut Thai is a wonderful find in a suburb that’s in desperate need of quality cuisine at reasonable prices. It’s been a refreshing experience to dine there and has given me a night off after a few hectic days that didn’t allow me time in my own kitchen.
Basil Nut Thai
Shop 1, 928 Military Road, Mosman
Ph: 9968 2079
Oh, and if you like Basil Nut on facebook and upload pictures of your meal, you’ll be given a 10% discount.