Last week my sister, Lou, was out from Beijing for just five days. For those who might be getting a little confused about all the sisters, here’s how it works; there’s Millie, then me, then Em, then Katie and Lou is the youngest.
For almost 10 years Lou has been living in Beijing so I haven’t seen a lot of her. During her five days in Sydney she managed to come over for a drink one night and then on her last night we popped up to Thai Nine, an obviously Thai restaurant in our local area.
I love the setting of Thai Nine as it’s in a quiet part of Mosman, away from the main roads and opens up onto the courtyard of Mosman Square. The building has a lot of glass so you don’t feel boxed-in and the interior is modern and minimalist rather than being cluttered and over-crowded with nick-naks.
There are a few traditional Thai features like this little elephant I found on one of the walls but overall, the Thai touches are subtle rather than jumping out at you in every direction.
Another good feature of Thai Nine is that there’s plenty of space between the tables so your personal space doesn’t feel compromised and there’s room for all the things you might have brought with you like me when I unloaded an umbrella, a coat, a wine-carrier and a handbag. And that’s the other thing good thing about this suburban restaurant, it’s BYO.
Along with us that evening was a friend of Alfie’s who we’d picked up at after-school swimming lessons and he was staying the night. After he’d looked at the menu for a while I asked him what he’d like to order. ‘I’ll have a bowl of plain rice with some soy sauce on it’. That’s actually not one of the dishes on the menu but I’d say to take this boy out for dinner cost us all of about $3.00. He can come again!
The rest of us started the meal with Taw Hu Tod; deep fried bean curd with a crispy outside and soft centre served with sweet chilli crushed peanut sauce. The bean curd was very softly flavoured but brought to life with the chilli and peanut sauce.
Next we had Fresh Rolls that were filled with avocado, pumpkin, carrot and shallot wrapped with rice paper and served with a tamarind relish. These were full of texture and flavour and I loved the tamarind relish that gave the rolls a delicate sour touch.
This is a plate of Crispy Squid. I know Thai food is traditionally shared but Alfie just isn’t good at sharing so unlike his friend who was eating soy-flavoured rice, Alfie had this squid that was sprinkled with sea salt, pepper and mixed herbs and served with a mild sweet chilli lime soy sauce. Alfie loved this dish and the squid was light and crispy.
One of the dishes we always order when at Thai Nine is the Pa Low Beef which is slow-cooked beef shin with star anise, cinnamon and fresh herbs topped with mint, coriander and chilli lime salad. The meat always tenderly falls apart and the spicy licorice broth it’s cooked in is a wonderful tongue-numbing experience.
We ordered a plate of wok-fried green vegetables that were vibrantly green and very crunchy.
There’s always a couple of specials available and we ordered the crispy duck breast fillet topped with stir-fried minced chicken, holy basil, garlic and sweet chilli. This dish doesn’t present terribly well and it probably isn’t the best duck dish I’ve had at Thai Nine however, I did love the holy basil which is a herb that’s often difficult to source.
Alfie’s main course was the Coco Prawn; fresh local king prawns set in an aromatic green curry, lightly flavoured with fresh young coconut grated flesh, served in a fresh young coconut. The dish looked better than this but it was picked apart by my little guy before I was able to take the photo and then he used his hands to try and put it all back together. But you get the idea! Alfie always orders this as he’s obsessed with food served in coconuts.
Our last dish of the night was a pad stir-fry of local king prawns with crisp snow peas and mushrooms in a tasty mild sauce. I didn’t have any of this but Lou really enjoyed it.
By now Alfie and his friend (who had finished his bowl of rice), were ready and waiting for dessert. They both ordered ice cream with chocolate sauce. I just don’t know why Alfie’s hands are so covered in food – he was given utensils.
Thai Nine serves traditional Thai dishes in a clean-lined and modern setting. The lighting is soft, the service friendly and the prices reasonable. Verdict: A great local find.
Thai Nine: Shop 8, 3 Vista Street, Mosman NSW 2088 Ph: 02 9960 7454
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