A good friend of mine had just gotten back from overseas and wanted to catch up. He had been living in turkey for the last year and one of the things he missed the most was Thai food. He remembered Spice I Am and said we should go. I had never heard it before. Which was rather embarrassing as I had worked in Surry Hills for 4 years and drank in the pub across the road from the restaurant a few times. It was like a giant blind spot on my food radar.
For those who do not know(don’t be ashamed, it will make me feel better), Spice I am started out in 2004 as a small restaurant where Thai ex-pats would go to get a meal that would remind them of home. Gradually more and more people found out about Spice I am and it’s authentic Thai food. Over the years it has become a standard which a lot of Thai restaurants are compared and an absolute must for the Sydney foodie.
Deep Fried Mini Spring Rolls $7.90 – These were a great way to start of a meal. The rolls were slightly larger than bite size and cooked to a perfect dark blonde colour. When bitten into, the rolls let out an encouraging cracking sound which was only slightly muffled by my over zealous application of sweet chilli sauce.
Fresh Spring Rolls $7.90 – After having tried the fried spring rolls we made our way to the fresh spring rolls. The fresh rolls were bright and refreshing.
Mini Pork Satay $7.90 – Grilled pork on a stick, covered in peanuty goodness. They didn’t last long and a bargain was made over who got the last stick. One thing I was not too happy about was the small amount of sauce. Realistically, it is the perfect amount for the dish, but some people like to use the pork as a vehicle for the sauce.
Som Tum (Green Papya Salad) $13.90 and Sour Curry with Cha-Om Leaves and Prawns $25.90 – One thing to be careful of with the papaya salad, they make it hot, real hot. You can ask for the salad to be made with less chilli. My ego would have none of that. This salad was served with sliced white cabbage leaves which at first seemed out of place but made sense when their tounge cooling properties were discovered.
Without coconut milk, the ingredients in the sour curry really stood out as elements in their own right. The prawns were big and juicy and the Cha-Om leaves were like a sham-wow absorbing much of the sour curry sauce.
Red Duck Curry $25.90 – This dish would have to be the most popular dish on the menu, just waiting for our entrées to come out, we counted 5 of these on tables. The curry was surprisingly sour, considering that it had coconut milk in it. The big pieces of duck, with skin on, were moist, tender and plentiful while all of the vegetables were crunchy and held on to their flavour along side the curry sauce. It was a very impressive dish and has become my favourite curry. If you are going to Spice I Am, you HAVE to try this dish.
90 Wentworth Ave. (corner Campbell st. & Elizabeth st.)
Surry Hills NSW 2000