The Chatswood Library area has been revamped and it is now a modern sandstone paved precinct with several new sleek restaurant offerings such as Good Thai which is located at the street level entrance next to the stairs off Victoria Avenue. We’re happy to say that the food lives up to the name, which is a play on the Aussie phrase “G’day” since the owners have playfully shortened the name on the entrance to “G’thai”. There is definitely a lack of Thai restaurants in the Chatswood area (apart from food court fare), which is now remedied by the arrival of Good Thai in the heart of the shopping district.
The first thing that grabs your eye as you walk towards Good Thai are the beautiful wooden chandeliers hanging from the ceiling which are visible through the glass entrance. The rest of the interior design of the restaurant is just as luxurious as it appears from the outside – there is a gold leaf tree emblazoning the wall above the front entrance and sleek polished wood furnishings throughout the restaurant. We are told that an award winning agency has designed the restaurant and that the owners have sourced all ornamental decorations from Thailand itself for that added authentic touch. There is a clear elephant theme everywhere in the restaurant from their elephant logo to the cute wooden elephant candle holders on the tables.
It’s the night before their official public launch and we have been invited to their VIP 5 course degustation dinner to celebrate with a “sneak preview” of what’s to come. The vibe of the restaurant is lively, with efficient, friendly waitresses who double check our orders and upbeat music playing in the background (occasionally with some classical piano tunes mixed in too). After descending the stairs to the main dining area, which has shelves lined with various wine bottles, we are seated on the corner table. The unpolished wooden seats lining the wall are overflowing with plush cushions to alleviate the hardness of the seats and some interesting trinkets like an antique looking globe are also on the side.
We start with some warm green and jasmine tea, served in individual pots before our first dish of the night is brought out. They are vegetarian spring rolls with a sweet plum dipping sauce and they are hot and crispy, but flavoursome inside despite being all vegies – carrots, black fungus (tastier than it sounds), vermicelli and cabbage.
Vegetarian Spring Rolls
Before long, we are then served with a big communal bowl of tom yum soup with prawns. It is more strongly flavoured than the usual tom yum soup we’ve had – quite sour, but salty at the same time and the lemongrass flavour also shines through. There are plenty of soft mushrooms floating around the soup which absorb the flavours nicely and the soup is actually not spicy at all, with great fresh prawns to share too.
Tom Yum Soup with Prawns
The menu is filled with prawns tonight and the next dish is butterflied BBQ prawns on a bed of chilli basil vegetables, with wakame (seaweed) and shredded carrot salad. The prawns are quite big and a bit messy to eat as we try to get them out of the shells; they are lightly grilled with a slight charred flavour. It’s best to dip the prawn meat into the chilli basil sauce which is spot on, savoury and garlicky. The wakame salad is a bit of an eccentric addition to the dish as it is a Japanese delicacy rather than Thai, but still tastes fresh.
BBQ Butterflied Prawns with Wakame Salad
As if we hadn’t gotten enough prawns already, we are then treated to pad thai noodles with prawns and also massaman beef curry with rice as the mains and by this stage, I was already getting rather full. The pad thai was tomatoey, with the requisite crunchy bean sprouts, tofu cubes, peanut shavings and shallots tossed in throughout the springy noodles but also with a lemon wedge and a sprinkle of sugar and chilli flakes on the side to mix in to taste if you want more flavour. I don’t think the dish needs any extra flavouring because it tastes pretty delicious on its own and we gobble it up.
Pad Thai with Prawns
The massaman beef curry is served all on one dish – as opposed to the rice in a bowl and the curry in another bowl as some Thai restaurants do it. The beef is slowcooked and tender, the curry itself is decently flavoured and goes nicely with the cashews on the side. Our only complaint is that there wasn’t enough curry sauce to mix with the rice as it was so tasty and we underestimated how much rice we had left.
Massaman Beef Curry with Rice
We finish off the night with some deep fried ice cream. We had our hopes up that it would be done in an innovative manner like the Holy Basil fried icecream we’ve been raving about but it was the more conventional fried vanilla ice cream ball coated with breadcrumbs and dried coconut flakes, with a choice of strawberry or chocolate sauce. The added touch was a small portion of Thai sticky rice on the side, but we found it a bit dry and preferred the deep fried icecream ball more.
Deep Fried Ice Cream with Sticky Rice
Good Thai is an exciting new addition to the Chatswood restaurant scene and looks like it will fill the void of proper Thai restaurants around the area. They have some $10 lunch specials on the menu with the usual pad siew and pad ki mao as well as the pad thai we tried, so head in to try it out for yourselves – we will probably be back in the future to see what else Good Thai has to offer our tastebuds!
Excuse Me Waiter dined as guests of Good Thai.
Shop 2, The Concourse, 405-409 Victoria Ave
Ph: (02) 8971 3268
Open 7 days lunch 11:30am – 3pm, dinner 5pm-10pm