Papaya Thai in Cremorne is so conveniently close to us that it is pretty much the only place where we ever (and by ever I mean almost never because it happens so rarely) get take away food from. I must say we could have it a lot worse, because this place is most possibly one of the best Thai restaurants around.
We've been here a few times before, but this time around we were celebrating a friend's birthday in a group of 10 boys and 2 girls (myself included). I was slightly worried about my chances of snapping a photo of the food before it would disappear of the table, but the boys did me proud, and once they had got past the incomprehensibleness of taking photos of food in the first place, they even moved the plates towards me and sat back patiently.
We chose to have the bigger banquet ($45 pp) as it was Saturday night, the restaurant was typically full and it was a big group of hungry boys (and two hungry girls). The banquet consists of 4 starters, 4 mains and a dessert and for a group of 12 we got three serves of each, plus each had our own dessert (the banquets are for a minimum of 4 people). It was definitely enough food and with the whole case of beer the boys dragged in (the restaurant is BYO), everyone left feeling full and happy. I should also mention that the service here was impeccable.
Kai Satay: Grilled marinated chicken breast skewers served with a peanut sauce and cucumber relish. I loved the peanut sauce and the skewers were juicy and tender.
Pu Nim Tod Krob: Battered soft shell crab, lightly fried and served with crispy wonton skins.
We also had serves of beautiful Tung Tong (money bags) which are filled with chicken, crab meat, crushed peanuts, green peas and corn and served with a plum sauce. The fourth starter we had was the vegetarian curry puffs, but unfortunately the photos of these two dishes didn't turn out very well.
Vegetarian Pad Pak: Green vegetables, crushed garlic, tofu, cashew nuts, shiitake mushrooms and baby corn. Nice and crunchy.
Massamun neua: Braising of beef with coconut milk and onion, served with baby potatoes in a spiced massaman curry, sprinkled with cashew nuts and fried onions. This dish was a winner! The meat was so tender, the curry so rich in flavours, we were left wanting more.
Seafood stir fry with creamy sweet chilli sauce topped with fried basil leaves. This had a generous amount of seafood and the sauce was definitely tasty.
Pla sam ros: Deep fried whole barramundi dressed with sweet chilli sauce, tamarind sauce, kaffir lime leaves, chopped long chilli and basil topped with fried enoki mushrooms. Served on a bed of lightly stir-fried bok choy. As presentable as this dish is, there wasn't so much meat in it (mind you we were starting to get pretty full by the time this dish arrived), but the skin was nice and crispy.
Dessert Khao Tom Mad: Sweet sticky rice with banana and black beans steamed in banana leaves and served with vanilla ice cream. I loved having something so traditional as a dessert, but I could only finish the ice cream as the rest of it, although delicious, was just a bit too sweet for my taste.
With a another Papaya Thai in Cammeray, new Fat Monk's (in Cremorne) and Bangkok Sidewalk (in Kirribilli), this lot is doing really well in bringing authentic, superior quality Thai food in the lower North Shore area.
Papaya Thai 306-309 Military Road Cremorne, NSW 2090