“There is a restaurant in Chiang Mai which is exactly the same,” said Chef Darren Templeman (currently cooking at Sergeant Lok). Our conversation came after I followed his recommendation to Khao • Soi - カオ•ソーイ. The Thai city is synonymous with this Northern Thai curry that developed through interactions along the spice route. It’s like the bastard child of laksa and tom yum with sour pickles balanced by coconut cream. Both are added to the noodle soup upon serving, with crisp noodle cakes. We tried it with chicken, slow-cooked on-the-bone ($18.90) and as grilled pork rib khao soi ($20.90). The latter ate slightly better, with three charred slabs of grilled pork, but I’d eat either version again.
You’ll find this colourfully decorated restaurant one level up on Liverpool Street with views looking down Kent Street. There are two rooms—broadly bar and restaurant—but you can dine in either, they both have a buzzy vibe. We started our meal with a sweet lemon tea ($7.60), a Young Henrys ($9.50) and satays. Whetting our appetites, these sticks of tender turmeric-marinated beef ($9.90/2) and chicken ($8.90/2) arrived with pots of spicy peanut sauce and sweet pickled cucumber and green chilli slices. The menu is nicely succinct, centred around the restaurant’s eponompous dish; service is imbued with that wonderful Thai charm; and dishes are very keenly priced.