Thursday, February 18, 2010

Spice I Am Restaurant, Darlinghurst

How was it?
Food: 8.5/10
Service: 7.5/10
Ambience: 7.5/10

Value: $$$

Before each of us parted ways for our Summer breaks in December of '09, we decided that a final dinner was needed, of course. K and I had been wanting to go to Spice I Am for such a long time, and we had decided that it should be a 'special occassion' restaurant, so we waited and waited til the right time. Finally, we decided that Spice I Am was rather fitting for our final meal of '09 together.

Lychee Mojito Mocktail $10.00

Spice I Am is a Thai restaurant in Darlinghurst, which has become popular for it's delicious and traditional Thai fare. The original location in Surry Hills was opened in 2004 and started out as a small takeaway diner. Popularity and demand led to the opening of their new restaurant in Darlighurst. Yay for us!

Longan Ice Tea Mocktail $10.00

After ordering some drinks, we began to peruse the menu. There were so many great options, so it took us quite a while to make our decision!

Khao Kreab Pak Mor $4.00 each
Steamed mini rice paper parcels on endive lettuce, filled with shiitake mushroom and bean curd with soy and vinegar sauce

I saw another table having this whilst we were checking out the menu, so I decided that we had to have it too! I didn't even know what it was, but it looked so pretty. When it arrived in front of me, I realised it was like a little dumpling! The skin was soft and silky, and the vege filling was light and the perfect start to our meal.

Pla Yum Ma Muang $38.00
Deep fried whole baby snapper with green mango salad , palm sugar, garlic and red chilli dressing

We unknowingly ordered two dishes that were pretty much exactly the same (my fault!). Firstly, we ordered the Pla Yum Ma Muang, which is deep fried baby snapper on a bed of mango salad. I was happy to find meaty pieces of snapper and the garlic & chilli dressing on the mango salad was a great combination of spicy and tangy.

Ped Yum Ma Muang $34.00 (from the specials menu)
Roast duck with green mango salad , palm sugar, garlic and red chilli dressing

Ped Yum Ma Muang $34.00 (from the specials menu)
Roast duck with green mango salad , palm sugar, garlic and red chilli dressing

The second somewhat-identical dish was the Ped Yum Ma Muang, which was roasted duck on the same bed of mango salad! Hehe. Luckily for us, the mango salad was delicious, so it was ok. The roasted duck was soft and tender, just the way it should be.

Som Tum $14.00
Green papaya salad with garlic, scud chilli, dried shrimp, toasted cashew nut, snake beans
and cherry tomatoes

DCM believes that som tum is what defines a Thai restaurant and is a real indicator of whether it is authentic or not. Spice I Am passed the authenticity test (haha) and we decided to test their's out. Som tum is green papaya salad, famous for watering the eyes and burning the tongues! But it's so delicious, that I will always try it, even though I know the repercussions! The som tum at Spice I Am was very spicy and the combination of ingredients created a real kick.

Yum Hua Plee Jay $22.00
Shredded banana flower salad with king prawns, roasted coconut, shallots, chilli,
coriander and nam pik pao dressing

We ordered the Yum Hua Plee Jay - banana flower salad, off the specials menu. They also have one in the normal menu, but I think it must be a bigger serving as it was more expensive ;)

Yum Hua Plee Jay $22.00 (from the specials menu)
Shredded banana flower salad with king prawns, roasted coconut, shallots, chilli,
coriander and nam pik pao dressing

I enjoyed the strong flavours of the coconut and the coriander. You could really taste the coriander, and the nam pik pao (which is a chilli paste - thanks wiki) dressing was sweet and tangy and it was so perfectly paired with all the ingredients in this dish.

We decided to have dessert a few doors down at Moo Cow :) It was great.

I'd definitely recommend Spice I Am if you're looking for something a little bit more special than your dodgy/but awesome little Thai eatery, yet still searching for some authentic Thai food. Every dish that came out was great and I'd definitely like to go back and try more of what they have to offer.

Spice I Am Restaurant
296-300 Victoria St.
Darlinghurst NSW 2010
Tel: (02) 9332 2445
Open 7 Days
Lunch 11.30 - 3pm (Thursday - Sunday)
Dinner 6pm - 10pm (Daily)
Spice I Am - the Restaurant on Urbanspoon
P.s. Apologies for being away from the blogosphere for so long!
Gosh, I feel like I've missed so much?!
I will be catching up on all the new blogs & all my fave blogs soon :)
Stay tuned for some fresh posts coming soon as well!
Happy eating!


  1. It all looks scrumptious and what a great place to celebrate the last meal of the decade together. Love the mocktails, they look fantastic and the duck looks yum.

  2. YUM!! I have been wanting to go here for ages - the last time we were in Sydney I took my Mum to Rockpool which is single handedly the best dining experience of my life. So this is definitely next on the list!! :)

  3. Haven't been to the restaurant yet, but the original eatery was pretty good. This looks like the same food in a flashier environment.

  4. Ooh I'd really like to try the Yum Hua Plee Jay, it sounds like my kind of dish.

    The drinks look nicely presented too!

  5. I love Spice I am - haven't tried this restaurant though, it looks much nicer!

  6. Great review Betty! I really enjoyed my meal here and I really liked how it was spicy and not toned down at all (although it had me fanning at my mouth a few times) lol.

  7. Welcome back Betty. I think the newly sorted Spice I am is not as bad as the review said. I throughly enjoyed my meal here.

  8. Isn't Spice I Am supposed to be the best Thai in Sydney? Your experience there sounds like it! The food looks great (with prices to match). PS: Good to have you back.

  9. I've been wanting to try Spice I Am looks so tasty :) Haha isn't it annoying when you realise you've ordered two really similar dishes? Oh well, at least they both were good!

  10. No need for apologies :)

    Always wanted to try out their new store to see how it compares to the original one.

  11. Missed ya Betty! Glad to see you back with your great restaurant reviews. Spice I am is a favourite of mine as well!

  12. Welcome back! haha I always suffer through the som tum too, I just try and pick out the chilli seeds and heap on lots of hot rice.
    spice I am looks so funky from the outside, good to hear the food lives up to the hype!

  13. Hmm I love Spice I am! (although I'm not a big fan of spicy food!)
    Haven't actually been to the new location yet though I have passed by so many times. Seems like they are doing great hey?

  14. Oh I really need to make it here sometime - it all looks just a bit too delicious to pass up!

  15. oooh, the khao kreab pak mor looks very silky, ready for the taking. The drinks also look great.

  16. top post Bet ; )

    i've only been to Spice I Am on the corner of campbell street and i have to say, i didn't love it. it didn't have the freshness you tend to associate with thai. plus it was SUPER packed!

  17. OOhh I have yet to try Spice I am esp since all the food looks so tastyyy! I r hungry now :(

  18. I've never been here before but everything looks incredibly good! It was great catching up with you yesterday Betty... hope to see you again soon!

  19. Welcome back! What a delicious write up. Mmmm...

  20. I've walked past Spice I Am a couple of times and I have always made a point of visiting there one day. Soon, maybe, soon.

  21. Being Thai, I would like to say Spice I am is the best authentic thai restaurant I have had so far in Sydney (even better than some restaurants in Thailand)... but I only tried the one in surryhills.. this one is more expensive but the food looks so nice too.. Really wanna try the Yum Hua Plee Jay :D

  22. Hi Sara: Yes, it was definitely a great choice. The mocktails were so yummy!

    Hi Joy: Oh wow, I'd love to go to Rockpool - I'll get there... eventually!

    Hi Joey: I haven't been to the original, so I'll have to go and compare ;)

    Hi Conor: Yep, nicely presented and equally as tasty!

    Hi Missklicious: It is really nice inside, I've never been to the original, so I'll have to check it out!

    Hi Lorraine: Thank you :) Haha, yes I totally understand. I had to take breaks and drank so much water, but it was totally worth it!

    Hi Billy: Thank you! Maybe they were harsh because it's more expensive, but it's such a nice restaurant & food is great, so I think it's worth it :) Glad you enjoyed your meal here too!

    Hi Belle: Apparently so! My experience was really good, although I think there are a lot of good quality Thai restaurants around Sydney :) Thank you!

    Hi Steph: Yes, it was all so tasty! Omg, I was kicking myself.. and my none of us picked it up when we were going through the menu.. silly!

    Hi Simon: Definitely worth a try, I think.

    Hi Trissa: Aww thanks so much Trissa :) You are too kind!

    Hi Grace: Thank you! Haha, it's so bad but so good! Yep, it definitely met my expectations!

    Hi Yas: Yay! Yeah, I think they are doing really well. Good food + location is always a winner.

    Hi Mademoiselle Delicieuse: Hehe yep, I think it's definitely worth a visit.

    Hi Adrian: It was delicious :) The drinks were great too!

    Hi Bea: Thanks love! I remember you saying that... Maybe you went on a bad day, maybe we can go to the restaurant when you're in town next ;)

    Hi FFichiban: You should try it soon!

    Hi Trisha: It was great seeing you too :) Definitely see you again soon!

    Hi Phuoc'n Delicious: Thank you :)

    Hi Amy: Yes, it's definitely worth a visit!

    Hi Bean Sprout's Cafe: Cool! Yes, sometimes I think some Thai food is better in Syd than in Bangkok, and some Vietnamese food is better in Syd too ;) Hehe.


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