Our restaurant critics' picks of the latest and best eats around the country right now: Chum Tang, Sydney.
Blood and guts? You can't say chef Taweerach Rojratanavichai doesn't grab your attention straight out of the gate with the first item on the menu at his new restaurant. Koy nua is translated as "Isaan region raw beef salad, tripe, blood, roasted chilli and roasted rice", and it's every bit as attention-grabbing on the plate, too, the tartare of beef mixed with fronds of bible tripe, fresh with lime juice and seriously hot, with a scattering of peanuts, pork crackling and cucumber slices. Rojratanavichai also owns nearby Khao Pla, and though he also counts Ms G's as one of his ports of call, at Chum Tang he chooses to leave the mayonnaise on the shelf and go easy on the deep-frying, impressing instead with sharp renditions of lesser-known Thai dishes such as the salad of jackfruit and poached chicken under a nest of toasty coconut shavings, or gaeng run juan, a deeply flavoursome soup crammed with gelatinous beef, shrimp paste and a vast quantity of lemongrass. Sides of kanom jeen noodles and fluffy rotis are just as accomplished as the main events. Part of the luxed-up food court that is The District, atop Chatswood Station, the décor has a Thai railway platform feel, but service is more engaged and friendly than your average Bangkok ticket office. Definitely worthy of a detour, not least because you can BYO.
Chum Tang, shop 5, Podium Level, Chatswood Interchange, 438 Victoria Ave, Chatswood, NSW, (02) 9419 2872.
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