Sydney goes stir-crazy for oodles of Thai noodles

Popular on Sydney's menus: Chat Thai founder Amy Chanta cooking Pad Thai.
Popular on Sydney's menus: Chat Thai founder Amy Chanta cooking Pad Thai. Photo: Edwina Pickles

It is neither meat-based nor barbecued. Far from Australian stereotypes, Sydney's favourite takeaway is Pad Thai.

The dish, humble in origin and popular the world over, tops takeaway choices in 39 suburbs and across 1740 restaurants - and no matter whether you're from the city's north, south, east or west, Sydneysiders love the Thai noodle dish, with its sweetness and chilli, fresh crunch and lime zing.

Randwick, North Sydney, Dulwich Hill, Mosman, Marrickville, Dee Why and even Italian-loving Leichhardt all ordered the dish more often than any other in a survey across 49 of Sydney's most takeaway-fond suburbs. Bondi prefers a Green Curry, while in Pyrmont, Special Fried Rice was the most popular choice.

The most popular takeaways in NSW.
The most popular takeaways in NSW. 

Chat Thai  director Palisa Anderson said the famous noodles, "the essential Thai fast food," were endearingly in demand.

"No matter what we put on the menu to be more representational of Thai regions, people always come back to Pad Thai. We can't ever take it off the menu, we can only improve on it."

The information was collated by online  takeaway website Menulog over the past year and gives a glimpse into the habits of a city whose fondness for Asian and Italian food runs deep.

Hot on Pad Thai's heels as most popular choices are Green Curry, Butter Chicken, Pizza Margherita and Pizza Supreme. Overall, pizza cropped up most frequently among the top three most popular orders, followed by Thai, Indian, Chinese and Japanese dishes.

Randwick, Newtown and Marrickville's residents order the most takeaway, followed by Surry Hills, Coogee, Camperdown, Paddington, Alexandria, Bondi and Leichhardt.

Parramatta claims the dubious title of being the only suburb to have McDonald's Big Mac value meal as its most popular takeaway, a finding that might be explained by the fact it was the first Sydney location of the chain's home delivery service.

A final note of caution - Menulog classifies the fast food giant as belonging to the "gourmet burger" category. Where that leaves Rockpool's famous Wagyu beef burgers, we're not sure.


Chat Thai's Pad Thai 

Heat a wok until very hot.

Add sunflower oil.

Throw in diced chicken thigh meat and once sealed, add an egg, breaking the yolk until it is almost completely cooked through.

Add soaked rice noodles (follow instructions on pack).

Once they have softened, season with white vinegar, fish sauce, oyster sauce and a handful of salted radishes (buy from Asian food shops).

Add a pinch of sugar.

Cook until sauce is absorbed by noodles.

Chuck in bean sprouts and garlic chives and stir until incorporated.

Serve with a slice of lime, peanuts, sugar and smoked chilli powder.

To explore the food of Sydney's suburbs in October (through Tours and Outdoor Festivals), see