103 George St Parramatta, NSW 2150
|Opening hours||Mon-Fri 10am-9pm, Sat 10am-8pm|
|Prices||Cheap (mains under $20)|
|Phone||02 8897 3212|
Any proud Sydneysider will brag about our Thai food when given the chance. "Almost as good as Thailand," some crow. "Even better than Thailand!" boast others. And when Sydneysiders make these outrageous claims, they're almost always talking about places in the small section of Chinatown's Campbell Street nicknamed Thainatown.
In the middle of Campbell Street you have Chat Thai, a late-night institution with branches scattered across the Sydney CBD. Further into Haymarket there's northern-style Thai at Cheng Kitchen, southern-style at Caysorn and the spiciest noodles in Sydney at Dodee Paidang. There's the old faithful Spice I Am in Surry Hills, close to upmarket newcomers Long Chim and Chin Chin.
Outside the CBD though? With few exceptions, you'll only find one of Australia's worst food sub-genres: suburban Thai, where frozen spring rolls dominate the entrees and curries are ordered by colour.
I love the 'burbs and I love good Thai food, but rarely do the two meet.
Then a friend recommended I try Eatdustry Thai Cafe in Parramatta. I baulked at the name for a few weeks (puns and portmanteaus are a suburban Thai trope) but eventually he dragged me there for lunch.
One look at the menu and I realised this was no standard suburban Thai joint. Boat noodles! Khao soi! Grapao chicken! All my favourites were there.
Eatdustry owner Goff Thani spent a few years working at Chat Thai before opening his own restaurant. Well, 17 years, to be exact. "Working at Chat Thai was a wonderful experience," Goff tells me. "I worked with Amy Chanta, who opened the first Chat Thai restaurant 30 years ago. She taught me how to cook authentic Thai food, dessert and how to manage a restaurant.
"Eatdustry food is real Thai," he continues. "Some customers ask me, 'Why doesn't your green curry chicken have broccoli, zucchini or mixed vegetables?' Our green curry has apple eggplant, pea eggplant, lime leaves and holy basil, in the authentic Thai way."
If you're like me and don't want to have to travel into the city every time you want Thai food (generally between three and 10 times a week), give Eatdustry a shot.
Come alone for an awesome bowl of boat noodle soup or bring a crowd to try to take down as much of the gargantuan menu as possible. I haven't had a dud dish yet.
Go-to Dish: Boat noodle soup, $13.90.