As much as fine Asian delicacies in high end restaurants provide incredible culinary satisfaction, when I think of Asia, I think of street food. The bustling street markets, the wok clanging as the hawkers fry up and aroma that drifts through the entire street. They probably serve only 2 or 3 dishes which they have perfected day in day out. And a good one, is just that – perfect. To me, in Southeast Asia, street food is even more so interesting, the flavours of Southeast Asian cuisine are fresh and rich at the same time and so exciting. Perhaps I am a little biased growing up there. Sukhumvit Soi 38 embraces Thai street food. In fact, it is named after a famous food street in Bangkok.
Our first visit was a late one, not long before their doors were closing but they welcomed us with a great big friendly smile all the same. Immediately, service was fantastic. They were ready to answer questions and explain and checked for dietary requirements and allergies. Something a lot of places overlook. On the menu, Soi 38 proclaims to use seasonal SA produce and ethically sourced proteins which is a huge plus point in my books.
We couldn’t go to a Thai street food restaurant and not order Pad Thai. I have no regrets and I suggest you order one too. It was the best Pad Thai I’ve had. Great balance of flavour, crunchy bean sprouts, peanuts and chilli flakes on the side so you can adjust how much you want. I’m the sort that throws it ALL in. It was fantastic, moist enough but not soggy at all, each noodle coated in sauce and it had that fiery taste of the wok, or as we say in Chinese “wok hei”. Fried noodles is an art, so is good fried rice and a lot of people don’t realize that or notice the difference. I guess I grew up eating that sorta stuff so I notice. Making egg fried rice is like our version of asking a chef to make an omelette.
One of the dishes I’ve had there is from the old menu. I’m sure there will be something similar on the current menu or perhaps it will be back when the season comes. Crying Tiger Beef Rump Steak from the charcoal grill. It was served with a nam jim jao dipping sauce. Crying tiger implies it is so spicy it makes you tear. It was spicy but it’s not tear jerking spicy, which brings me to another plus point. When they say it’s spicy it’s spicy! Probably not Thai spicy (that is actually very very spicy and I struggled a little in Bangkok in my younger days) but still proper spicy. That’s the whole point of eating chilli. Thank you for making it actually spicy.
Another blast from the past was the Stir Fried Pork Ribs with lemongrass, kaffir lime, chilli, eggplant and green beans. Great exciting flavours, peppery and a little spicy, green beans still crunchy and the pork ribs were so tender. It was such a delicious dish I’m waiting for them to bring it back.
I feel like I’m overdue for going back, their current menu has a few things I would love to try like their Wild Kangaroo Massuman Curry, Kingfish Coconut Curry in Banana Leaf, and Thong Lor Style Coffin Bay Oyster Omelette. I feel the oyster omelette would be similar to “Oh Chien”, a Taiwanese/Hokkien oyster omelette widely eaten in Malaysia – something I miss. For those of you looking for classic favourites, Beef Salad, Green Papaya Salad, Larp Gai, Fish Cakes and Thai curries or available on the menu. I really highly recommend this place, the chefs know their stuff. This is the good Thai food I have been searching for in Adelaide.
Sukhumvit Soi 38
54 Pulteney Street
08 8223 5472