Short Grain is a 60-seat diner by Martin Boetz, a name that’s synonymous with Thai cuisine in Australia. The star chef trained under Thai-food expert David Thompson at Sydney’s Darley Street Thai before helping him open Sailors Thai in The Rocks. In 1999 he opened his own venue, the highly successful Longrain Sydney, following it up a few years later with a Melbourne outpost. His cookbooks Modern Thai Food and New Thai Food were also crucial in establishing him as an expert in Thai cookery.
Short Grain is the next chapter of that storied career, housed in the corner tenancy of the heritage-listed Stewart & Hemmant building. The interior is decorated with acquisitions from Thailand, including an 80-year-old urn found near Chiang Mai. Mustard banquettes, timber furniture, and a captivating art piece by Sydney artist Vicki Lee complete the minimalist fit-out.
Fans of Boetz and his restaurants will take to the menu like duck to red curry. You’ll find that particular dish, but not before appetisers such as oysters with nam jim sauce, and chicken crackers topped with smoked trout and green mango. Other highlights include caramelised pork hock with chilli vinegar, and a dessert of duck-egg-caramel-custard tart.
Authentic Thai flavours are notoriously difficult to achieve at home, but Short Grain is here to help with a range of retail products including house-made chilli jam, dressings, and Thai-imported fish and oyster sauce in lieu of a soon-to-be-opened store. There are plans to offer fresh herbs and vegetables, and curries that customers can take home and customise with their choice of meat and vegetables.
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