Translating to “next to the road” in Thai, a rym tarng is an open roadside kitchen that serves food to passers-by. Rym Tarng Thai, just off Canning Highway in Bicton Central, is much the same. You can stop in for a classic Thai meal if you’re passing by, but you might feel like staying a while.
If you do, act fast to snap up one of just 16 seats at this poky spot that's full of heart. As you enter the tiny BYO restaurant, Suphattra “Por” Yimphrae and Traiphop “Max” Khamngern (two of the four partners behind Rym Tarng and the restaurant’s two-person floor team) often give a warm and energetic welcome. They might even be in matching button-up shirts, picked out in the same bright orange used to add colour to the black walls.
The open kitchen bursts with energy, very good smells, and no small amount of smoke. A not-inconsiderable number of takeaway bags tend to bank up behind the counter: proof of locals’ love for the Thai fare. But while there’s something to be said about having good takeaway options on speed dial, the food at Rym Tarng is best eaten in situ rather than out of a plastic container.
How else would you enjoy the crunch of golden pork-and-prawn fritters, warm out of the fryer and paired with a sweet plum dipping sauce? There’s crunch, too, in the limey, chilli-spiked green papaya salad known as som tum, while toasted rice powder makes a fine contrast to chargrilled pieces of fatty pork jowl and pork larb. Then there’s the massaman beef, a rich curry that’s sweet, spice-fragrant and unctuous in all the right places.
The short menu might be built on familiar dishes, but care in kitchen from former Long Chim chef, Art Bunraksa (also ex-Wildflower and Hearth) and Dondanai “Pop” Suwannarod ensures the food is far from ordinary.
Gift the experience of Australia's
best restaurants, cafes and bars