Regent Place used to be a strange little location near the Town Hall. Half-empty shopfronts weren’t a great lure for those seeking a night out. The successful Assembly bar has been there for over a year, huddled into a corner, but the rest of Regent Place was a rather subdued nook. But the ubiquitous Vietnamese street food franchise MissChu has now moved in and a Japanese teahouse and a sake bar, Yebisu, to open soon in the reinvigorated strip.
The Assembly team have just opened Senyai, a cool Thai restaurant that looks more like a laneway diner in Bangkok. And so it should – it’s been crafted from a traditional teak house that was deconstructed in Samut Songkhram, outside of Bangkok. The timber was packed into crates and shipped to Sydney, where it was affixed to the walls of the Senyai space and painted a very Thai shade of green. The walls are dotted with film, pop and royal family posters and portraits. It’s a nice idea and a pretty authentic visual experience for those who’ve dined out in the more traditional eateries near Kho San Road.
Chef Nu Suandokmai, formerly of Café Sydney and Bathers’ Pavilion, is pushing his “original recipe” concept to recreate dishes typical of an old-style Thai shopfront cafe. What’s on offer? Crisp prawn pancakes, pork belly with cinnamon and star anise, and a great barramundi in a piquant lime and chilli sauce.
It’s a cosy venue with an authentic feel and an expansive menu, and is another sign of good things to come at Regent Place.
486 Kent Street, Regent Place, Sydney
(02) 9283 8686