What most of us think of as “Thai food” is better conceived as several regional cuisines that share common ingredients and techniques. We're lucky – Sydney is the only place in Australia where you can experience them all distinctly. Other cities have to make do with a mash-up.
Take a trip to Thai Town to find dishes such as kaeng khiao wan (green curry) and tom yum (hot and sour soup) from the country's fertile heart, in and around Bangkok. Also easy to find: the grilled meats and eye-watering som tam salad (chilli, papaya, tomatoes and snake beans) endemic to Isan in the north-east.
The cooler north is more about roots and herbs, sticky rice and dishes such as naem maw, a raw, fermented pork sausage. In the south, where Thailand's Muslim population is most concentrated, Malay, Indian and Chinese cuisine are all influences. The climate also brings pineapples, cashews and plenty of seafood into play.