What most people 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.

OHBAR 1982

Balancing tradition with Thai trends.

Shop 4 & 5 / 187-189 Liverpool Street
Darlinghurst NSW

Yok Yor Thai Food Factory

Where the chefs wear hardhats.

Shop G06 323 Castlereagh Street
Haymarket NSW 2000

Long Chim

Run by Australia's best Thai chef.

Corner of Pitt Street and Angel Place
Sydney NSW 2000

Longrain

Upmarket Thai food, long tables and cocktails.

85 Commonwealth Street
Surry Hills NSW 2010

Dodee Paidang Haymarket

Pulls no punches.

9 37 Ultimo Road
Haymarket NSW 2000

Spice I Am

A well-established Sydney classic.

90 Wentworth Ave
Surry Hills NSW

Chum Tang

Restaurant number two from the team at Khao Pla.

Shop 4, The District Podium Level, Chatswood Interchange 436 Victoria Ave
Chatswood NSW

Caysorn

Sour, spicy and fishy – the only place to try southern-Thai cuisine.

Shop 106-108A Level 1 8 Corner Thomas & Quay St.
Haymarket NSW