Dodee Paidang Haymarket
Dodee Paidang is no secret. All three of the brightly coloured restaurants, located in Haymarket, Bondi Junction and Cabramatta, are regularly packed with Thai customers and the occasional chilli-eating adventurer (it serves one of the hottest noodle soups in Sydney).
It’s easy to see why. The décor may not be flash, but it’s BYO, the food is affordable, there are choices aplenty and the food isn’t dumbed down for Western palates.
If you don’t speak Thai, the dish names can be a little cryptic. Luckily, there are pictures of everything from “Dodee Island” and “Dodee M 79” to “Dodee Secret”. Expect to find plenty of soups, noodles and seafood on the extensive menu.
Breakfasts are kept simpler, by focusing on northern-style street food. Half of the eight-item menu is made up of khao tom varieties. Khao tom is like a soupier version of congee (the Thai version of which is called joke) with grainier rice pieces. A classic order would come with a cold, sweet Thai coffee, a milk tea or a glass of fresh soy milk.
There’s also Isaan-style sausage (sai krok), a popular northern street snack served with sticky rice and a bewilderingly intense mix of raw garlic, fresh Thai chillies, papaya and lettuce. Khao neow moo ping – skewers of marinated pork served with sticky rice – is also popular. So much so, the restaurant goes through 80 to 100 kilograms of pork neck each week.