At Chat Thai, everything is kept in the family. And despite the Circular Quay location’s contemporary surrounds and modern fit-out, it still feels every bit like the family operation it’s been for over 30 years.

The menu spans every element of a Thai family meal. Soups, curries, salads and stir-frys are designed to be ordered together and shared. Recipes are inspired by founder Amy Chanta’s home cooking but are embellished. The 103 dishes available prove Thai cuisine is about more than just pad thai and satay.

Staff favourite suki packs a fiery tang thanks to its fermented tofu broth and can be had dry or as a soup. Shrimp floss features across mains such as the khanom bueang youan crispy crepe and desserts such as the sticky rice platter. Drinks range from Thai iced teas to fine wines.

A selection of “one-plate wonders” caters to those in a hurry or who don’t want to share. These meals range from $15 to $22. Chanta’s daughter and restaurateur Palisa Anderson says this is about making sure there’s something for everyone.

Because many ingredients, such as wild almonds, are hard to come by in Australia, they’re sourced from the owners’ own farm in Byron Bay. All herbs and soft vegetables used by Chat Thai are also grown there organically. Curry paste and coconut milk are made in-house. It’s all part of the family’s tradition of finessing the most basic elements. Even the master stock has been rolling since the original Darlinghurst establishment opened three decades ago.

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Updated: February 12th, 2024

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