On the site of the old Sailor’s Thai restaurant, Wild Ginger runs with the original’s spirit.
Where many of Sydney’s Thai restaurants import ingredients from Thailand, chef Tony Suphap Samsen’s philosophy is to use only local Australian ingredients. Hence the name: Australia has its own species of ginger and turmeric, two ingredients Samsen and chef Pattrawut Leeracchevasit use as the base of many of their curries, pastes and sauces.
The cuisine is available through two different dining experiences. Upstairs is more casual, with a long communal table and a few bar stools offering quick noodles, stir-fries and curries. At the bar there are Thai beers, cocktails (including a boozy tom yum and a wild-ginger spritzer) and bar snacks such as the Thai-dressed oysters with native finger limes, Thai fried chicken and papaya salad.
Downstairs is more involved. The old sandstone walls are dimly lit, there are white tablecloths and even a degustation menu with optional matching wines. Downstairs is where to sample the best representation of the chefs’ ideas, which include crispy salted Tasmanian beef ribs with native ginger, samphire, garlic and a red-wine sauce, and choo chee red curry with lobster and native crystal ice plant.