I am a big fan of Sujet Saenkham’s food. Sujet is the co-owner and Executive chef of the Spice I Am restaurants. This may be my first visit to Spice I Am, but sister restaurant, House, is a favourite of mine. I have enjoyed the North-Eastern Thai street food of House many times. The original Spice I Am is located around the corner from House in Surry Hills, and then there are two other establishments of this expanding empire in Balmain and Darlinghurst.
It is the uber cool Darlinghurst establishment that I find myself at. I love the decor, especially the wall of stone pots behind the bar, quite stunning.
The food philosophy at Spice I am is ‘fabulous, innovative and authentic’. They state their team spice up all their dishes with love and a craft of the culinary arts. This is quite true, with emphasis on the ‘spice’. All dishes are quite spiced up with a predominant heat kick. I like the heat of chilli, but if you don’t, make sure to let them know.
We start off with bour thod which is a Phuket style fritter of green prawns on crispy betel leaf. Served at room temperature to keep them crisp, they are topped with chilli sauce, crushed roasted cashews and coriander. These are my favourite dish of the night. I could quite happily sit at Spice I am with a few of their delicious cocktails and munch away on these babies all evening. This signature dish is a must order.
Another signature dish which is only available on the dinner menu. Steamed Phuket style basa fish fillet, minced with curry and betel leaf. The mousse like mixture is then wrapped in a banana leaf for cooking. The result is light, soft, fragrant and buttery.
The skewers of pork have a great smoky flavour from being char grilled. The chilli kick creeps in and delightfully tingles your lips.
A lovely salad of shredded banana flower, shredded chicken breast, roasted coconut, shallots, chilli (of course), tossed in a nam prik pao dressing and topped with crispy king prawns. Great flavours and I particularly enjoy the toasted coconut which also has a cooling effect.
Stir fried pork belly with chilli, Thai holy basil, then topped with crispy Thai basil. Another of their signature dishes, the pork is very crisp and crunchy, but a little dried out. The dish has heat, heat that packs a punch!
Completely full from dinner, staff insist that we try one of the signature desserts. I had heard of the bts before, and I had to try it for myself. Toasted brioche served with pandan gelato, topped with Thai caramel sauce and roasted black and white sesame seeds. Was it better than sex? For me, no it wasn’t, but is a fun dessert with a fun name that gets conversation going.
If you enjoy the food at Spice I Am, then why not participate in one of Sujet’s cooking classes? Authentic Thai home cooking lessons run by the master himself. Costs start from $95/person. Learn to make curry pastes and a variety of delicious dishes. Cost also includes lunch of three dishes cooked by you and a glass of wine. To make a reservation and for more details contact Spice I Am at Darlinghurst.
Do tell dear Belly Rumbles’ reader, are you a lover of chilli like me, or do you walk the milder side of life?
Belly Rumbles dined as a guest of Spice I Am
Spice I am
296-300 Victoria St, Darlinghurst
Tel: +61 2 9555 8689