Remember how I talked about how every conversation with my friends revolve around food? Yep, it’s struck again! This time it was Christine’s birthday, so Simon and I went present shopping.
But first, lunch.
For me, hot days = Thai salads, and Simon recommended the ones at Home Thai on Sussex Street.
Just like many authentic Thai restaurants, a papaya salad comes in many variations: fermented crab, shrimp, anchovies, sausages, rice noodles…if anyone ever tells you again that a salad is just a bowl of rabbit food, sock ’em in the head with some fermented crab.
That’ll teach them.
We got the Mixed Papaya Salad ($11.90), with vermicelli, pork roll (which is a bit like a Thai ham), Thai anchovies and pork crackling (!!). Because pork crackling makes everything better. This version is a little more sweet, which tempers the fermented flavours of the anchovies and shrimp paste. The soft pork roll and pork crackling added a great contrast of textures, that made this more a satisfying meal than a side dish.
Speaking of side dishes, we also got the Eastern Thai Sausage ($11.90). The texture was more like fresh mince than what you’d necessarily expect from a sausage, and there was a slight sourness that’s typical of this variety. Why it’s sour, I have no idea. But I’m quite happy to eat it all the same.
And because we’re asian, WE MUST HAVE RICE!!
Rarrr. Rice monster.
The Pork Hock with Rice ($9.90) was very simply a stewed bit of pork hock, with lots of gravy and rice. There’s just something about the whole hock getting stewed that turns the rind and fat into a lovely soft gelatinous mass, with chunks of fall-apart meat underneath. Unctuous, flavourful, and an absolute favourite at the table.
As for the present, well we didn’t quite find what we were looking for, but we got there in the end. Now who’s birthday’s next…