Disclaimer: All food and beverages were complimentary but opinions are my own.
I’ve been following Sydney Instagrammer KeraBearEats since I’ve moved here and when I saw she posted on her Instastory that anyone interested in a media tasting should DM her, I jumped at the chance to invite myself. It turned out that Appethai Restaurant, located in Darlinghurst near Kings Cross station, was having their grand opening. Appethai is on the higher end of the scale price wise and they offer a la carte menu items as well as set menus (including a vegetarian set menu!). They suggested that we try the $75 set menu. I felt super lucky to have been able to try so many of their dishes! Since it was a spontaneous event I didn’t have my camera with me and it was dark so the photos aren’t very good.
All the dishes we had below are available as part of their regular menu. First up we had Betel Leaf Prawns with shredded coconut, pomelo, chilli jam and caviar. I’ve never had betel leaf before so it seemed a bit strange to be eating a leaf but it tasted ok with the rest of the ingredients and had a mild minty flavour? Not really sure how to describe it but it served its purpose as a vessel for the prawn to enter my mouth.
I wasn’t expecting much from the Appethai Spring Rolls but wow the ingredients and flavours were amazing for a spring roll! It had crab meat and minced free range chicken inside with plum sauce and chilli mayo on top. It was probably one of the most impressive spring rolls I’ve had.
I love scallops so I knew the Seared Chilli Scallops would be a winner in my books. They use Japanese sashimi grade scallops here and serve them with shimeji mushrooms, pea puree and chilli sauce. The scallops were perfectly cooked and I loved how juicy the mushrooms were.
The Golden Egg Pastry Tartlets were presented in little baskets. Each tartlet held minced chicken, prawn, corn, peas and shredded coconut in a crispy fried shell for a tasty bite.
Our last appy was the Chicken Satay skewers served with cucumber and peanut sauce. I liked how they tried to be creative with the presentation of the skewers. The chicken itself was not particularly exciting though but the cucumber sauce turned out to be sweet which was a nice surprise and peanut sauce is always bomb! I actually tried to buy a similar peanut sauce at the grocery store but it didn’t taste as good =(
One of my favourite dishes of the night was the Duck Salad. We were actually supposed to have the papaya salad but they ended up selling out so we could choose any other salad on the menu. The duck is tossed with dried chilli, herbs, lime juice, roasted coconut and crispy onion. Each bite was savoury and well balanced and left you wanting more. The portion size wasn’t very big though and for a salad, there actually weren’t that many vegetables.
Kera is a master of flatlays and I got a glimpse into how she pulls off the shots. She actually brings her own props too!!! Ok I should probably stop exposing her secrets…
Here we have the duck salad in the back and in middle, we have the Black Angus Beef with Black Pepper Sauce (stir fry) and in the front we have the Penang Chicken Curry and the Green Chicken Curry. Both curries were delicious!!! They had the right amount of spice and a creamy smooth texture. The chicken in both dishes was so tender! I highly recommend getting one of the curries.
Lastly we had the Dessert Platter featuring (from left to right): Black Sticky Rice with Custard, Coconut Sago with Lychee, and Coconut Panna Cotta. The coconut sago was a crowd favourite and we loved the bright purple colour of the sago. It was very light but wasn’t sweet actually and had a savouriness to it which was very interesting in a dessert. I could’ve sworn the coconut panna cotta was just coconut ice cream but everyone told me otherwise haha It was nice to try different Thai desserts that weren’t just mango with sticky rice, although you can never go wrong with that!
The decor in Appethai restaurant looks very regal with the shiny gold walls and the dim ambiance. It’d be a nice spot for date night. Also they have a full bar and a lot of interesting Thai-inspired cocktails (I don’t drink much so I won’t review them but the virgin version of their signature Appethai drink was really good according to two people). Prices are on the higher end but flavour-wise, there was nothing we weren’t happy with. I’m really glad I got to meet some Sydney foodies too!
FYI I think the spring rolls and tartlets weren’t actually part of the $75 set menu but they just gave them to us anyway?