September 22, 2009

Crocodile Senior Thai

If you ride the bus up or down George St in the Sydney CBD, you've almost certainly seen a restaurant with the odd name of "Crocodile Senior Thai" along with its bright orange sign and silly reclining yellow crocodile. It would never have occurred to us to try it, except that a number of the local food blogs recommended it very highly. So we tried it.

Menu
At least one blog warned that the menu was in thai, and we were worried we'd be reduced to pointing and pantomime, but in fact there is plenty of english on the menu. Crocodile Senior Thai specializes in "Issan" cuisine - Thai food from the northern provinces along the Mekong River near the border with Laos. Issan food is sufficiently different from the rest of Thai food that it's considered a distinct cuisine.

Kuy JubDebbie ordered "Kuy Jub" which is sometimes spelled "Kuay Jub" and is basically a pig intestine soup with broad rice noodles. This one had the traditional jellied pig blood, pig intestine, spare ribs, and fried tofu, but also a boiled egg. The soup was dark and slightly sweet, and the entire dish was wonderful. I was a little concerned about the jellied blood, but it turned out to be delicious with a firm texture and a mild savory flavor.

Som Tum Thai PuBeing a som tum fan, I ordered som tum. This iconic Thai dish is actually Issan in origin, and is possibly the most popular dish in the north. I got Som Tum Thai Pu (also spelled Som Tam Thai Bpoo) which is green papaya salad with dried shrimp and salty crab (bpoo). The salad was fine, and the flavor of the shrimp and crab was a nice salty savory contrast to the tartness of the rest of the salad, but the chewiness of the crab shells was hard for me.

Anyway, we were very happy with this funny named restaurant!