When I am travelling to Sydney and back by bus, I often book one of the later buses.... just in case something funny happens and a concert or a rehearsal goes later than expected. Plus, I don't really find myself in a crazy hurry in most of my life anyway... so, I'm happy to sit around... provided I can find somewhere dry, warm and maybe with a power supply of some sort! Of course, if I can manage to shift my booking to an earlier departure time, I will do that... but if not, oh well.
The last couple of times, the buses have been weirdly full... and so, I've had to hang around and kill a couple of hours before my scheduled time. Now, Sydney has changed quite a bit since I was living here... and the area around Central isn't as busy with cafes/restaurants in the actual train station.... and perhaps it has something to do with the pandemic, but many places appear either closed or retired completely.
So, I've taken to wandering around around the closer areas (remember, I'm travelling so I have a little bit of baggage... not lots, but enough to keep the walking radius comfortably small...) to try and discover a decent place to sit down and have a coffee or dinner... and that doesn't close too early!
The last visit took me to Fat Thaiger... a Thai restaurant that continues that long tradition of Thai puns in their names.
Fat Thaiger has a pretty modern interior design... lots of LED lighting, enough to make any RGB system builder proud... and it is contrasted with the tradition emblems and symbols from Thai culture. It is a crazily weird mix, and sort of epitomises the shallow ideal that I associate with Sydney! (ducks...).
Like many places in Australia, there is a large open kitchen at the end of the long, deep seating area. The place does feel more like a bistro rather than a high class restaurant, but that suits the location near the main transport hub of Sydney. People that come here are more likely to be travellers and backpackers or late-night revellers rather than those looking for a more upmarket feed.
There is a decently stocked bar and cafe, that also serves cakes and snack food... and be prepared to be blinded by the insane fluorescent colours... Seriously, who thought that this was a good idea?
I'm afraid that I wasn't able to grab the menu this time around... but you can find it on their website. The servers were pretty damn eager to get me ordered and seated... a touch pushier than I would like. But I was also quite keen to get my bags off me and sit down.
A roast duck salad for me this particular evening. Actually, despite what the rest of this review might have hinted at, this was actually a really decent dish... a nice spicy sauce (with a cappuccino style decoration!) set off the duck nicely, but I would have preferred a crispy skin.
However, the real highlight was the clean flavours of the salad without dressing... with nice bursts of fresh mint in it! Wow, I really have missed all the different Asian cooking styles in Europe...
Well... the interior is garish, and the servers are plentiful and keen to get you seated. But when you are down and seated, the food service is fast, and the food is really quite decent... and the servers leave you alone! So, all in all, a great experience apart from that initial first impression...
... however, probably due to the central location in expensive Sydney, the dish prices are stunningly high for what you are getting. Just over 30 AUD for this decent enough dish... I'm sure that further away from the CBD, you would be able to get something for nearer to half that price. That is the cost of trying to eat out in the centre of Sydney...
Address: 739 George St, Haymarket NSW 2000
Phone: (02) 9211 0254