Thursday, March 1, 2012

Season vs Shimizu Part 2

Part 2: A party on the North Shore

780 Pacific Hwy 
(02) 9499 9093

Those who know me know that I love my curry, and it's pretty much all I eat when I'm at a Thai restaurant. (well, that and pad kee mao with chicken) but here is a Thai restaurant which managed to entice me away from the usual curry; I would happily not order curry of any form when I'm here. Not that their curry is bad. Far from it, but I found something better to have, and thai curry? I can get that in any of the other hundreds of Thai restaurants littered around Sydney.

Not only is this place great, it's also extremely convenient as it's within easy walking distance from home. And it is without a doubt in my mind, the best of the three Thai restaurants within a 200m stretch. Of course, this also mean that they charge premium pricing. If you want good, cheap Thai, there's always Newtown Thai 1 & 2, and quite a few others. And if you are lucky enough to live out that way, all the better. However, when on the North Shore, one must pay the North Shore surcharge…

Season Thai is part of the Red Spoon Thai Riffic group. I haven't been to any of their other restaurants, so I'm not sure how they rate.

The restaurant can be extremely noisy when full, due to the complete lack of sound deadening material in the restaurant. But then again, they aren't the only ones guilty of this. I can think of plenty of others, but if you want a lively atmosphere, I don't think you'd care. Especially if you're in a big group. If you rather not shout your conversations, avoid the busy nights like Friday and Saturday. We've only experienced one night when it was extremely noisy, but then the big table in the middle was extremely noisy. I think most of them were already quite tipsy by the time they arrived at the restaurant.

Anyway, that's the bad out of the way. Onto the good.

Mango prawn avocado salad- This one is seasonal. Grab it when mangos are in season...

The few times we've been there, the service has been outstanding. The food arrived within a reasonable time frame, and like A la facon de Shimizu, they have genuine smiles on their faces. The food portions are just right, and even though the Thai flavours are stronger than Shimizu, they're nothing like the in-you-face salt and MSG combo in the usual Chinese takeway.

The pièce de résistance for us at Season Thai is their roasted duck: a side of tender roasted duck with cinnamon stick, shiitake mushroom and sweet plum sauce. That plum sauce and duck combo floors me. Literally. The first time I had it I knew I had to come back for it. And believe it or not this one dish makes the whole restaurant. We've had other dishes, but nothing comes close. At $29.90, it is far from cheap Thai, but I feel it is well worth it. Especially when matched to a really nice Pinot. (say.. 9th Island or Oyster Bay… um…kinda the only two half decent ones I know…)

Roast Duck with Plum Sauce

Something else that was just extremely delicious and so very tropical is the mango sticky rice dessert. One taste and you're transported to a seaside tropical village overlooking the beach, with warm breeze and just a hint of saltiness in the air. And palm trees. And those little paper umbrellas in brightly coloured drinks.  Mmm.. I need a holiday.

Mango Sticky Rice

If you like the lively atmosphere (kinda of very bar/ club-like when it's busy) and you like your Thai food, you could do much worse than Season Thai. But if you’ve read both parts to this long-winded restaurant review, you do get the sense which of the two I’d prefer, right?

For Part 1, click here.


Season Thai on Urbanspoon

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