David Thompson will forever be remembered as the chef that helped popularise and introduce Australians to authentic Thai food and its intricacies. I jumped at the opportunity to sit down with him for a quick chat at his Sydney restaurant Long Chim while he travelled the country to launch a new menu inspired by 12 months travelling and working extensively throughout the continent (and beyond).
Favourite memory about starting out at Darley St Thai?
It was a crazy, chaotic, intense phase that probably would never have survived if done today. It was the Wild West with the shenanigans that occurred, heady days where risk and fun and excitement and maverick qualities were encouraged. It was far less professional but a lot more exciting.
How did you get into Thai food?
It was by accident. I went to Thailand by happy accident and fell in love with the culture, chaos and people. I loved the exciting unpredicatabe nature of it all, and then discovered the food. I first remember eating Thai food in Australia in the 1970s and eating fish cakes that were rubber. I remember making Thai food at home and wondering why people ate it such bizaare food. Ironic really. I then discovered good recipes and ingredients and things moved from there …. and the rest is history and PR.
Plans for bringing something new ?
The excitement for me is to bring the food from Thailand where it is regular and every day. For me it is every day fare. The thrill for me is bring it to Australia properly without compromise, where you could be sitting in Bangkok and taste the same dishes and be as pleased.
David has worked with long-time collaborator Tanongsak Yordwai, and has created some tantalising new dishes inspired by the full-flavoured market fare of Bangkok and good news for sweet tooths, considering Tanaongsak’s passion for all things pastry, you can guarantee that dessert (or two) will also be involved.
The new menu, which launched on the 12th of April, will showcase dishes that range from moreish boat noodles paired with pork and garlic, to the rather decadent deep-fried larb dumplings. There will be fresh prawns wrapped in delicate beancurd skin, and a hot and sour soup with grilled tomatoes and shallots, among more. Those after a sweet treat will also be satisfied, digging into the likes of a sumptuous pandanus and coconut-layered pudding.
To book – 02 9223 7999
Words by Arrnott Olssen