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Talat Phlu Dessert Shop, Thon Buri

BANGKOK | En route to desert spot at a place that I had marked on my list in Talat Phlu market, I walked past another place that got my attention. The roller doors at the front had just come up, and locals were scrambling for a ticket. There was no English anywhere. What was this place that was so popular? Take a punt and grab a number? Why no

As the line rapidly grew, bags of desserts started to be placed on top of a long display cabinet, while large trays of assorted, colourful treats arrived in multiple deliveries. Clearly, this was a dessert shop. As it would happen, the name of the place is very literal – Talat Phlu Dessert Shop.

By 11:30am, the cabinet was full, and the vendor opened for business. As I waited for my number to be called I, I tried to decide what to order. Green, probably pandan. White, likely coconut, the wobbly squares, akin to kueh. I figured that leaving it to the experts was the right move, so typed “eight of your most popular desserts please” into Google Translate.

‘29’ was called, and I showed my phone to the person serving me while saying it in English on the off chance they knew what I was saying. The translation worked. I received a nod, smile, and a thumbs up. Soon I had my desserts.

I found a spot around the corner, sat on the ground with Lauren, and we enjoyed our sweets. Later research didn’t bring up much about this place. It’s name is descriptive – Talat Phlu Dessert Shop. It’s been around since 1989 (which led to me discovering and exploring the world of 1980s ‘T-Pop’), and has been consistently popular ever since it opened. The formula is simple. An assortment of quality traditional Thai desserts, made using family recipes passed down through the generations, at affordable prices.

I did end up going to the place that was on my list afterwards (more on that another time), but am sure glad that took a punt and grabbed ticket number ‘29’. Well worth the wait of just over an hour, for both the sweets, and the little ‘slice of local life’ experience.

Talat Phlu Dessert Shop

1129 Soi Thoet Thai 25
Thon Buri
Bangkok 10600

Telephone: 066 2466 9332
E-mail: n/a
Website: n/a

Thu – Sun: 11:30pm to 5:00pm

Small Dinner Club, Si Phraya


BANGKOK | There was only one high end restaurant that I had booked in before arriving in Bangkok on my recent trip, and that was Small Dinner Club (‘SDC’). It’s a 12 seater chef’s table restaurant by owner/head chef Sareen Rojanametin, that challenges preconceptions about Thai food and ingredients, opening up new perspectives on what’s possible, and stoking a sense of discovery.

The restaurant opened last year, but is actually an evolution of a concept that I wanted to try in Melbourne, but never got the chance to before it closed. Sareen used to own Carlton cafe Nora, which presented diners with creative South East Asian inspired breakfasts. In 2016, the Friday night pop-up dinners SDC, became the main concept.

Between closing Nora in 2017 and opening SDC in 2022, Sareen (who actually studied photography in Melbourne before becoming a speciality coffee barista, and then self-taught chef) worked in some of the world’s top restaurants, then spent two and a half years as a monk in a Thai forest monastery. All experiences which have informed the SDC experience.

Melbourne’s loss has been Bangkok’s gain, as what Sareen is doing in his hometown is something very exciting. The 12 or so dishes on the menu arrive over a three hour period. You’re given the name of the dish, its inspiration, and nothing more. After you’ve had a few bites, Sareen and his team ask you questions and give you more details about the dish – ingredients, techniques, and the story behind the dish.

It’s a different way of eating that sounds gimmicky, but after years of tweaking the concept, it’s anything but. The experience does get you thinking about what it is that you’re eating in a different way. It’s educational, and a whole lot of fun. Most importantly of all, it’s delicious.

‘Daft Punk is Playing in My Mouth’ sees a plate come to the table to the sounds of LCD Soundsystem’s ‘Daft Punk Is Playing At My House’. The dish contains a particular ingredient, hidden in the most unexpected part of the plate. ‘Winter’s Bone’, presents bone marrow with flavours and textures I’ve never had it paired with before. Two different tom yum dishes deconstruct the humble classic, encouraging diners to view the dish from different perspectives.

Diners are encouraged to chat with each other and to interact with the staff. It’s very much a place for the curious. At the end of the meal you’re given a full list of ingredients for each dish. I’ve been purposely vague on my descriptions as to not spoil anything for you should you dine at SDC.

Dinner at SDC is one of most interesting and unique meal experiences I’ve enjoyed this year. It might have taken me seven years to try Sareen’s food, but it was worth the wait.

Small Dinner Club

1109 Charoen Krung Road
Si Phraya
Bangkok 10500

Telephone: 083 992 9669
E-mail: n/a

Thu – Sun: 6:00pm to 11:00pm

Yentafo Convent, Silom


BANGKOK | Yen ta fo has become one of my favourite Thai dishes since I first tried it a few years ago. The noodle soup, instantly recognisable for its bright pink broth, is a masterclass in balancing flavours and textures.

The broth is sweet, savoury, and sour, with heat coming from chilli oil which you add to your liking. Yentafo Convent have been serving up the dish for over 40 years, which many rate as one of the best in town.

When Yentafo Convent started in 1977, their recipe was shared with Yentafo Wat Khaek, which is generally considered to be Bangkok’s yen ta fo street stall. Over time, Yentafo Convent’s recipe evolved into the signature recipe that the restaurant is known for, which uses tomatoes and sweet potatoes in the broth.

There’s two noodle options on the menu. Yen ta fo, and clear broth minced pork and seafood bowl. Both come as a small or large serve, with your choice of flat rice vermicelli, egg noodles, rice noodles, or flat rice noodles. I opted for the signature yen ta fo with flat rice vermicelli.

The broth here hits all the right notes. Mildly sweet with a nice tang to it. Beyond the noodles, the bowl is filled with springy fish balls, crispy wantons, pig’s blood cubes, and crunchy kang-kong vegetables. Variety of textures, sorted.

Yentafo Convent

36/3 Convent Road
Bangkok 10500

Telephone: 02 235 0386
E-mail: n/a

Mon – Sat: 7:00am to 3:30pm

Jay Fai, Phra Nakhon


BANGKOK | Street food spot Jay Fai, named after founder Supinya “Jay Fai” Junsuta, was founded in the 1980s. The focus is on wok-cooked seafood dishes, using top quality market fresh produce. Each dish is cooked to order by the sole cook, Jay Fai.

The place skyrocketed in recognition after receiving a Michelin Star in the 2018 guide, and being the focus of the 2019 Bangkok episode of the Netflix series, “Street Food”. I highly recommend watching it. Jay Fai’s journey is a heartwarming one.

There’s a long wait if you want to eat here. I arrived an hour and a half before opening, and wasn’t eating until almost three hours later. There’s a common thread to the questions I’ve been asked. “Is it actually good?” “Is it worth the price?”, “Is it worth the wait?”, The answer is subjective and a matter of context.

Quality is high and servings are large. Three dishes is more than enough for two. The signature crab omelette is OK by itself The crab is plump and creamy, and batter is perfectly light and crispy. When you add the sauce, the dish transforms. Think a piece of perfectly battered fried fish, pre and post salt, lemon, and tartar sauce. Drunken noodles are great, with wonderful wok hei. Dry congee, my pick of the day, is a textural and flavour delight.

Is it good value? Well how do we value street food? If the quality and effort is there, and demand is such that people are waiting hours for a feed, prices are arguably not high enough. Look at my last Reel, about 100 Mahaseth. That meal was in many ways more interesting than this one. The food at the latter is certainly more unique and innovative. Including drinks, it’s also cheaper.

A meal is never just about the food, however. Eating at Jay Fai, knowing her story, seeing Jay Fai operating dual works simultaneously, goggles protecting her eyes from sparks and flames, is a one-of-a-kin experience. A skilled cook could recreate the recipes with the right training by Jay Fai, but that’s just one piece of the puzzle. Whether that represents worth and value to you, is for you to decide.

Jay Fai

327 Maha Chai Road
Phra Nakhon
Bangkok 10200

Telephone: 02 223 9384
E-mail: n/a

Wed – Sat: 9:00am to 9:00pm

Toy Kuay Teow Ruea Boat Noodles, Ratchawithi


BANGKOK | Bangkok’s famed Boat Noodles originated as a humble dish served by vendors on boats along the city’s canals in 1942. One of the most popular areas for a bowl, is on the canals close to the city’s Victory Monument.

Everyone has their own opinion when it comes to which are the best in the area, and one that always ranks highly is Toy Kuay Teow Ruea. They’re one of the old school boat noodle spots, located directly on the canal.

A small bowl of noodles will set you back just 15 bhat. You choice of tender, slow cooked beef or pork, meatballs, greens, and noodles, inside a rich, dark broth infused with a fragrant mix of Thai spices and chillies. Both are wonderful.

For a few bhat extra, I highly recommend grabbing a serve of the pandan and coconut dessert, and a snack-sized packet of pork cracking.

Toy Kuay Teow Ruea Boat Noodles

18 Ratchawithi Alley
Bangkok 10400

Telephone: 081 619 1925
E-mail: n/a

Mon – Sun: 8:00am to 5:00pm

100 Mahaseth, Si Phraya


BANGKOK | Located in a atmospheric, converted old house in Bangkok’s trendy Charoenkrung neighbourhood, you’ll find chefs Chalee Kader and Chaichat ‘Randy’ Noprapa’s restaurant, 100 Mahaseth. Since opening in 2017, the restaurant has cemented its reputation for cooking some of the best contemporary Thai food in town.

100 Mahaseth is a ‘nose-to-tail’ and ‘root-to-fruit’ restaurant, focusing on modern takes on the Isaan food heritage of Thailand’s north-east. Ingredients are of the highest quality, sourced from local farmers and producers across the country. A page of the menu, outlines the provenance of each ingredient.

As much as possible is done on site, including dry aging and fermenting. A cabinet full of meat and charcuterie, and jars of ferments are on display for diners to see as they enjoy their meal.

100 Mahaseth is the kind of restaurant that ticks all of the boxes for me. Modern and exciting, yet rooted in tradition, with a true sense of place and an eye towards sustainability. The nose-to-tail philosophy means that offal features heavily on the menu. The prime cuts are there if offal isn’t your thing, but this is exactly the kind of restaurant that changes minds and encourages diners to step outside of their comfort zones.

The signature charcoal and longan wood-roasted bone marrow topped with toasted perilla seeds, chillies, scallops, palm sugar, lemongrass, and fish sauce, is a must try. A creamy, crunchy, umami delight. Dry-aged beef tongue, topped with pickled black pepper, pickled radish, and chamuang leaves is another must try.

Succulent, smoky, fire grilled pork jowl, served with dry chilli jeaw, and a Thai herbs take on chimichurri is one of the best versions of pork jowl I’ve tried anywhere. For fun takes on familiar favourites, you can’t go past the ‘Northerner’s Hot Dog’. It’s the popular street food snack, smoky sai ua sausage, served inside a soft hot dog bun with nam prik pao, pickled radish, and Thai holy basil. Also try the highly addictive chicken wings, deboned and stuffed with fermented stick rice and garlic.

100 Mahaseth

100 Mahaseth Road
Si Phraya
Bangkok 10500

Telephone: 02 235 0023
E-mail: n/a

Tue – Sun: 11:30am to 12:00am

Phed Mark, Phra Khanong


BANGKOK | What do you do when you and your friends can’t decide where to find the best version of a favourite dish in town? How about starting your own restaurant specialising in it. That’s exactly what Khun Tan (Thai food blogger and manager), Khun Pongthep (designer and actor), Chef Gigg (Chef and Iron Chef Champion), and Mark Wiens (food video blogger, full-time eater) did when they decided to open Phed Mark, a small restaurant specialising in pad kaprao, one of Thailand’s most popular dishes.

Pad kaprao is a dish consisting of protein, commonly minced beef or pork, stir fried with Thai holy basil, garlic, and chillies. It’s served over rice, and usually topped with a fried egg. The main seasonings are soy sauce, Thai fish sauce, oyster sauce, cane sugar, and bird’s eye chili. Simple, addictive, and delicious.

At Phed Mark, there’s a few protein choices of offer, including a vegetarian option. I opted for the version I’m most familiar with and love, minced beef (nuea sap); and the Thai fermented sour sausage (naem) version. Once you’ve selected your protein, you choose your preferred level of spice, and any additional toppings (like a extra fried egg).

I’d heard stories about just how spicy the signature version (spice level four) is here. To be expected given the logo is a flame with a chilli for a mouth, and ‘phed’ means spicy. I went for levels two and three for my two plates, which seemed to be the go to levels for most as I eavesdropped on locals placing their orders. Let’s just say unless your an absolute spice fiend, level three is probably as hot as you’ll want to go.

I loved eating both, and don’t think I could choose between the two. The minced pork version is classic, a perfect balance of quality ingredients, and wonderful wok hei. The sour fermented pork sausage, meanwhile, adds a completely new element to the dish, with a sweet and sour oomph. I suggest you order both.

Phed Mark

300 Sukhumvit Road
Phra Khanong
Bangkok 10110

Telephone: 083 893 8989
E-mail: n/a

Mon – Sun: 10:00am to 7:15pm

Jeh O Chula, Pathum Wan


BANGKOK | If you’re looking for a tasty bowl of tom yum in Bangkok, Jeh O Chula is a place that you’ll want to visit. Their signature Mama O-ho Tom Yum is considered one of the best versions in town.

The restaurant opened in 1967, selling khao tom (Thai rice soup) and ped palo (stewed duck). The tom yum that’s they’re famous for didn’t actually hit the menu until the mid 2010s. The soup started its life as a staff meal, perfected over time by the current owners, the grandchildren of the original founder.

There’s several sizes of tom yum available, with a few topping variations. The full toppings version comes with MAMA instant noodles, prawns, squid, pork meatballs, eggs, and crispy pork. It’s all inside a light, creamy broth enriched with spices like lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, galangal, lime juice, red chilli, and coriander leaves.

The soup is a wonderful balance of sweet, savoury, sour, spicy, and umami and is so satisfying. Along with tom yum, Jeh O Chula offers an assortment of snacks and other dishes, with a focus on fresh seafood. The spicy fermented raw crab is a must, with a beautiful creamy texture. It’s got all the delicious bits, including the head meat. Do be aware that this crab dish is very spicy.

Jeh O Chula is a busy spot, popular with locals until the early hours of the morning. Grab a number, and ask how long the expected wait is. If it’s over an hour, which is likely, you can head to a nearby bar for a drink. Just be sure not to lose your spot in the queue.

Jeh O Chula

113 Soi Charat Mueang Rong Muang
Pathum Wan
Bangkok 10330

Telephone: 064 118 5888
E-mail: n/a

Mon – Sun: 4:30pm to 12:00am

Melbourne Street Art Guide

MELBOURNE | Melbourne is known as the street art capital of Australia, and for good reason, with countless murals across town. There’s excellent street art to be found in abundance in the CBD, and many inner city suburbs filled with interesting murals.

The street art scene in Melbourne is diverse, with pieces being created by talented local and international artists. The art draws upon a variety of themes from the social and political, to the historical and fun. Down laneways, on main streets, in full view on large buildings and hidden in unassuming spots, there’s always something interesting to see.

In this Melbourne street art guide, I’ll tell you about some of my favourite suburbs to visit for Melbourne’s best street art.


A great place to find Melbourne street art is in Brunswick, the constantly evolving inner-city suburb whose street art reflects its diversity. The art ranges from pop culture to memes, political commentary, cultural and environmental topics, and more.

Check out my Brunswick Street Art Guide here.


Carlton is known for its brilliant dining scene, but it’s also home to some great street art. I always integrate a bit of a street art walk into my visits to the neighbourhood. Lygon Street itself doesn’t have a lot of street art, but keep an eye out on the side streets as you walk down.

My Carlton Street Art Guide can be found here.


On the main streets, and commercial, industrial, and residential side streets of Collingwood, there’s an ever changing assortment of murals to discover. It’s one of Melbourne’s best suburbs for street art, with that mix of old and new buildings, and abundance of old warehouses and factories creating the perfect canvas for art.

Take a look at my Collingwood Street Art Guide here.


Officially Melbourne’s oldest suburb, the historically working class, industrial Fitzroy has transformed into one of Melbourne’s trendiest bohemian neighbourhoods over the past decade. It’s a mixed use, industrial, retail, and entertainment neighbourhood that’s full of great street art.

You can find my Fitzroy Street Art Guide here.


The historically working class, immigrant suburb of Footscray has a proud, diverse history, and its street art reflects this. There are distinct residential, retail, and commercial areas, all with their own vibe and art.

Visit my Footscray Street Art Guide here.

Melbourne CBD

Melbourne’s CBD is home to a wealth of brilliant murals. From small scale artworks to massive multi-storey pieces, it’s one of the most exciting places in the world for fans of street art. It’s a vibrant scene that’s always changing. Some pieces hang around for years, while popular spots like Hosier Lane are in a constant state of rejuvenation.

To find the best places for street art in Melbourne’s CBD, visit my Melbourne CBD Street Art Guide.

Northcote / Thornbury / Preston

There’s not as high a concentration of street art in these three suburbs as some of the other areas on this list, however they’re worth checking out. High Street is the main street which runs through Northcote, Thornbury, and Preston. It’s a continuous, vibrant street full of independent shops, bars, restaurants, cafes, and more. Along its entire length, you’ll find an assortment of murals.

Prahran / South Yarra / Windsor

These three suburbs are a great place to find street art south of the Yarra River. It’s mostly concentrated around Chapel Street, and the side streets that run off it. Windsor has the highest concentration of street art in this part of town, owing to its more industrial nature. As you head up Chapel Street, through Prahran and into South Yarra, things become fancier and the amount of street art declines. There are, however, still gems to be found.

St Kilda / Balaclava

St Kilda is known for it’s beach and bohemian vibe. With that, comes street art which is influenced by the neighbourhood. In particular, check out Acland Street and the side streets around Inkerman and Chapel Streets. If you head up towards Balaclava, there’s also some great murals around Balaclava Train Station.

Identified artists featured in the image gallery include:

Happy discoveries on your street art walk through Melbourne. What are your favourites places for street art in Melbourne? Are there any street art neighbourhoods beyond these hotspots that you love?

Sydney Street Art Guide

SYDNEY | Sydney is a great city to visit if you love street art. Melbourne might be better known for its street art, but there’s no shortage of quality in Sydney, in particular the suburbs of Newtown and Marrickville.

Whenever I’m in Sydney, I love walking around, discovering new pieces, and older pieces that I might have missed the last time that I was in town.

Sydney has a diverse street art scene, with pieces being created by talented local and international artists. The art draws upon a variety of themes from the social and political, to the historical and fun. Down laneways, on main streets, in full view on large buildings and hidden in unassuming spots, there’s always something interesting to see.

In this Sydney street art guide, I’ll tell you about some of my favourite neighbourhoods to visit for some of Sydney’s best street art.


This industrial suburb has undergone significant changes over the past decade. Factories and warehouses are giving way to apartments, bars, restaurants, and cafes. The suburb is a real mixed use area, and there’s more and more street art popping up.


Bondi isn’t really known for its street art, however if you’re visiting the beach, it’s worth checking out the Bondi Sea Wall. It’s a huge, ever-changing mural that’s been capturing the essence of Bondi’s surf and sea lifestyle since the 1960s. Many artists have painted pieces on this wall over the decades.

Also keep your eyes peeled as you walk along Bondi Road, the main thoroughfare between Bondi Junction and Bondi Beach. There’s a few pieces nestled amongst the unique architecture of some of the road’s buildings.


Darlinghurst features a lot of great murals. Of note is the “We Are Here” project, which saw the City of Sydney commission multiple artists in 2013 to paint a 15 metre high by 75 metre long mural along the façade of Foley Street. The mural reflects the area’s long and rich history.


Marrickville has a long and diverse history. It’s a heavily industrial area, that’s been called home to several waves of immigration to Sydney over the years. The result is a culturally diverse population, and varied architecture owing to the industrial/residential mix. The industrial areas, in particular, provide great canvasses for street art. On the main streets, the back of warehouses, and everywhere in between, there’s street art all over Marrickville.

Take a look at my Marrickville Street Art Guide here.


Newtown is considered by many to be the spiritual home of street art in Sydney. One of the earliest and most famous murals in the neighbourhood is the ‘I Have A Dream’ mural. It was created in in 1991 by Juilee Pryor and Andrew Aiken, with Martin Luther King Jr’s famous words acting as a rallying call to fight for Indigenous Australian rights.

Today, it’s virtually impossible to not spot street art in Newtown. It lines many of the suburb’s main streets, side streets, and back alleys. The artwork deals with a variety of topics, from the political to the commercial, and the controversial to the fun.

You can find my Newtown Street Art Guide here.


Paddington is known for its high end boutique shops rather than street art, but it’s worth a visit. In the backstreets behind Oxford Street, between Mary Place and West Street, you’ll find several pieces that reflect the spirit and history of the neighbourhood.


Redfern is considered by many to be the birthplace of the Aboriginal civil rights movement in Australia. The area has long been a centre of indigenous Australian culture and community. The street art here reflects this heritage, with many political pieces, and community and cultural works of art.

St Peters

The area between St Peters train station and Marrickville has boomed in recent years, and that includes street art. In 2010, factory owner Tugi Balog had enough of the tagging occurring on the laneway backing on to his factory. He worked with local artists to transform Mary Lane into an open-air art gallery, where artists can paint what they like.

Today it’s not just Mary Lane, but many other surrounding streets in St Peters, which are home to street art.

Surry Hills

Easily accessible for visitors to Sydney staying in the CBD, adjoining suburb Surry Hills is a great place to find street art. It lines many of the suburb’s main streets, side streets, and back alleys. The artwork deals with a variety of topics, fun, serious, and topical.

Check out my Surry Hills Street Art Guide here.

Sydney CBD

There’s not as much street art in Sydney’s CBD as one might think. While the city’s inner city suburbs offer more for lovers of street art, there’s still a decent number of murals to be found in the CBD. Laneways, in particular, are a good place to look.

Be sure to check out huge mural of aboriginal elder Jenny Munro, painted by Adnate on the side of the Novotel Sydney on Darling Harbour.

Identified artists featured in the image gallery include:

Happy discoveries on your street art walk through Sydney. What are your favourites places for street art in Sydney? Are there any street art neighbourhoods beyond these hotspots that you love?