SYDNEY | Porkfat is a restaurant that, while it’s only been open for a few months, has already garnered a reputation as one of the most exciting Thai restaurants in Sydney. Not bad for a place which opened with rather little hype, but rather anticipation amongst those in the know.
Porkfat is the culmination of a dream of having their own restaurant that owner-chefs Narin “Jack” Kulasai and Tanya Boon have had for many years. With experience working at Nahm in Bankkok, Longchim in Sydney, and Thai heritage, it’s not surprising that the duo have created something special with Porkfat.
Narin hails from Saraburi (Central Thailand), and uses pork fat instead of cooking oil to cook homestyle and street food inspired eats that aim to recreate the tastes one gets when walking into their grandmother’s kitchen at home in Thailand. The menu is tight – 10 dishes, plus a few rotating specials, and one dessert. The small menu doesn’t make ordering any easier, as it’s all enticing.
One of the must order items is the grilled pork jowl. Rich, springy, succulent grilled pork jowl is marinated in two-year-old fish sauce and secured with fresh mint leaves, roasted rice, tamarind, and lime. It’s wonderful. The deep fried golden pomfret with crispy garlic, coriander, nam jim, and mango salad, is another delight. My dining companion called the delicious southern-style Phuket tiger prawn curry “one of the best curries I’ve ever eaten”.
The quality of the ingredients shines in every dish. Ingredients are sourced daily from local farmers and seafood markets. Dishes are fresh and vibrant, simple yet complex. Food is served on hand-painted ceramics from Wiang Galon – an ancient Thai city known for its artistic and religious history.
To drink, it’s Thai milk tea and a few sodas, wines, and beers. The alcohol selection is limited, but quality, and you’re free to BYO for a small corkage fee.
One meal at Porkfat, and it’s easy to see why people are talking about the restaurant the way that they are. It’s a restaurant that’s contemporary, with beautifully presented, technique driven food. It’s also a small, homely spot, with a warm, welcoming atmosphere, and food cooked from the heart. The best of both worlds, and a place I’ll be returning to the next time I’m in town.
33 Ultimo Road
New South Wales 2000
Tue – Sun: 11:00am to 3:30pm, 5:00pm to 10:00pm