Trevor Pepys reviews Thai Square, Noosaville
It was a rare, rainy night in Noosaville, and, as he schlepped along the glistening pavement in the dark, Trevor burst into song, hoping to ward off the blues, not to mention the skateboard thugs who seemed to have been tailing him since Quamby Place.
As he quickened the pace over the Jimmy Duke Bridge, the tune and the lyrics tumbled out:
When you’re down and out
When you’re on the street
When evening falls so hard
I will comfort you*
And lo and behold, a distant but comforting beacon of light shone through the drizzle, and he followed it all the way to Thai Square, where pretty young wait-persons guided him to a corner table and set him up with a heater to dry his wet clothes. Trevor ordered a Tiger beer and a pinot gris chaser ($7) and scanned the menu (even though he was familiar enough with the place to order without looking) while he waited for his dining companions – the bride, of course, and the famous Sydney food critic, on her last night in town – to finish their rampage along Hastings Street, buying expensive, and completely inedible, items of clothing.
The first thing to say about the family-run Thai Square is that it has a very sensible name. Sure, Thai Me Kangaroo Down and Thai One On were funny the first time, but now that there’s a Thai on every suburban strip mall trying to be amusing, the joke has worn a bit thin. I like the no-nonsense approach that Thai Square has been bringing for years now, not just to its geographically precise name but to its service, presentation and its food.
Take the fish cakes ($6.50), for example. I certainly did, and when the companions finally arrived, laden with shopping bags, I ordered another, along with the golden prawns ($8.50). Let’s face it, if you can’t do a decent fish cake, you’d better give your Thai a funny name and hope for the best. The kitchen at Thai Square knows its way around a fish cake – crispy on the outside, succulent inside with a little spice – and does a golden prawn to die for.
Next, having drunk them out of the pinot gris, we moved onto a passable Oyster Bay chardonnay ($34 the bottle) as the mains arrived, share plates of the roasted duck curry ($18.90) and the stir-fried lamb pad khing with ginger and vegetables ($14.90). Thai Square also knows its way around a quacker, and a confession here: Trevor would normally order the duck stir-fried with ginger, but on this occasion, Trevor was overruled. Fortunately for the others, the duck curry also proved to be excellent, sweet and succulent.
The main menu at Thai Square is commendably simple – just a variety of curries and stir-fries, and choose your beast, veges or seafood. You really can’t go wrong, but for the slightly adventurous, Trev suggests a spiced-up jungle curry gang pha, which he and his mate Norm usually tuck into over their Tiger Beer-fuelled long lunches.
Now, did I mention the patience and good humour of the charming staff? I think I need to, since on this occasion Trevor stumbled while paying the bill and emptied the contents of his final glass of wine over our waitress, who smiled and thanked him for coming … and leaving.
The verdict: good, honest Thai tucker at very reasonable prices in a pleasant setting one block off the river.
*Bridge Over Troubled Waters was, of course, a hit for Simon and Garfunkel when released half a century ago, but for a much better version Trev suggests his own slightly reggae treatment on the EP “Can’t Judge a Muso By His Covers” (trevmusic, possibly available on iTunes).
Thai Square, 285 Weyba Road, Noosaville, phone 5449 9099. Open lunch and dinner most days, phone first.