Thai food gets modernised and the classics get reinterpreted at Sydney's newest waterfront Thai restaurant
There’s no shortage of Thai food in this city. Great Thai? Not so much. As any food-loving Sydneysider will testify, finding better- than-Bangkok fare is a quest not for the easily deterred.
Thankfully, Muum Maam does authentic Thai food well. So very, very well. Regional Thai flavours are delivered with a quality and freshness that is both reassuringly familiar and pleasantly unexpected.
Credit for the authenticity and modern diversity of the menu is largely owed to head chef Santo Bun, who spent seven years mastering Thai cuisine in the kitchen at Longrain under the direction of globally acclaimed Thai-food God Martin Boetz.
At Muum Maam, Santo has been given full creative license by co-owners Top Arayarungroj and Andy Pruksa, and has refined some of the best sellers from the Surry Hills kitchen to create a swag of contemporary new dishes worthy of the new digs by the sea.
Muum Maam (meaning ‘little glutton’ in Thai) is almost two restaurants in one. By day, the menu takes inspiration from authentic Thai street-style tuckshops and delivers a great-value assortment of classics - think Papaya Salad, Chilli Chopped-Chicken, Choo Chee Curry, Sen Jan Pad Thai. The emphasis is on flavour and speed: phone your order in from your office desk and pick-up in the time it takes for a leisurely stroll down to Wulugul Walk (though you may re-think your decision to take-away once you’re down on the beautiful harbourfront).
The second act begins as the sun sets, and a more elaborate exhibition of Thai cookery is on offer. Some of the dishes, such as the Shredded Banana Blossom Salad, served with prawns, cashews, coriander and bathed in a house- made sweet chilli, are legendary amongst Sydney Thai tragics.
Add water views and an extensive cocktail and wine menu (with Singha on tap), and you have the makings of a Phuket holiday without leaving the country. In fact, one of the best things about Muum Maam actually has nothing to do with the mastery in the kitchen or the wonderfully attentive service. This may just be the only place in the city to enjoy top-shelf Thai fare on the beautiful harbour foreshore.
And when it comes to authentic food with water views, Bangkok’s Chao Phraya river has nothing on Sydney Harbour.
Muum Maam is now open on Wulugul Walk, 7 days a week.