Home > Syd: Surry Hills, Sydney, Thai > House, Surry Hills

House, Surry Hills

I can’t believe it has taken me THIS long to go to House. In my defence though, it opened when we were overseas last year and I guess Thai food has never my first preference of food! House is opened by Sujet Saenkham of Spice I Am which specialises in the street food of the Isaan region, in north-east Thailand.

I came here with the restaurateur, L and suggested this place. I had thought that House was originally part of the Triple Ace Bar, like a beer garden, however, that was not the case. It is totally separated and if you want a drink, you have to get from the pub and bring it over (which I thought was a little weird!). I quite like the outdoor seating, the sturdy wooden tables outside in the ‘courtyard’ – it was a little cold that day, so we opted to sit inside.

The menu had variety, too many that we weren’t sure what to order. I do like the colourful pictures though, think from memory I picked a couple of dishes base on the picture! whoops!

We started with the moo daed deaw ($8.00) – lightly deep-fried sun-dried marinated pork strips served with jim-jaew dipping sauce. A little disappointing I thought, the pork strips were hard and a little chewy, however, the jim-jaew dipping sauce which was mildly spicy was excellent.

Next the ping lin ($10.00) which is grilled marinated ox tongue served with jim-jaew dipping sauce. This was infinitely better. The tongue was pink and tender, a little smoky and absolutely delicious.

The lab ped ($18.00), traditional Isaan salad of minced duck with eschalot, shallot, Vietnamese coriander, mint, ground roasted rice, ground chili and lime. WOW – the spiciness really hits you at the end! The duck was tender, it was extremely flavoursome and the sauce I really loved! It was one hell of a spicy salad! Not exactly what I expected but at the same time, quite pleasant!

The khi moon gai ($15.00) Thai style Hainanese Chicken Rice was probably my least favourite and possibly the worst Hainanese chicken rice I have had. The rice lacked aroma and flavour, and the chicken breast cut thinly were dry and did not have any taste at all, disappointing!

Dessert – we have heard so much about BTS (better than sex) that we really had to order it! The toasted brioche was rich and magnificently soft and buttery that it just melted in my mouth, and topped with pandan coconut ice cream and ‘drizzled’ in palm sugar was just superb!

Calorific, it was rich – sickly rich and I have to admit, I felt extremely ill after eating half of it! I needed something bitter to wash it down, like black tea or coffee. Not something I would eat every day or on my own, but it was good!

Service is minimal but waiters are quite friendly. I hear on Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings a band will come on after 9 pm which sounds pretty cool. I can see the attraction with this place, it is slightly cheaper than that of Spice I am, however, as for taste, I am not 100% convince. Two out of the four dishes we ordered were ordinary, we may have ordered wrong and have to try others. However, in saying that, I still do prefer  Spice I am, Longrain or Shortgrain for Thai food I think!

GA’s rating: 6 / 10


202 Elizabeth Street

Surry Hills 2010

Ph: +61 2 9280 0364

House on Urbanspoon

  1. July 4, 2011 at 12:14 am

    oh lordy! sounds like a MISS for me…. i am prob the odd one that doesn’t think too much of Spice I Am… so i guess at least they’re being consistent… with their offshoot being a little lack lustre….

    • July 4, 2011 at 4:51 am

      its a bit of a hit and miss uncle! the dessert is nice – think wifey will like 🙂

  2. July 4, 2011 at 12:39 am

    the bts dessert looks amazing i dont think id get sick of eating it whole 😛

  3. July 4, 2011 at 2:24 am

    The desert caught my eye, but not in a good way. I foresee my heart and arteries clogging after a mouthful of that… oh goodness.

    • July 4, 2011 at 4:52 am

      LOL yes! the first bite was heavenly but then…. sickly sweet! could not eat anything sweet for the next day or so

  4. July 4, 2011 at 3:24 am

    Hmmm…interesting post, sounds like it’s a bit hit & miss with the dishes. Nevertheless I still want to try it, and shall make sure to share the BTS rather than scoff it on my own. Oink1

    • July 4, 2011 at 4:53 am

      hello miss piggy! definitely try it – i have friends who love it… maybe we just didnt order the right stuff… but the BTS – yummy!

  5. July 4, 2011 at 5:27 am

    You’re not the only one – I still haven’t been to House, and I actually really like Thai food. Sounds like pork jerky and Hainan chicken are not the way to go (but Thai Hainan chicken…???)

    • July 4, 2011 at 5:29 am

      LOL hey foodbooze! I know… i dont know what i was thinking – thai hainan! hahahah my friend wanted to try it thats why… bad choice clearly 🙂

  6. July 4, 2011 at 9:32 am

    If I may speak in House’s defence, I LOVE the place. But yes there are some dishes that are better than others (much the same as Spice I Am). I find the larbs a bit standard compared with other dishes, the chicken rice out of place and the soups a bit awkward on the menu.

    I think it’s a definite love or hate place. The dishes are SO HOT and the northern Thai flavours are very punchy and full on compared to other Thai food.

    I’m definitely in the love category. The grilled meats are smokey, sweet and moreish. The salads are interesting (jackfruit salad, fresh bamboo salad, green papaya and salt crabs salad) and the flavours are MASSIVE (the jaew bong is borderline inedible it’s so hot, but the flavours are insane; the BTS is way over the top but is a total celebration of excess).

    And a big plus for me is service isn’t pushy like at Spice I Am and you aren’t crammed in.

    Probably my favourite Thai in Sydney (bar Sailor’s Thai which isn’t really comparable).

    My review: http://jobesfoodandwine.blogspot.com/2010/07/restaurant-house.html

    • July 4, 2011 at 12:32 pm

      Hey jobe 🙂 of course you can speak in House’s defense. I loved the duck salad and the ox tongue but it was a bit of a hit and miss for me… maybe it was the food that we ordered. I am willing to give it another go.. maybe with a bigger group so i can try different stuff!

  7. July 4, 2011 at 2:17 pm

    GA – long time reader, first time poster, love your blog!

    I agree with this review even though I frequent here – its a mixed bag but I find they have fantastic salads and grilled dishes thats big on flavour, low on price. If you know what to order, it’s a refreshing change from boring pad thai and green curry.

    • July 4, 2011 at 10:56 pm

      hello for the love of food 🙂 many thanks for your kind words! I get a feeling we may have ordered wrong and will have to go back! I agree the duck salad was fantastic! will have to try the grilled dishes i think…. thank you 🙂

  8. July 8, 2011 at 12:38 am

    I ate here with 2 other people and we shared 2 of those desserts between the 3 of us. AND that was only after we’d strategically underordered dishes for dinner beforehand – so rich but so, so tasty!

    • July 8, 2011 at 2:21 am

      hey mademoiselle – indeed very rich but oh so tasty! dont know if i could eat it every day though… once in a while ok 🙂

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