The following are BAD names for a Thai restaurant:
Thai Hard with a Vengeance
It’s My Party and I’ll Thai if I Want To
Hit Me Baby One More Thai
A cheesy, tacky name is often the first sign of an average Thai meal headed your way. Like a lot of Asian in Australia, Thai has been whipped and beaten to suit our taste buds leaving traditional dishes almost unrecognizable to its natives. Muum Maam, on the other hand, is a far cry from the westernized Thai-in-a-box style cuisine. It’s here you’ll find a more authentic menu with an emphasis on Asian street food style dishes, without the risk of a dirty Bankok side-walk.
Opening in December of last year Muum Maam is a welcomed addition to the expanding restaurant lined Holt Street in Surry Hills. Nestled amongst clothing wholesalers and down the road from media haven News Limited you’ll find a warm and inviting space.
By day you’ll find the tuk tuk on the footpath serving street food style dishes for those in need of a quick, tasty lunch at a good price.
At night the tuk tuk is tucked away, the lights are dimmed and the restaurant is transformed into a sleek, casual domain. You’ll find polished timber, long communal tables, large Asian artworks and an open style kitchen. An impressive fit-out considering the owners did it themselves!
Those clever chaps behind Darlinghurst’s Omerta, A Tavola and Gelato Messina are to thank for Muum Maam. So how did we go from Italian experts to opening a Thai restaurant? A talented man named Andy moved from Bangkok nine years ago and was a Manager at Messina. It was his dream to one day open an authentic Thai restaurant in Sydney. Declan Lee and the team loved eating Thai food but couldn’t find anywhere they liked. Inevitably Andy’s dream came true!
Andy isn’t the only one who dreams about food and the meaning of Muum Maam; ‘little glutton’ was certainly appropriate for our Asian Street Food Experience. A banquet of authentic dishes with fresh, seasonal ingredients was lovingly chopped, wrapped and skewered in Muum Maam’s tuckshop and brought to the table.
My favourite dish was the trout in betel leaves, a nice change from the commonly served prawn. I liked the interaction of rolling your own and according to Andy it is served very similar on the streets of Bankok only on a skewer.
The beef curry and the pad Thai were my two favourite dishes from the banquet. The beef curry was absolutely delicious and the beef soft and flavorsome. Pad Thai is often a greasy hangover cure but not at Muum Maam. The prawns were fresh and the egg on the outside very authentic. I found the chicken a little gristly and didn’t love the pork belly, with so many other amazing dishes on the menu I wouldn’t order it again.
Sticky rice with Thai custard wrapped in banana leaf and served with coconut sorbet
I’d expect nothing less than an amazing coconut sorbet considering the background at Messina and thankfully I wasn’t disappointed. The custard was a delight but make sure you eat the sticky rice fast…dry rice not so tasty.
I know I’ve found my new local Thai restaurant and even if you don’t live/work in the hood, it’s worth the trip. I suggest you grab your friends, and a bottle of wine (it’s BYO) and head to Muum Maam.