Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Review: Doy Tao, Newtown

Newtown is positively filled with Thai restaurants, you can barely go 10 houses without hitting one. On my block there are 3!

But when you live in Newtown where you tend to eat lazy Friday night Thai is Doy Tao. These days there's a few branches of their restaurant but this is the one I eat at regularly. The produce is good and fresh, they have a huge range of vegetarian options and some special meals like whole fillet fish.

It really is the most satisfying take out in Newtown with fresh quick meals and excellent spicy food. Eating in is slightly less comfortable, the tables are jammed in so that we are about 5 inches from our neighbours and we're barely missed by rushing wait staff, the entire place so noisy we're almost yelling at each other across the table. But the food is still good enough to make all this easily forgotten.

Deep fried bean curd in peanut sauce $7.50

Readers of my blog will know just how much I like tofu so it's unsurprising how much I love this dish. Unfortunately it is cotton rather than silk tofu and a bit heavier than I like but nonetheless is still good quality fresh tofu, deep fried in what I assume to be nut oil. This is then served with huge amounts of rich peanut sauce, similar to an Indonesian satay. My only regret is how rich the nut sauce is when I have other food coming

Curry Puffs $7.50

Definitely one of the better renditions of this dish the puffs are available in both vegetarian and meat filling. The chewy light and I dare say fattening pastry is the real winner here thouygh.

Duck Green Curry $18 and Jasmine Rice for 2 $5

I'm not a huge fan of Thai over other Asian foods, especially given that in Brisbane the primary immigrant restaurant for most of my youth was Vietnamese rather than Thai but when you combine words like "duck" and "curry" you know that I'm interested! This is a great version with creamy coconut and hot fresh spices that really zing but not so hot to turn off the unadventurous. The duck slices are generous and have a thin slice of roasted fat and skin attached.

Vegetarian Pad Thai with Tofu $14

I love the noodle dishes more than anything here and they certainly don't "lose" anything by being vegetarian. Lots of vegetables, tofu slices and nuts make this very generous serve very filling. The spiced soy noodle sauce is slightly sweet and very morish; highly recommended with your favourite vegetables or meat.

Unfortunately I don't have a picture of my favourite takeout item on their menu with is the Chicken Pad Kee Mao $16; a delicious blend of basil and chilli jam stir fry with handmade rice noodles.

Stop by for some quick takeout or try one of their lunch specials, I find that as a Friday/Saturday night venue they're best avoided due to the rush of customers, noise and subsequent less than fantastic service. The food however speaks for itself.

Doy Tao

543-545 King Street
Telephone: 9557 6334

Bookings essential for weekend nights
Takeaway available
BYO licence


  1. Drunken Chicken is one of my favourites from there, it is mildly spiced (not chilli for those that don't like it) and you can buy it as a part or whole chicken. It has been a stable favourite of the place for at least the last 10 years which is when I first tasted it.

    As a takeaway, it is nice to have at home sprinked with some fresh coriander and I tend to serve it with freshly steamed crispy vege (snow peas, beans) and some rice to soak up the awesome sauce.

    The restaurant has been my restaurant of choice when in the area, being that "oh, I'm near DoyTao, must get my food there"

  2. The tofu looks unfortunately like someone's had the runs all over it! Eeewwwww .... Wouldn't the sauce have been better served as a condiment in a bowl? Surely? I have to say, having dined at a Doytao Thai once (and coincidentally in Newtown), I have absolutely no idea how it's become so popular that it has about seven branches all over Sydney; it was average at best and just plain horrible at worst. Nothing you can't get done equally well at any other Thai eatery in Newtown. Nice review though.