You eat at Boon Café because of the name. Boon. Who doesn’t want to go there? And you come back because the food is so good. Located in Sydney’s booming Thaitown district – the ill-defined area between Central Station and Chinatown, Boon Café is a bright, modern café cum Thai grocery store. It does a decent line of fruit and veg, sells takeaway Thai cakes and curries and the shelves are stacked with Thai delicacies and frozen goods.
The café itself takes up the other half of the shop. There is window seating for couples or solos and for groups there is seating at the back of the café. It’s fair to say it’s all a little squished but fine dining this ain’t; good dining this is.
Boon Café is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Breakfast is along modern Australian cafe lines with a hefty Thai twang – smashed avocado with soft Thai herbs on sourdough or congee for the true believers. Lunch concentrates on brown rice bowl lunches and gourmet Asian slaw sandwiches on great bread and dinner (which starts at 4pm) concentrates on spicier food from the Isan area of north east Thailand. For example, in place of suburban Green Curry you can sample spicy Gaeng Kanuhn – jackfruit, pork short ribs, pumpkin, luffa gourd herbaceous curry with lemongrass, smoked red onions, acacia fronds, lemon basil, tiliacora leaves.
And did I mention drinks? Turmeric latte, Pandan Tisane are just some of the many options as well as single origin coffee and matcha staples. It’s also BYO, which makes a night out way more affordable.
The service runs from pleasant, efficient, slightly adorable and overly helpful. I only had to ask at the counter what a particular dessert was to have it served to me ten minutes later. I would have ordered it anyway, so no biggie, and as it turned out this black sesame pie was as interesting as it sounds.
We arrived for lunch early and by the time we’d left for our early lunch Boon was beginning to fill up with office workers, backpackers and foodies. With our bellies full and our wallet still showing signs of life, we vowed to be back – this time for dinner with friends and wine. Boom!
Pic: concrete playground