A decent Thai diner arrives in the Surry Hills rag trade precinct
This little pocket of Surry Hills has gone from rag-trade dive to mini dining precinct. Vini started it all and they've now expanded with their own bottle shop and wine bar across the way, while Cotton Duck and Muum Maam have since become their Holt Street neighbours. It's not like Sydney needs another Thai restaurant, mind. Surry Hills is riddled with extremely good ones as it is - House and Spice I Am are only a two-step away. But neither one offers a comfortable dining room like Muum Maam does. And for some people that's more important than the stuff on the plate. Not that Muum Maam's offerings are two-bit, by any means. There's some genuinely tasty gear on offer, like the sweet little prawn cake nubbins ($6), all deep fried and crunchy. Their version of crisp pork belly with Chinese broccoli ($15) is a winner and the red curry of beef ($14) with crisp noodles is a rich mess of potato, meat and sweet curried coconut cream. The fried rice, bejewelled with little pieces of pineapple, fried egg and prawn ($15) and finished with a squeeze of lime has a kind of Hawaiian retro bent that really works. Punters take note: the lunch menus and dinner menus are completely different. There's no Thai style mango with sticky rice for dessert during the day but there is Messina gelato. Likewise, dishes such as whole snapper with tamarind and the crab fried rice are dinner-only. Muum Maam is low-key and low-impact - order and pay at the counter, receive food quickly, eat and go. It's a great one for a quick, no-nonsense, tasty lunch.