Once upon a time I was a very fussy eater. I was unable to handle chilli at all, and I ordered my Pad Thai without bean sprouts because I had textural issues. Happily, those days are slowly getting behind me, and I have gradually accustomed my tastebuds to the heat of chilli – though I still have a way to go!
I was given a complimentary voucher to Le Lerd Thai Restaurant thanks to Food Morning Sydney, to sample their menu for the current deal, and chilli is what I needed on the night I visited with my friend Noddy. You see I have had a cold threatening to rear its ugly head in full force, so I’ve been fighting back with chilli, garlic, honey and lemon. It seems to be working.
Le Lerd is located on Parramatta Road in Leichhardt, close to Norton Street. Jonathan is the Manager / Owner here, and is very welcoming and friendly. The dining room is gorgeous; featuring bold colours of pink and bronze, with artwork hand-painted by Jonathan’s father-in-law. And are you wondering why a Thai restaurant has a French-sounding name? Jonathan says it’s a play on a Thai word that means beautiful.
Jonathan suggests we try smaller portions of several dishes, and we start with entrees of salt, pepper and garlic calamari, grilled marinated tiger prawns, and my favourite Thai salad, Som Tum.
Salt, pepper, garlic calamari, $9.90 for regular size
The calamari is well cooked; tender pieces coated in salt, pepper and garlic. Noddy is a big fan of salt & pepper calamari and gives this her approval.
Som Tum, $16.90 for regular size
Som Tum is a fresh salad of shredded green papaya, carrot, and peanuts, with luscious plump prawns and a mouth-burning fiery dressing. The heat is intense, but I can’t help going back for more each time the burn settles.
Grilled, marinated tiger prawns, $9.90 for regular size
The grilled, marinated tiger prawns are also packed full of flavour. Slightly sweet and sticky, with a good amount of heat. Jonathan tells us that his chef is very talented at cooking seafood, and that is clearly evident.
Roast duck stir-fry with basil, chilli and cashews, $15.90 for regular size
One of my favourite Thai stir-fry combinations is Thai basil, chilli and cashew, which we order with roast duck. The vegetables are fresh and crunchy, the basil is strong in flavour with good heat from the chilli – though a cripier skin and more duck would have been welcome.
Massaman curry, $14.90 for regular size
Jonathan says their massaman curry is one of their most popular dishes, and I can see why. The beef is soft and falls apart easily. The sauce is rich and comforting, creamy and slightly sweet, with chunks of potato and pumpkin throughout, and cashews scattered on top. Despite nearing stomach capacity, I go back for more of the sauce with our rice.
Chicken Pad Thai, $12.90 for regular size
Of course we had to try their Pad Thai, and it didn’t disappoint. The rice noodles are mixed with chicken, tofu, crushed peanuts and bean sprouts, and I love the sweet and sour flavours, finished off with a generous squeeze of lemon. Despite having smaller than their usual serves, our eyes were clearly bigger than our stomachs and we struggled to finish our mains. But there was dessert to be had…
Tapioca and sweet corn, $4.90
Thai sticky rice, $4.90
The desserts of the day were tapioca and sweet corn, and Thai sticky rice, both covered in salted coconut cream. The combination of the sweet tapioca and rice dishes with the salty coconut is unusual and delicious. I absolutely loved it and Noddy laughed at me, commenting “you look so happy!”. Indeed, dessert makes me very happy ;)
Thanks to Ricky at Food Morning Sydney, and Jonathan at Le Lerd, until Tuesday you can buy their deal for $45 which includes 2 entrees, 2 mains, Jasmine rice, 2 desserts of the day and a glass of wine or beer each.
Food Morning Sydney
Le Lerd Thai Restaurant
61 2 9560 1133
417 Parramatta Road, Leichhardt
Lunch: Tuesday to Friday, 12:00pm – 3:00pm
Dinner: Everyday, 5:30pm – 10:00pm