Friday, February 16, 2007

Bank Hotel, King Street, Newtown

Bank Hotel, King Street, Newtown
Friday 16 February, 2007

Tonight was our Girl's Night Out. Even though it had been in our diaries for several months it still crept up on us. We planned to do a bar crawl of sorts and started our evening at ZanziBar (directly opposite the Bank Hotel).

After 4 bottles of wine at ZaniBar we crossed the road and entered the Bank Hotel. It has recently re-opened after a rumoured $19 million refurbishment and looks fantastic. The quality of the finishes are remarkable - from the flooring, marble bars, sandstone walls, heaters built into the ceilings, wooden slat chairs and tables and automated sun shades that cover the open air dining space of Sumalee Thai.

From the street level bar take the stairs downstairs to find the entrance to Sumalee Thai. The first thing you will notice is the amazing display of fresh flowers. Tonight's display was a massive bunch of Tiger Lillies - stunning.
We had been told that our reservation would be kept for 15 minutes and we made it by the skin of our teeth. We were led to our table and provided with menus. The idea here is you order your drinks at the bar and order your food at the counter near the kitchen.

We were all starving and decided to order a feast. Most of the dishes are offered in an entree and main serve and we ordered:

- roast duck salad
- tofu and chilli
- massaman beef
- green curry chicken
- roast duck stir fry
- eggplant & mushroom stir fry
- pork ribs
- steamed rice

After we ordered and paid we were told there would be at least a 45 minute wait for the food. We didn't mind as we were having so much fun.
After 20 minutes our first few dishes arrived. The servings were enormous and the fragrance was extraordinary. We dug in and enjoyed every mouthful. The stand out dishes were the roast duck salad and the roast duck stir fry - the large strips of duck were tender, flavoursome and incredibly good. The salad was light, fresh and the combination of the coriander, garlic, chilli and mint was to die for.
The pork just fell off the bone and was delightfully tender, the beef was served in large chunky pieces and served with a thick spiced sauce and huge chunks of potatoes and onions, the eggplant and mushroom stir fry was mushy and oozed flavour - there was nothing to fault.
It was definitely a case of our eyes were bigger than our bellies - we gave it a good effort but we didn't come close to finishing our food. We were having so much fun we didn't want to leave - the dining space remained full the entire night and the crowd was relaxed.
After dinner we walked through the rest of the hotel - it was packed to the rafters and each space was so different with interesting decor and music. It's a great place for a night out.
Sumalee Thai - 324 King St, Newtown - (02) 8568 1900


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