Bangpop heats up the South Wharf with fiery Thai snacks
Paper serviettes, stand down. There’s a reason why Bangpop use trimmed-down tea towels as their napkin of choice. At Paul Mathis’ Thai street food venture, the flavours don’t pull any punches, and you’ll sport the runny nose to prove it.
This place is Thai in mind rather than body. Many of the trappings of former tenant , the Sharing House remain, from the bar done up in Duplo, and pink lights to the cushy white chairs.
On the drinks front, bartender Alessandro Boneschi smokes salt in a nifty backyard smoker and uses it to great effect around cool, crisp margaritas. In the kitchen, head chef Kam McManamey cut his teeth at Dandelion and now turns his hand to authentic Thai fare like sour orange curry and chubby Isaan-style pork sausages.
The menu is all about sharing but it’s too easy to hog the gaeng daeng phed. It’s a slow-cooked duck leg luxuriating in silky red curry sauce along with just-cooked snake beans. If you’re craving fire, try the kanom jim nam ya pla. That’s code for rice noodles in a forebodingly dark broth, flavoured with tuna, pla ra (fermented fish) and wild ginger. It’s tangy, tasty and a total tongue scorcher. Staff are on hand to deliver coconut water antidotes.
The concept is street food but don't expect prices to match. One soft-shell crab (albeit fresh, not frozen) with a tumble of herbs and a teacup of rice is a great dish, but steep at $24.90. If you’re on a backpacker budget, pop in for the lunch special, which will net you a plate (maybe a beef Penang curry) and a drink for $15. Unbeatable.
35 South Wharf Rd
|Opening hours:||Daily noon-late|