December 2009

If you’re sick of queuing to get into Chat Thai, walk around the corner to Iima (corner of Goulburn and Pitt Streets, Ph 8080 7727) in the old Mandarin Club building (now Mr B’s Hotel).
Amy Chanta, the owner and livewire behind Chat Thai came up with the idea of Iima, which means, she tells me, “now” in Japanese and “full belly” in Thai.

And that’s what Iima is, parallel menus — Thai and Japanese with two teams in the kitchen, the Japanese one under the guidance of Toshiya “Toshi” Kai (last seen at Goemon Sushi in Mosman) with Uthaiwan Chumvorathayee doing the delectable pancakes. It works a treat.

Mix and match agedashi tofu with tempura som tum — the papaya is deepfried in a light batter — or just a grilled eel and prawn tempura  with tobiko and chilli-infused teriyaki sauce. Don’t forget the pancakes, the best being the pandan with coconut icecream. And there’s a bar with a big list of cocktails. The whole thing sprawls over two floors, so no more queuing in the street.

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