November 15, 2014


Thailand is one of the most popular destinations for tourists from around the globe. Offering a vast range of attractions from historical monuments, great beaches, vibrant nightlife, relaxed lifestyle, fantastic shopping, a broad range of accommodation from the most luxurious hotels to the most humble apartments, Thailand manages to provide the holidaymaker with a range of experiences that appeal to all age groups. Not just the domain of the young or the old, whatever it is you are looking for, you will probably find it in Thailand.

DSC04605With visitors arriving year round, rather than on a seasonal basis, as is the case with some tourism hot spots, there never seems to be an “off season” in this magical country.

One of the standout attractions in Thailand is their cuisine, which seems to have universal appeal. So popular is their cuisine that virtually every city in the world has a Thai restaurant and Sydney is no exception, with a large number of restaurants serving this cuisine in nearly every suburb. In fact, one could go as far as to say that there is no need to go to Thailand to get authentic Thai food.

Close to the heart of Sydney, in Surry Hills, is one of the best Thai restaurants I have found. Located on the corner of Elizabeth & Campbell Streets,“The Surry Hills Eating House” offers the diner a truly authentic Thai experience. The atmosphere is relaxed in this minimalist venue, with pleasant Thai serving staff who are very welcoming and extremely helpful when offering assistance in menu choices.

DSC04623When I dined there recently, I asked our waiter to recommend several dishes for us to try. One of the criteria was that I did not like too much chilli.

Our two entrees, which we shared, were very tasty. I especially enjoyed the Pak Mor Youan of steamed minced pork and spring onion wrapped in rice paper.

The second entrée, Mieng Ka Na, sweet and sour spicy flossy pork, green lime, ginger, eshallot and fresh chilli served with green Chinese broccoli leaf, was just a little too hot for my taste, but perfect for my partner, the broccoli leaf seemed to break down the heat.

We also shared the two mains. Gaeng Kiew Wan Nua, a green curry of slow cooked beef served with roti was excellent, as was the Gai Pae Sa, Chinese Phuket steamed chicken with steamed fresh water spinach, ginger rice wine sauce and chilli ginger dipping sauce, so delicate and tasty.

DSC04630The portions were very generous so when it came to choosing dessert, we decided to share just one. The Steamed Taro With Durian Coconut Cream was a fitting finale for this superb meal.

As I mentioned before, who needs to travel all the way to Thailand when such authentic cuisine is available in Surry Hills. Chef Sujet Saenkham’s food for this restaurant is regional Thai, a lighter style with a delicious Chinese/Malay twist.

Sandra Tiltman Photos: John Pond



November 15, 2014


The incredible life of John Olsen, one of Australia’s most famous artists, has been committed to print for future generations to enjoy, with the publication of his long awaited biography.

David Marr

David Marr

“John Olsen: An Artists Life”, written by Darleen Bungey, was recently launched at Woollahra’s OLSEN IRWIN Gallery by celebrated biographer, David Marr, who delighted the assembled crowd with his eloquent speech.

The highlight of the evening was John Olsen’s speech in which he acknowledged his thanks for his long and interesting life. Dressed in an off white coloured suit, with his famous black beret completing the outfit, John Olsen certainly cut an elegant figure.

When the speeches concluded, John Olsen took his seat to sign copies and write dedications for all those eagerly lining up, clutching the books they had purchased earlier in the evening.

An apt quote from Robert Hughes appears on the book’s cover “Everything I know about painting I learned in John Olsen’s old Victoria Street studio in Kings Cross”.

Guests mingled in the Gallery, admiring many of John Olsen’s paintings which adorned the walls.

   Sandra Tiltman    Photos: John Pond