Home' Scoop : Scoop 52 Winter 2010 Contents ITSARA | Nedlands
There s a restaurant right on the beach in the small
town of Hua Hin, about 200km southwest of
Bangkok, called Let s Sea. Here, whilst sitting on a
deck chair over looking the ocean, I spent many an
evening eating some of the best Thai food I have
ever had. Chefs and kitchen hands are Thai, as are
waiters -- it s an authentic experience and one I
didn t think I would find at home. What a joy then
to discover Itsara. Opened recently by Itsara Pra-
charoenwattana and his long-term friend Cresswell
Doherty, (I know, he s not Thai but he does man-
age the front of house with effortless efficiency and
courtesy) on Stirling Highway in Nedlands, it took
me straight back to that waterfront eatery. They
have done a great job with the fit out, eschewing
most Thai accoutrements you would expect (think
jewelled elephants and bronze cutlery) and going,
instead, for the casual warmth of polished, wide
jarrah boards. Tables are large and nicely spaced
and the leafy garden offers another area to enjoy
your meal, weather permitting.
In true Thai style, flavours are well balanced,
with palm sugar, lime juice and fish sauce shining
through but not dominating any one dish. Don t
expect your usual chicken and cashew. Instead, the
menu nods to traditional Thai cuisine. Start with
the sublime Fleeing Fish (Pia Long Tang): crispy
fish of the day prepared with mango, lemongrass,
kaffir lime and ginger, teamed with a smooth
sweet chilli sauce. It s excellent. The Pretty Duck
(Ped Chom Yong) is a mouth-watering experi-
ence. Char-grilled, the duck is moist and packed
full of flavour. A sweet pineapple sauce threatens
to give it a sickly sweet touch but it s saved by the
spices, lime zest and a good dose of tangy shallots.
Choo Chee duck red curry is as curry should
be -- smooth, light and, mercifully, not reliant on
The unusual Half Moon (Kanom Beung Yuan)
showcases the chef s ability and attention to detail.
They care about what they re plating up, and it
shows. King prawns are wrapped in a filo pan-
cake and transformed, once again, by getting the
sweet/sour/spicy balance just right. It s like a Thai
tortilla and totally delicious, served with some of
the lightest, crispiest tempura prawns I have had
in quite some time. The menu is extensive so it s a
good idea to go with friends and order a variety of
dishes. Chef Itsara used to be a molecular biologist
at UWA so he likes to mix and create, and it shows.
Everything is fresh and simple and although one or
two dishes tended to be a little on the sweet side,
most flavours were balanced beautifully.
Finally, if it s Friday or Saturday night, sticky
rice and mango will be on the menu. Common
in Thailand, it s not often found here as it takes
a long while to make well. I haven t eaten it here
but our dining companions who lived in Thailand
declared it to be excellent.
In a word: go.
Open Monday to Saturday 6pm-11pm. BYO
(small bar licence pending). 25 Stirling High-
way, Nedlands, (08) 6389 2441.
"Call From The Past" with prawns, pomelo, roasted
dessicated coconut and spices on betel leaf.
Weddings Special Occasions
Business Lunches Birthdays
on the River
15 Johnson Parade | Mosman Park
Bookings 9383 3388
Come to Mosmans and enjoy
stunning views from every table,
our fresh new menu and a truly
relaxed dining experience.
Whether you want an intimate table
for two or to entertain 200 guests,
we're dedicated to making your
experience truly memorable.
ITSARA PICTURES Craig Kinder
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