233A Canley Vale Rd
Laos & Thai restaurant
02 9727 7585
I don't venture out West in Sydney too often, so when I planned a trip to an African grocery store in Fairfield, I was set on making the most of it. Tom Mai excitedly suggested a Thai place he loved: "Are you ready for the best Thai of your life?" Can't say I wasn't told. Holy Basil is caught between Vietnamese restaurants and fresh fruit markets on the quaint and bustling end of Canley Vale Rd. At first glance it is exotic chic, with just the right amount of kitsch to make it trendy, but relax a while at a table that looks out onto the street and chat to the friendly staff and you'll be pleasantly surprised by how laid-back the space is.
The menu is distinctly Lao with a Thai-fusion touch, using lots of spices, herbs and fruits to flavour the food: chilli, kaffir lime leaves, tamarind, sweet basil, papaya and currants to name a few. With so much to try, I easily resisted the urge to order a pad thai. No regrets either, because everything was delicious!
Sticky rice, $3; khao pad sapparot (Thai fried rice with fresh pineapple), $12.90
Nok tod (deep fried crispy marinated quail), $10.90
Traditional Laos pork sausages, $9.90
Gang dang (red curry) with beef, $10.90
On a Friday night this place fills up by seven, though it still retains its quiet and relaxed atmosphere. The prices are very reasonable, perfect for ordering many dishes and sharing it with friends. Enjoy your meal with a classic cocktail or fresh fruit juice (I recommend the jackfruit smoothie).