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Jarern Chai Boon Cafe, Haymarket

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Jarern Chai Boon Cafe serves up Thai food in a cafe-style interi­or, half occu­pied by a gro­cery store stocked with staple dry goods as well as fresh pro­duce and your favour­ite home made Thai desserts and side dishes.

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The menu is an extens­ive ‘mash-up of thai clas­sics and some invent­ive mus­ings on staples’.

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For lunch, I go for the Nahm Prik Makua ($11) with ‘north­ern region smoked egg­plant rel­ish, soft-boiled egg, soft herb & pickled cab­bage salad’.

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While well seasoned and tasty with a healthy amount of heat from the chilli dress­ing, the salad — made up of rock­et, cori­ander, spring oinons, car­rots etc — is the bulk of the sand­wich. I was excited for the egg­plant rel­ish, but had much trouble find­ing it — and it was just a thin slath­er­ing on the bot­tom slice when I did find it. The soft boiled eggs, how­ever, were cooked per­fectly, and I would’ve appre­ci­ated more through­out the sand­wich to bal­ance out the gen­er­ous salad.

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On a later vis­it, I try the Chicken, Squid & Holy Basil on sour­dough ($14) with stir fried minced chick­en, squid, holy basil & chilli, and fried egg. I was debat­ing between this and the Nahm Prik Makua on my first vis­it, so now I’ve tried both!

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This sand­wich screams with fla­vour. The gen­er­ous heap­ing of minced chick­en is well seasoned, although they’ve also used the chilli seeds in the stir fry, mak­ing them impossible to sep­ar­ate from the mince and turn­ing up the heat from the chilli almost unbear­able. Unlike the Nahm Prik Makua, which provides relief from the chilli in the may­on­naise from the salad, there is no relief in this dish. While my mouth was on fire, it did clear up my blocked sinuses from a ter­rible cold I was nurs­ing.

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To round off lunch, I have a Croissant with Pandan Custard ($6.00).

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This crois­sant was abso­lutely deli­cious with lots of pil­lowy soft but­tery lay­ers. More but­ter is slathered onto the crois­sant before being topped gen­er­ously with pandan cus­tard. The pandan cus­tard had a good pandan fla­vour with a beau­ti­ful smooth con­sist­ency and without being too sweet. It was more­ish.

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I start off with a Matcha Latte ($5) with the cutest bear in the foam. The latte was creamy and the matcha fla­vour was pleas­antly veget­al with min­im­al sweet­ness.

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And the chrys­an­them­um

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The ser­vice was attent­ive and wait times for the food and seat­ing were reas­on­able dur­ing lunch hour.

Jarern Chai Boon Cafe is loc­ated at 1/​425 Pitt St, Haymarket NSW 2000.