A couple of weeks ago it was wet and just absolutely freezing and it felt like the cold was seeping into my bones (yep I totally sound like an old person). I needed something spicy to warm me up so the boy and I ventured into Do Dee Paidang Thai Noodle Bar and Cafe (9/37 Ultimo Rd, Haymarket) after hearing stories of a noodle soup with 7 levels of hell. Ok I’m being dramatic but the noodle soup starts off at Level l and goes up to Level 7, although technically there’s only 5 levels of spiciness because 4 and 6 are bad luck numbers.
I start with the Do Dee Monster Level 1 (Small $5.50/Jumbo $10) thinking it can’t be thaaat spicy. I was wrong. I thought I’d been slowly building up my chilli tolerance but as it turns out, I’m still firmly in the unable-to-handle-spicy camp. I made it about half way because the soup was fricken tasty- sweet and rich but with a hint of sourness and packed full of coriander and shallots. There’s a choice of noodles- thin rice, glass, egg, flat rice, thai instant or wheat but I stick with the recommended fresh thin rice noodles which has a very satisfying chew to it. I absolutely loved the pork, braised until ridiculously tender and there was a jumble of fish and beef balls, pork slices that kinda reminded me of the pork in a banh mi and a handful of fried wonton strips.
Noods loves chilli but he pretty much started crying as soon as he dug into the Do Dee Devil Level 2 (Small $5.50/Jumbo $10). He manages to finish the bowl though he paid for it later 😛 I kinda want to go with someone who’s attempting the Level 7 just to see if they’ll be in tears after one spoon…
Trust me, you WILL need beverages to help with the burning! Noods goes with luridly pink and incredibly sweet Thai Ice Milky Cordial ($3.90) and I opt for the Thai Ice Volcano Ovaltine ($3.90) which has a generous heap of powdered Ovaltine on top.
When we return the next day I chicken out and go for the Do Dee Nursery (Small $5.50/Jumbo $10) which is absolutely perfect but feels like it’s missing something. Like chilli. Heh. There’s baskets of condiments filled with sugar and chilli powder on each table in case you want to tailor your soup to your liking but instead I spoon soup from Noods’ Level 1 into my bowl and it is perfect. I normally order the Jumbo but the Small size is perfect if you’re eating other foods. The noodles here don’t leave me with that heavy feeling you get when eating ramen but it’s also not too light that you’re hungry again after 2 hours which is tops.
We couldn’t resist the Deep Fried Crispy Pork Skin ($2) which comes in a little plastic packet on a plate with some Thai basil and bean sprouts that I’m assuming was meant to go in our noodles. The pork skin is everything I’d hoped for, crispy, fatty and addictive but it tastes exactly like the type that I buy from Pontip, the Thai grocery 2 stores to the left of Chat Thai near Capital Theatre. If you’re going, make sure you buy the ones in a takeaway box, not the bag and the brand is Penny’s. You’re welcome.
The Grilled Pork Satay Skewers ($2.50/skewer) is a hit with the family, the pork is nicely seasoned, tender and with caramelised edges. Is that a hint of lemongrass we taste? Whatever it is, it’s fricken tasty.
We were originally going to order a papaya salad but instead we order the Tom Tard Seafood Platter ($35.90) as it comes with the salad (actually there’s a choice of 7 salads but we go with the normal papaya salad), grilled prawns, mussels, salmon, squid, cold noodles and vegetables. The salmon is a tad on the dry side which is a shame but the papaya salad is the bomb! We chose a low level of spice and the julienned green papaya is mixed with chilli, tomatoes, lime juice, fish sauce, palm sugar, peanuts and dried shrimp and the whole shebang is super refreshing.
We’d planned on heading elsewhere next but all night we had watched desserts fly out of the kitchen so we ended up staying put and we’re glad we did!
Mango with Sticky Rice ($7) is always a must have whenever I see it on the menu, the mango was perfectly ripe and sweet and the sticky rice drenched in coconut milk.
The Bread with Pandan Custard ($5.50) looked ginormous when it arrived! The pah tong goh aka deep fried bread sticks are piping hot but sadly are a little on the dense side. We still manage to polish off the dish though I would’ve liked a bit more of that pandan custard to completely drown the bread in!
I wasn’t too keen on the Black Sticky Rice with Taro ($5.50), I love black sticky rice but I’ve never been a huge fan of taro so I pushed this over to the rellies who promptly demolished it.
Last but not least was the Durian with Sticky Rice ($7), the durian was fragrant but ah how I wanted MORE of it! Like, reverse the ratios of the durian and rice man!
Do Dee Paidang is a massive hit with the locals and especially all the Thai ex-pats and I can see why with awesome food at pretty affordable prices! I’ll definitely be back and will work on increasing my chilli tolerance so I can move up from Nursery!
Do Dee Paidang Thai Noodle Bar and Cafe
9/37 Ultimo Rd,
Mon – Sun: 11am – 1am