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Lunch review: Hide 'n Seek

Restaurants

With its refreshing approach to north-eastern Thai food and creative cocktails, and tucked away in a city side street, Hide 'n Seek Thai Bar is a hidden gem.

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Located in Austin street, which connects North Terrace and Pulteney, the bar and restaurant offers a modern take on Thai cuisine from a group of chefs, family and friends who have worked in some of Adelaide’s best restaurants.

Kavee Kaeopokang is a trained pastry chef who was previously at Golden Boy, Gin Long Canteen and Fish Head. His wife, Apple Nattakan, who bought the Taste Baguette franchise from Sydney to Adelaide, is restaurant manager. Their friend Photchaman Arnupapdecha “Phot” was a chef at Blanc, Street ADL, Madame Hanoi and Orana before joining the kitchen at Hide ‘n Seek. And Apple’s younger brother, Chanon Tonteanya, is also part of the team.

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The Hide ‘n Seek team.

Using recipes that have been handed down by family and friends over generations, the Hide ‘n Seek chefs offer north-eastern Thai food made with fresh, locally produced ingredients and presented in a bright and happy space.

“We proudly present the perfect blend of Thai flavours with a modern twist to showcase the uniqueness of authentic Thai street food with something more,” explains Apple.

“We are from originally Laos, so we don’t use a lot of coconut milk because it is far from beaches and palms.”

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Hide ‘n Seek interior.

Favourite dish: Khao Soi Gai ($17.80). Thai food aficionados say Hide ‘n Seek’s Khao Soi Gai is very good and similar to examples eaten in northern Thailand. Chef Phot says this curry is inspired by a Burmese recipe given to her by a friend in Chiang Mai. Phot makes the curry paste in-house with grilled shallot, dried chilli, ginger, coriander seed, turmeric and curry powder “cooked till the smell is right”. The curry paste is then thickened with coconut milk (it’s possibly the only dish on the menu containing coconut milk) before adding free-range chicken, egg noodle, pickled Chinese cabbage and shallot. Then it is topped with crispy egg noodle before serving.

Other dishes: Som Tum Platter ($24.80; for two people). Som Tum is a dish that is eaten every day in Thailand. Hide ‘n Seek’s Som Tum comprises green papaya salad, steamed house-made cured pork sausage, pork crackling, rice noodles, salt-boiled eggs, peanuts, and lots of fresh mixed vegetables and herbs.

Hide ‘n Seek Chicken ($18.80): a delicious dish of marinated (in coriander root and lemongrass) and grilled free-range chicken skewers served with steamed rice and a tamarind dipping sauce.

Eggplant Salad ($17.80): a spicy dish of grilled, stuffed eggplant with enoki mushroom, okra, zucchini, soft-boiled egg (or grilled tofu) and nam jim. The non-vegetarian option includes chicken or pork mince.

The menu and specials board seems endless and includes many snacks, salads, breakfast dishes, and desserts for sharing, beckoning us back for more. We didn’t try the Beef Massaman Cottage Pie ($13.80) but it came highly recommended from a neighbouring diner as “the best Massaman curry I’ve ever had”.

Something sweet/to drink: Kavee makes fresh pastries every day so it’s always worth popping in to Hide ‘n Seek to see the range of fresh croissants and apple and cinnamon scrolls. The Pandan Custard Croissant is a favourite with regulars, but it is the Ice-Cream Sandwich the team appears most proud of: a fresh-baked croissant served with carmel-coconut ice cream, kaffir-lime condensed milk jelly, goji berry, basil seed, pandan anglaise and crushed peanut.

The drinks list has great local and imported wines and beers and freshly squeezed juices, but it is the cocktails and mocktails that are a standout. For example, the Sao Wa Ros ($6; signature mocktail) is a blend of passionfruit, lime juice, lemongrass syrup and soda water, while the Thai Ruby ($10) is a mix of gin, strawberry, Thai basil, black peppercorn, ginger, tonic.

Hide ‘n Seek Thai Bar
26-28 Austin Street, Adelaide, 8227 1351.
Open Monday to Saturday from 7am for breakfast and lunch, and for dinner from 5pm till late. Closed Sunday.

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Hide ‘n Seek cocktails Sao Wa Ros and Thai Ruby. Photo: Tony Lewis

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Som Tum for two. Photo: Tony Lewis

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Eggplant salad. Photo: Tony Lewis

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Hide ‘n Seek Chicken. Photo: Tony Lewis

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Khao Soi Gai. Photo: Tony Lewis

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Pandan croissant. Photo: Tony Lewis

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