John Lethlean of “The Weekend Australian” reviewed us
we’re so happy he loved what we’re doing here at ITSARA
Neil Perry had some nice things to say about us in the QANTAS
2013 was the year for ITSARA to shine. After 4 years of building an excellent reputation for quality, fresh, fragrant Thai cuisine Chef Itsara Pracharoenwattana was honoured with the Gold Plate award for best Thai restaurant in Western Australia, an award that his legions of loyal patrons would argue was long over due.
With his passion and understanding of Thai food and the ingredients that make up his lush dishes he has shown that Thai food can be robust and delicate, refined and intense and with his strong garden to the plate ideal Chef Itsara and his talented team have secured one of the top accolades for a restaurant in this corner of the world.
____________________________________________________________________The West Australian GOOD FOOD GUIDE 2012
There’s a rare sense of precision and care at play in this upmarket Thai restaurant.
You see it in its modish crimson-walled interior, water lily-shaped table napkins and lavish fresh flower arrangements.
Most of all you see it, even taste it, in the distinctive dishes of Thai chef and
co-owner Itsara Pracharoenwattana, a renowned molecular biologist… .
Half Moon, a crispy Thai pancake with king prawns, preserved turnip, bean sprouts and peanut sets the tone, arriving on a plate adorned with a tiny vase of flowers as well as a bowl of cucumber relish so tangibly delicious you instantly crave more.
Each element of a ‘Three Kings from the Sea’ mains, crispy-skinned barramundi, jumbo-sized king prawn and king scallops was note-perfect, down to its sweet chilli caramel and tamarind sauce. A ‘nectarous duck curry’ has no equal.
Even dessert, a gloriously subtle kaffir lime and ginger crème brûlée, begs a return visit.
Attentive, caring service puts the seal on an establishment that more than lives up to its reputation as one of Perth’s finest Asian restaurants.Marina Fiore
Scoop Magazine: Winter 2010, Page 171
….In true Thai style, flavours are well balanced, with palm sugar, lime juice and fish sauce shining through but not dominating anyone 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 experience. 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 coconut cream.
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 pancake 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 …. a molecular biologist ……likes to mix and create, and it shows. Everything is fresh and simple ………. 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. Our dining companions who lived in Thailand declared it to be excellent.
In a word: GO!.
The Post, GOOD TASTE : 24 July 2010, Page 73
…They’re a friendly bunch even before I declare myself. There is much to excite and we can’t wait… for the pomelo with prawns, roasted dessicated coconut and peanut finshed with Thai spices and a caramelised palm suagr and coconut dressing. I’m also keen to take a look at the trio of barramundi, prawns and scallops in chilli caramel with garlic, tamarind, kaffir lime leaf and basil.
…it’s the pavlova, classically chewy, perfectly rendered by someone who knows how and filled with pristine, just-cut slivers of persimmon, strawberry and kiwi fruit that excites.
Would I eat here again? In an instant.Lindy Brophy
UWA News Magazine: 14 June 2010, page 10
How many chefs can tell you that sticky rice is deficient in the gene for granule-bound starch synthase? Or that germinating bean sprouts are busy converting fat to sugar through the glyoxylate cycle? Itsara Pracharoenwattana can.
Until February, he was a molecular biologist with a PhD from Edinburgh University, working with Winthrop Professor Steve Smith in the ARC Centre of Excellence in Plant Energy Biology. Now he applies his biochemistry to the kitchen of his Thai restaurant, Itsara, in Stirling Highway, a short walk from the Crawley campus.
Once he had made the decision, Itsara took two years to find the right location. His is not a ‘cheap and cheerful’ café but a high-end restaurant with as much attention to the detail of décor as to the beauty and freshness of his food….
….. The skills that made Itsara a highly successful scientist are the same skills that make him an outstanding cook and restaurateur. His attention to detail, willingness to spend hours at the kitchen or the lab bench mean that his food is exemplary…..
….. Itsara’s experiments were carried out with the same care and attention to detail that he applies to his cooking. “His results in the lab were always clear and convincing. This helped him to achieve success and international recognition for his research.