The Unbearable Lightness of Being Hungry | A Sydney Food Blog

New podcast – Palisa Anderson, Chat Thai, Boon Cafe

May 22nd, 2016  |  Published in Latest, Podcasts  |  2 Comments


“We’re never going to work in a restaurant, nevertheless a Thai restaurant.”

That’s what Palisa Anderson told herself and her brother when they were growing up, but after some detours living in four different countries (and through other careers), she’s ended up as co-director of the many Chat Thai restaurants across Sydney and the spin-off venues (like Boon Cafe, which is one of Dan Hong’s favourite places to eat breakfast in Sydney).

David Chang and Rene Redzepi ate at Chat Thai after their MAD Sydney appearances this year – and Palisa and her mum, Amy Chanta, actually made the staff meals for Noma Australia’s last day of service. (It’s a big contrast to the period – decades ago – when mother and daughter would spend their hours collecting pickling barrels out the back of McDonald’s!)

Palisa grew up with banana leaves and noodles drying around the house – and can recall the early (very memorable!) days when her mother started Chat Thai, more than 20 years ago. It was probably inevitable that she would end up working in the world of food.

In this podcast, Palisa also talks about life in Japan, her fangirling of growing food and plants (“One of my best friends was a chrysanthemum”), unusual farming methods and what exactly is “shit metals curry”.


You can listen to this episode on iTunes or download it via RSS or directly. And thanks to everyone who has helped spread the word about this podcast or has dropped a super-nice review in the iTunes store – it’s mega appreciated! Also, big thanks to The Mitchen for featuring me on the recent live podcast with Dan Hong, Pat Nourse, Gio Paradiso, Mitch Orr and Levins, as recorded at the MCA Artbar.

Photographs courtesy of Boon Cafe.

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  1. How awesome is Palisa? I love that she’s reclaiming stinky Asian lunches by jamming them into sourdough bread. Can’t wait to see what she’s planning at C Quay too – that area is way overdue for affordable and tasty eating!

    • Lee Tran Lam says:

      Agreed, she is the greatest! That’s why I want to be president of the Palisa Anderson Fan Club. Feel free to join! 🙂

      A Circ Quay Chat That would be good. It sounds like it’s going to be their biggest and they are going to do interesting things, like add a noodle bar. Thanks so much for listening, Helen – and for the nice comment!

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Hi, I'm Lee Tran Lam. When not blogging with my mouth full, I'm usually writing, presenting Local Fidelity on FBi radio, making zines, producing podcasts or continually breaking promises about how I really am gonna get through my book pile one day.

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