The round-up: tantalise your tastebuds at Brisbane’s best Thai restaurants
Any cuisine that can plate up fiery curries, saucy noodle dishes and zesty salads has our immediate vote, so you can only imagine how much we love Thai cuisine. Give it to us takeaway, or sit us down for a dine-in experience – either way we’re always ready to take on some Thai. Brisbane is flush with incredible Thai eateries, from flash restaurants to hole-in-the-wall neighbourhood joints. Everyone has their preferred spot, but we’ve endeavoured to collate as many as we can into a list of what we hear is the best. If you’re reading this on an empty stomach, be prepared to pick up an unshakable craving for Thai right about now …
LONgTIME, Fortitude Valley: Ever since it opened in 2014, LONgTIME has set the standard by which many Thai culinary experiences are compared. Hailed as one of Brisbane’s best Thai restaurants, LONgTIME’s menu has been designed to combine the heat and personality of the cuisine, embodied in imaginative dishes such as prawn larb tacos, crispy whole fish with three-flavour vinaigrette, char-grilled beef short ribs, soft-shell crab baos and spiced yellow curry with steamed snapper.
Mekhong, New Farm: If you’re after a contemporary interpretation of traditional Thai flavours, the phenomenal array of choices at Mekhong is right up your alley. Mekhong’s Isan-inspired dishes are based on family recipes, and include the likes of vegetable and potato karri puffs, seafood keaw coco curry served in a whole young coconut, kang pad ped red curry with roasted duck and chicken pad see ew.
Mons Ban Sabai, Camp Hill: This suburban Thai destination has been heavily acclaimed for its sharp fusion of traditional and modern Thai influences. The dine-in menu offers plenty to choose from, including popcorn chicken dusted in larb spices, slow-cooked beef cheek massaman curry, tom yum soup, cashew-nut stir-fry and grilled eggplant salads.
Phat Elephant, Brisbane City: Perched above Post Office Square, Phat Elephant adds a splash of authentic Thai to The City’s culinary melting pot. Loosen your belt buckles because this menu has got some serious eats to try. Tangy Thai papaya salads make for a great start, followed by mains such as red duck curry with pineapple and lychee, crispy soft-shell crab, drunken noodle chicken and crispy king prawns.
Thai Wi-Rat, Fortitude Valley: It’s not uncommon to see dozens of Fortitude Valley revellers cramming into Thai Wi-Rat’s tables to a taste of its authentic menu. This cheerful eatery has plenty on offer, from Thai-style fried rice with pork salami and grilled whole Thai catfish, to minced-duck salad and steamed pork on rice.
Kinn+Derm, Chermside: The Kinn Group have a stack of venues around town worth a visit (Pochana in The City, Kinn Thai in Mount Gravatt), but Kinn+Derm encapsulates the group’s vision of Thai hospitality. The colourful interiors are complemented by a spectrum of dishes including DIY duck san choy bau, grilled pork ribs, crispy whole barramundi, tom kha kai soup and nam-tok wagyu beef.
Siam Samrarn, West End: This favourite has been cooking since 2008, with lavish hand-carved furnishings, a waterfall feature and Thai gazebo aesthetic setting a sophisticated scene. The food is just as good, with Moreton Bay bug curries, roasted duck red curry, chicken and pumpkin panang and steamed squid with chilli and lemon just some must-try specialties.
My Thai Restaurant, Auchenflower: Since 1993, My Thai Restaurant’s owner Busara has been feeding locals a heralded selection of exuberant dishes, combining all of Thai cuisine’s signature flavours. Must-try items include the fluffy fish cakes, the rich gaeng kari (yellow curry), garlic chicken, lamb with sweet basil and the warm lemongrass salad with tiger prawns.
Banana Leaf Thai Restaurant, East Brisbane and Camp Hill: With two handy locations to choose from, Banana Leaf Thai is a reliable (and damn good) option when hankering for a Thai fix. The menu boasts mouth-watering choices like prawns in hot-and-sour sauce, marinated grilled-chicken burgers, slow-cooked pork belly with tom yum sauce and pan-fried barramundi with green-curry sauce and kipfler potatoes.
Boo’s Kitchen, Woolloongabba: Bussakorn, known as Boo to friends and family, is the brain behind Boo’s Kitchen – a popular spot for flavours from Thailan’s Isan region. Isan cuisine is about sharing and coming together around a meal, and Boo’s Kitchen’s menu is great for splitting amongst your loved ones. Favourites include wagyu steak with hot dipping sauce, Isan-style salmon custard, chopped duck breast salad and Laos-style sausages.
Heart Thai Food, Milton: The venue formerly known at My Thai Kitchen has been operating since 2010, and has over the years blossomed into one of Brisbane’s best Thai spots. Heart Thai Food really puts the love into its menu, selecting only the best ingredients such as Daintree Barramundi and produce from Milton Fruit Bowl. Lap up laksa, devour duck curry or wolf down wok-fried pad pak – there is no wrong choice here.
Chai Thai, New Farm: New Farm locals regularly flock to handy corner restaurant Chai Thai for a weekly feed, and it’s easy to see why. The menu is stacked with authentic and cherished recipes, from the panang chicken curry and seafood laksa to salt and pepper calamari salad and the classic pad Thai.
Pawpaw Asian Kitchen, Tingalpa and Balmoral: The Venzin Group is double dipping in this list, but who are we to complain? They love Thai as much as us! These neighbourhood hotspots dish up the likes of roast duck and pineapple curry, Thai fried rice, vegan green curries and a fab lamb shank rendang curry.
Tosakan Thai Restaurant, Chermside: Brisbane’s north is home to an abundance of local Thai eateries, but if you’re struggling to choose then Tosakan Thai Restaurant is a great pick. Authentic tastes are key here, with chef’s specials including salivation-inducing meals like Thai style deep-fried chicken with lemon mayonnaise sauce, sizzling stir-fried lamb with chilli sauce, snow peas and pineapple, and chicken and water chestnut wonton parcels.
Thai Chada, Grange: The rave reviews keep rolling in for this neighbourhood mainstay. Regulars are known to go gaga for Thai Chada’s soups, sweet and spicy panang curry, pad kee mao and in-house made barbecue-pork nam phick pow.
Temple Thai and Tuk Tuk Bar, Milton: Dinner at Temple Thai and a drink at Tuk Tuk Bar us as close as you can get to Thailand without getting on a plane. This relaxed destination sits on Park Road, and is an oasis amongst the busy boulevard. Soups, stir-fried dishes, curries and noodle dishes are abundant, while the Tuk Tuk bar stocks numerous beers from Thailand, Singapore and Indonesia and plenty of cocktails to boot.
Honourable mentions: There are almost too many top Thai spots to list here, but special mention must be made of Siam Square in New Farm, Holy Basil in Windsor, Chaa-Ba Thai Cafe in Chermside West, Chop Chop Chang’s in West End, Spicy I’m Thai in Paddington, Siri Thai in Alderley, Newstead’s Ruean Phae Thai Restaurant, Sing’s Asian Kitchen in Rosalie and Coorparoo, Jao Jorm Thai Restaurant in Moorooka, and Siam Sensations in Nundah.
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