Courtesy of the land of smiles, Thai cuisine is sure to turn your hunger-induced frown upside down. Flavorsome and aromatic, the meals found at these five Thai restaurants will send your taste buds on a trip to Bangkok and beyond. These are our top picks for the best Thai food in Melbourne.
Cocktail Bar, Restaurant, Asian, Thai, Vegetarian, Cocktails, Dessert, $$$
Longrain Restaurant, Melbourne | Courtesy of Longrain Photographer Eugene Hyland
On the corner of Little Bourke Street and Punch Lane is a Thai restaurant built on the concept of communal dining. David Thompson’s Longrain is one part cocktail bar, one part dining hall, where parties are encouraged to share plates for a full banquet experience. The bright, South-East Asian menu features coconut poached chicken with green papaya and Vietnamese mint, raw black kingfish with sweet soy yuzu and crisp wonton skins, and filled eggnet with pork, prawns, peanuts and caramelised coconut.
Opened in 2013, Jinda Thai is a family-run restaurant that maintains its popularity by never straying too far from authentic Thai cuisine. Located in an unassuming warehouse in Abbotsford, the restaurant has welcoming decor, with exposed brick walls, elegant lanterns and a portrait of Grandmother Jinda, who keeps a watchful eye over diners. Open for lunch and dinner, Jinda Thai offers a large menu of balanced dishes ranging from traditional hawker meals to modern interpretations. There is also a vegan menu. To finish, tuck into the coconut layer cake.
Setting the bar for Thai food in Melbourne is Chris Lucas’s Chin Chin. Located in Flinders’ Lane, this South-East Asian place is renowned for its ‘feed me’ multi-course share platters, pop artwork and–of course–the queues. Inside the lair of the neon rabbit, you’ll find a sophisticated pan-Asian menu, with dishes such as Chin Chin pork “roll ups,” Massamun curry of coconut braised beef and green papaya salad. Afterwards, be sure to visit Go Go Bar downstairs for a cocktail or two. It’ll be worth the wait in line.
Curtin House is one of Melbourne’s most dynamic buildings, and on Level 1, Cookie combines a beer hall with a modern Thai restaurant. Led by chef Karen Batson, the menu is divided into small, medium and large dishes, and features playful meals such as drunken noodles with minced pork, tomato and green chilies, fish dumplings with cucumber pickle and Penang lamb curry. Cookie also boasts over 200 beers and an 88-page wine list.
From the team behind Cookie, Toff in Town, Boney and Revolver Upstairs, Magic Mountain Saloon is a neon-lit, all-day eatery that blends Thai and Australian cuisine. Bursting with flavour and heat, the scrumptious menu includes sticky beef ribs, tofu red curry, Peking duck with fat rice noodles and magic mountain BBQ chicken. To keep you from breaking into a sweat, the bar has a great selection of beers on tap, as well as a range of spritzers and non-alcoholic beverages.