This is a guest post I wrote a while back for the Melbology blog which I recently discovered that seems to have been converted to a different blog called Melbournism and any links to my original post are now directed to a 'Tell us your favourite Thai restaurant' comment page. I really have no idea what has happened here and I only recently found out about it by chance. Given that this means my original post is now not published anywhere I thought it would be only fair that I republish it here at krapow. This post was originally written about 6 months ago so obviously I have since discovered a pile of new favourite Thai restaurants however after rereading my thoughts from last year I am happy to stand by them and can confidently say that while these may no longer be my Top 5 they are still some of my favourites!
I have previously speculated that there must be around 300 Thai restaurants in
So here goes, my Top 5 Melbourne Thai restaurants and meals…
1. Le Bangkok,
195 Lonsdale Street Melbourne
I recently discovered this gem of a restaurant in the CBD and it has firmly become my go to place for good authentic Thai food. The secret here is that they actually have two menus, one for westerners and one for
The second menu is tactfully referred to as the ‘spicy’ menu. This is the one
you need to ask for as it contains some really special and very authentic
offerings. What keeps me coming back again and again is the Yum Pak Boong Krob, which I describe as
deep fried morning glory with a pork and prawn tom yum curry sauce. The crispy
fried morning glory is truly glorious and combines perfectly with the highly
addictive tom yum curry sauce. You have
Tom Toon have an extensive menu but I can’t really tell you much about it as the first time I visited I ordered the Kuay Tiau noodle soup and I've never ordered anything different since. You can order either rice or egg noodles with pork, beef or chicken. My personal recommendation is chicken with egg noodles. For me, Thai noodle soup leaves Pho in its dust. It’s so much richer and more powerfully flavoured, a definite must try for all noodle soup lovers. I personally think Kuay Tiau is one of the most underrated Thai dishes and I really can’t understand why. Get to Tom Toon and see for yourself, I’m betting you’ll be back for a second and third taste of their amazing Kuay Tiau.
Yim Yam has been around for ages, which is usually a good sign that they’re doing something right. The recent successful expansion into Smith St Collingwood is also testament to the quality of food available at Yim Yam. Two dishes that Yim Yam do very, very right are the Toasted Rice & Coconut Salad and the Yum Yim Yam, both are amazing. The crunchy toasted rice is texturally sublime and the dressing on the Yum Yim Yam always leaves me scratching my head in wonderment, how do they do that?
Me Dee advertises as having the most authentic Thai food in
and I’m certainly not going to dispute this claim. The menu is extensive and
choosing is difficult but for me the easy choice is the Hoy Tod. Hoy Tod is a fried mussel omelette with sprouts and
Sriracha chilli sauce. It sounds a bit confronting but the combination of the
salty mussels, crunchy sprouts and spicy Sriracha is a taste sensation.
Apparently it’s also great hangover cure for those tough enough to face up to a
bowl of mussels and chilli sauce while hungover. Springvale is a decent journey
for most, but for anyone who takes their Thai food seriously the trip is more
than worth it.
Sweet Rice is a bit of a random addition to this list but I really couldn't exclude them. I spent a good part of the past 12 months heading out to Altona just to get a taste of their Green Mango Fish or the super cheap and super delicious deep-fried soft shell crab to name just two favourites. I tried a lot of the Sweet Rice menu during the intense phase of my obsession and can comfortably say that I never had a bad meal.
So that’s my personal favourite Top 5 Melbourne Thai restaurants. I doubt very much that anyone will agree with me but before you shout me down I urge you to get to at least one of my recommendations and broaden your Thai food experiences. I'm sure you love Massaman curry, hey I do too but there is so much more out there. You don’t even have to search for it. I've done that for you.
As promised above, if authenticity isn't your thing here are a few ‘Aussie’ Thai recommendations. Try Thaila Thai, at
82 Lygon St,
Brunswick East or Ying Thai at 235 Victoria St,
Abbotsford or Ying Thai 2 at 110 Lygon St, Carlton. While both Ying Thai outlets also sell some very authentic and delicious Thai dishes I found that they have adjusted the levels of heat and sweetness in some of the dishes that are more popular with the western clientèle such as Green and Red curries.