It’s Time For Thai in Melbourne
Balance is key, babe
We’ve talked about Thai cuisine before here. However, with the cooler months fast approaching, we thought we’d revisit it and take a look at the best Thai restaurants in Melbourne this time. One of Australia’s favourite Asian cuisines, Thai food is versatile, delicious and a much-loved favourite among Melbourne’s foodie crowd.
Melbourne is home to Thai restaurants ranging from hole-in-the-wall eateries through to fine dining restaurants run by national treasure David Thompson. Such is the Melbourne way, of course.
Salty, spicy, sweet & sour
One of our favourite aspects of Thai food in Melbourne is that places take traditional recipes, flip them and create something truly spectacular. Take for example the crumbed lamb cutlets cooked in yellow curry sauce with a smashed pea salad, smoked chilli and tomato relish from the legends at Cookie. Heaven, seriously.
So, get your taste buds in and around all the chilli, lime, lemongrass and galangal that takes centre stage on this list. It’s a list of balance, creativity and aesthetically pleasing dishes. Get amongst it fam – these Thai restaurants in Melbourne are worth it!
The best Thai restaurants in Melbourne
Any list of the best Thai restaurants in Melbourne should always include the star of the city: Longrain. The brainchild of David Thompson, who we referred to earlier as a national treasure, this chic fine dining Thai restaurant is simply perfection. Changing the way Thai cuisine is viewed, tasted and cooked in Australia, Longrain is sought-after for good reason. Seeking harmony of the four key elements in each dish and cocktail is at Longrain’s heart, and everything is designed to be shared. A must for any Thai enthusiast.
Must-order: Dry rendang curry with wild clover lamb rump, kipfler potato & curry leaf.
40 – 44 Little Bourke Street, Melbourne CBD 3000
Mon – Thurs: 6pm til late, Fri – Sun: 5:30pm til late
Combining classic Thai and Australian flavour profiles, Cookie is one of our favourite places in Melbourne. Featuring opera-style balconies with sweeping views of Melbourne, a stylish beer hall dining room and excellent vibes, this is Thai dining like you’ve never seen it before. Part of the iconic Magic Mountain Saloon, The Toff in Town, Boney and Revolver Upstairs/Colonel Tan’s group – see here – this is Thai food at its best.
Must-order: Turmeric Maryland chicken with salted duck egg, dried shrimp & ginger salad.
Level 1 Curtin House, 252 Swanston Street, Melbourne 3000
Mon – Sun: Midday – 3am
3. The Toff in Town
Located directly upstairs from Cookie, The Toff is all about Thai-style small plates, drinks and good music that’ll have you dancing in no time. We love heading here for a few rounds of bevvies after dining at Cookie, or for a relaxed one with our besties. You can expect Thai-inspired jaffles, burgers, pizza rotis (yes, they’re a thing) and larger plates that’ll fill you up as you dance the night away.
Must-order: Wizz fizz chicken burger with green papaya, avocado, hot sauce & mayo.
Level 2 Curtin House, 252 Swanston Street, Melbourne 3000
Mon – Sun: 5pm til late
4. Chin Chin
If you’re in Melbourne and like Thai food, you’ll know about Chin Chin. Without question one of Melbourne’s most successful restaurants, it’s been popular since 2011. The food is a quintessential Australian and Thai fusion of flavours, and boy does it work. The space itself is chic, sophisticated and perfect for groups or intimate meals. Oh, and it’s as Instagrammable as it gets. There’s also a curated playlist to add to the sensory dining experience. Get a booking done asap!
Must-order: Char-grilled Wagyu green papaya salad with galangal dressing & prawn crackers.
125 Flinders Lane, Melbourne CBD 3000
Mon – Sun: 11am til late
5. Revolver Upstairs/Colonel Tan’s
Doubling as an iconic club and restaurant, Revolver Upstairs and Colonel Tan’s has a loyal following to say the least. Offering a slightly more affordable menu, it’s great for ordering rounds of Thai small plates to share with your mates. The dishes are traditionally Thai with a unique American diner influence. Our advice is to go for the food, and stay for the boogie.
Must-order: Bangkok Bolognese with pork mince, tomato, basil & chilli.
229 Chapel Street, Prahran, Melbourne 3181
Tues – Wed: 5pm – 4am | Thurs: 5pm – 6am | Fri: 5pm – 12pm Saturday | Sat: 5pm until 9am Monday
6. Magic Mountain Saloon
Ah, Magic Mountain Saloon. Housed next door to Boney, it spans across three levels and is open from breakfast til very late. As with all the other venues, this Thai hotspot is stylish and has a cooler than cool aesthetic. Similar to Cookie, the cocktail offering here is brilliant and matches the food to a tee. We recommend this one to fans of design and all things Thai!
Must-order: Magic Mountain BBQ chicken with hot tamarind sauce & fried shallots.
62 Little Collins Street, Melbourne 3000
Mon – Thurs: 7am til late | Fri: 7am – 3am | Sat: 8am – 3am | Sun: 8am til late
Another drink, dance and dine Thai venue – our fave! Boney features a neon light-filled dining room, a dance floor and a menu that’s similar to Revs/Colonel Tan’s. Another ideal choice when you’re in need of Thai cuisine and a dance, you can find wok-fried things, grilled things, snack things and loads of other Thai classics with a unique twist at Boney. A theme? You’d best believe it!
Must-order: Drunken noodles of rice noodles, ground pork, tomatoes & chilli.
68 Little Collins Street, Melbourne 3000
Mon – Thurs: 5pm – 3am | Fri – Sat: 5pm – 7am
8. Sabai Thai
A standout among Melbourne’s Thai restaurants, Sabai Thai in Richmond combines the traditional with the contemporary effortlessly. A lot of thought is put into each dish, from the sourcing of the produce to the ingredients used in the various sauces, pastes and marinades. Spices fill the air here, and the atmosphere is bustling and fun. It’s also affordable, with mains averaging $20. Perfectly balanced in every way.
Must-order: Slow-braised lamb shank massaman with potato, cashews & roti.
460 Church Street, Richmond, Melbourne 3121
Mon – Fri: 11:30 – 9:30pm, Sat – Sun: 4 – 9:30pm