MELBOURNE | Nora Thai is a tiny 20-seat restaurant on a leafy side-street in South Yarra. Visit, and you’ll be treated to some of the most delicious Southern Thai food in town.
The restaurant was opened by friends Thunyaluk “Palmmy” Aninpukkanuntin and Duangdao “Kana” Bannakorn early this year. Both hail from Surat Thani province in Southern Thailand, and opened Nora Thai to showcase the food of this region to Melburnians.
It’s a simple, welcoming space. White walls with Thai artwork, and wooden furniture and floorboards. Palmmy and Kana are super friendly, and have a clear passion for what they are doing.
There’s a focus on regional specialities and lesser-known dishes, things that Palmmy and Kana couldn’t find when they moved to Australia. The food at Nora is legit, with no toning down of the dishes’ boldness, vibrancy and heat. If you’re not a fan of spicy food, be sure to make it known when you order as the default heat level on several of the dishes is up there.
There’s a lot to like on the menu, which spans small and large plates, curries, soups, stir-fry, rice, noodles, and dessert.
Signature dishes that are all worth trying include Kaeng Bai Cha Plu, a creamy crab meat curry with betel leaf; bai leang pad kai, a wonderful stir-fry of Malindjo Southern Thai green leaves, with egg and garlic; and Gaeng Khua Prik Si Krong Moo. The latter dish is a fiery soft pork-rib curry cooked with shrimp paste and kaffir lime leaves.
To drink, there’s Thai drinks like milk tea, pink milk, and young coconut juice. There’s also Singha and Corona for those who want a beer.
69 Davis Avenue
Mon – Sat: 11:00am to 3:00pm, 5:00pm to 10:00pm
Sun: 5:00pm to 10:00pm