MELBOURNE | Thai Thani has been operating on Brunswick Street since 1986. While the name may not be new, the food has undergone a recent revitalization and we were invited to taste the results. When head chef Ethan Chaikijkosi entered the business one year ago, he recognized the need for a fresher, more modern take on Thai. What’s emerged is a space that fits effortlessly into the energy of Fitzroy.
The interior is adorned with murals of colourful plants, butterflies, and fairyesque creatures. It has the appearance of an adult colouring book that’s been filled with bright, vibrant hues—though completely tasteful. Standard to Fitzroy, Edison bulbs hang above the tables and a set of stairs takes you to a bright and open second floor dining room. If in the mood for people watching, you can take a seat on a high chair along the front window.
With the menu, Ethan has recreated the essence of his childhood through the recipes. Flavours from dishes cooked by his grandma and mother to bring to temple in Chiang Mai persist throughout the menu. The grilled plate, a combination platter of lamb BBQ, king prawn, squid, grilled chicken and Thai style grilled beef tenderloin, is inspired by his days spent at the beach, eating barbecue from cart vendors. This nostalgia, amongst other memories, brings soul to the food where other restaurants follow basic formulas.
Highlights from our meal included the Hard Tofu & Taro Wrap—a satisfying combination of crispy tofu and chewy taro with a sweet chili peanut sauce. The Pad Thai was one of the best I’ve tried in years, inspired by Ethan’s mother’s pad Thai sauce and completed with egg, garlic chives, peanuts, bean sprout, and lime. And as for the Green Curry, the sauce was rich with flavour and depth – spicy yet aromatic.
The cocktail list includes classic recipes with a Thai twist. Think Thai Espresso Martini, with roasted peanut-infused Thai rum, and Strawberry Kaffir Mule, with Kaffir-infused vodka and Vietnamese mint.
Thai Thani has a family run feel, with warm and attentive service, amongst the contemporary atmosphere. I rank it a must-try if cruising the hustle of Brunswick Street and the hunger craving hits.
293 Brunswick Street
Telephone: (03) 9417 7416
Sun – Thu: 10:00am to 10:00pm
Fri – Sat: 10:00am to 10:30pm