MELBOURNE | I was supposed to check out Thai Town QV when it opened in January last year, but 2020 did its thing and I kind of forgot about it, until they asked if I’d like to pop in for a visit a few weeks ago. Yes, yes I would. Thanks for the reminder.
The restaurant is owned by Thai-born couple Suriya “Tee” Chantarungsarit and Duija “Kae” Sereemanakij (who own nine Thai restaurants in Melbourne and Sydney), and aims to replicate the ambience and deliciousness of the street food markets of Bangkok, Phuket, and Chiang Mai.
Hidden down the quiet end of one of QV Melbourne’s more unassuming thoroughfares, what greets you inside is a bustling surprise that’s a world away from the outside. At the entrance, there’s a counter selling Thai food products and house baked treats like salted egg cakes and durian crisps to go. Further in is the restaurant section, with a open kitchen and an assortment of signs and trinkets shipped over from Thailand. Not too kitsch, it evoked memories of South East Asian street food adventures for me.
Food wise, it’s ~100 street food favourites from across Thailand, that are, in the words of Tee and Kae “straightforward with no twists or adaptations, the same as you’d find back home”. In fact, I’ve been told that Thai Town is quite popular with Thai students and expats.
I enjoyed everything I tried. Highlights being the chilli Thai basil mince stir fry with century egg (I want this in a pie), and the Yen Ta Fo. The latter is a taste sensation of flat rice noodles, fish balls, pig’s blood jelly, and calamari, in a spicy, sweet, sour, and savoury broth. Unlike anything I’ve tried before in a very good way.
I also enjoyed the blue fried rice with super pungent shrimp paste and fried mackerel, the grilled and marinated pork neck with dried chilli and tamarind relish, and the fermented pork spicy salad with aromatic Thai herbs and chilli.
To drink, try the Lychee Caviar cocktail. It’s a fun combination of vodka, lychee, and Thai jelly.
Thai Town QV is a great spot. One that I want to return to after merely scratching the surface on my first visit.
Thai Town QV
Shop 25, Artemis Lane
Sun – Thu: 12:00pm to 3:00pm; 5:00pm to 9:00pm
Fri – Sat: 12:00pm to 3:00pm; 5:00pm to 12:00am