It’s a long way from Bangkok, and decidedly colder, but Hobart has some Thai food tricks up its sleeve. Here are the top restaurant picks in the island state’s capital.
Suzie Luck’s Canteen & Cocktail Bar
It’s a sign of the dining times that the much-loved, Scandi-styled diner, Smolt was replaced by Suzie Luck’s, a buzzing pan-Asian canteen. And, no offence to Smolt, the results have brought a shot of adrenaline to the heart of Hobart’s happening Salamanca. The moody timber wall panelling is now juxtaposed with bright chequerboard-tiled tables and the addition of a long bar adds a hefty dose of kinetic energy, thanks in no small part to its Asian-themed cocktails such as a mango-and-tamarind Daiquiri. The Kingdom of Thailand guides a hefty portion of the menu, too: Bangkok chicken wings saddle up with sriracha mayo and fried garlic; son-in-law eggs in tamarind dressing get busy with asparagus, edamame and a hot and sour salad; and crisp pork hock lolls about lusciously with chilli-lime caramel.
2 Salamanca Square, Hobart; (03) 6224 2554
Thai Veggie Hutt
Clean eaters, start your engines. The all-vegetarian, mostly vegan menu at this central Hobart eatery tucked into the happening little Bank Arcade is reason enough to get excited; the retinue of soy-based mock meats are a welcome acknowledgment that vegos want to have fun, too. Whether it’s a “duck” roll wrapped in oiled bread with the full quiver of Thai herbs, a beef-free massaman curry or a zesty laksa, this Hutt has got the lot. It’s not exactly the most glamorous of shopfronts but with pre-GFC prices boosting the appeal, it’s highly unlikely you’ll care.
Shop 6, Bank Arcade, 68-70 Liverpool Street, Hobart; (03) 6289 6317
The truth in advertising award goes to All Thai, which is as close to the real deal as you can hope to get without jumping on a 747 to Bangkok. Thai chefs and Tasmanian ingredients are a winning combination, whether you’re talking street food such as the charry pork skewers known as moo ping and steamed kanom jeeb dumplings, filled with chicken and ginger (or pumpkin and shiitake or even prawn, crab and chicken) and served with a lick of vinegar. Bigger stuff? You’re looking at ultra-authentic, punchy Thai versions of the nation’s famous suite of curries including green, red and massaman.
333 Elizabeth Street, North Hobart; (03) 6234 8113
Shop 12, 236-244 Sandy Bay Road, Sandy Bay; (03) 6223 2929
Monsoon Thai Fusion
The upmarket sibling to Thai Veggie Hutt, this Battery Point restaurant embraces meat without completely betraying the vegetarians. Steamed dumplings filled with Tasmanian seafood mount a good argument to dabble in meat-eating, backed by the free-range chicken skewers and duck pancakes. Housed in a historic Battery Point cottage with whitewashed walls, it’s a step up in the style stakes, too.
46 Hampden Road, Battery Point; (03) 6224 4101
Vanidol’s South Hobart
Not to be confused with Vanidol’s North Hobart, which chef Vanidol Lulitanond has since sold (which is still worth a look, incidentally), Vanidol’s South Hobart is the city’s go-to destination for home-style Thai cooking. Chicken larb, the warm salad textured with cracked rice, brings the style of northern Thailand to these southern latitudes, while an aromatic tom yum gai – Thailand’s herb-infused answer to penicillin – will cure whatever ails you.
361a Macquarie Street, South Hobart; (03) 6224 5986
Top image: Suzie Luck’s Canteen & Cocktail Bar
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