Once upon a time, if you were craving Thai in Darwin, you’d probably have to fly out of the city to be satisfied. Thankfully, Darwin’s upped the ante on multicultural cuisine so you can take your pick of great restaurants whether you’re after an authentic or innovative Asian meal. These are our favourite Thai restaurants, serving the best south-east Asian food in Darwin.
More than just one of the best Thai restaurants in Darwin, Hanuman Restaurant is one of the best restaurants in the city, full stop. The menu celebrates south-east Asian, Indian and Nonya cuisine in a polished setting. Try the local oysters treated with Thai flavours of lemongrass, sweet basil, ginger and chilli.
A small, mostly takeaway restaurant in Millner packs a big punch when it comes to authentic Thai flavour. We love the generous servings and super-fresh produce here. A great choice for fallback favourites like pad Thai and paw paw salad.
Ok, it’s not exactly going to take you to a transcendent state, but stepping into Nirvana does transport you to a different place. The low-lit restaurant is made up of many rooms, allowing intimate dining options and there’s always live bands and a broad selection of cocktails to help you relax. On the menu, old Thai favourites sit alongside surprising new ones like spicy salt quail and pandanus chicken parcels.
Set in a small group of shops in Casuarina, Thai Thai offers up honest to goodness, well, Thai. The laksa comes highly recommended and dishes are just as good for takeaway as they are when you dine in.
A Thai restaurant that, unusually, also serves great breakfasts, the pad Thai is just as good as the pancakes at Mellow Thai. However, we recommend you resist the urge to carb load with pizza and pasta and stick to the Thai offerings at dinnertime - the veggies are fresh, the meat is tender and you’ll leave with a satisfied belly.
Set on the bustling Mitchell Street restaurant strip in Darwin city, Thailicious knows how to balance flavour beautifully so it’s no surprise there’s always a lineup for a table. The kitchen’s specialty is coconut prawns - don’t leave without trying them alongside a summery cocktail.
The waterside suburb of Tipperary Waters is home to Bamboo Lounge, a relaxed cafe-style restaurant offering Asian fusion cuisine. Thai, Indonesian and Nepalese flavours appear on the menu. The kitchen’s specialty is dishing up local seafood, fresh and fast, and the curries are tasty and offer value for money.
Rendezvous with a bowl of steaming laksa at this tiny cafe tucked away in a mall in Darwin CBD. The traditional soup is absolutely authentic and will clear up those sinuses in a flash.
Bangkok Hut can be found on the retail and dining strip leading up to the Mitchell Centre. Try the local fish, treated with all the zingyness of Thai flavour and watch out for the chilli mud crab special; locals travel across town for a plate.