Here at The Urban List, we are continually on the hunt for Brisbane's best Thai, and Pad Thai encapsulates everything we love about Thai food.
In the same way that mozzarella, basil, tomato, and olive oil would seem to be ingredients sent from heaven to make the consummate combination of flavours for Italian food, Pad Thai's blend of moist noodles, chilli, peanuts, garlic, coriander, lime, and whatever else they put in it, makes for a perfect storm of taste and textures.
A well-made Pad Thai is refreshing but will also give you a flavour kick. It should satisfy your hunger without making you feel stuffed, and it should be good for you (wishful thinking?) but not feel like health food.
We are lucky in Brisbane to have numerous quality South East Asian restaurants around town, so a decent Pad Thai is never too far away. We've decided to shortlist our top picks of the Thai restaurants in Brisbane that are doing the iconic dish justice. Let us know below the comments line if we've missed your favourite!
You'll find simply amazing Pad Thai at this not-so-well-known family Thai restaurant in Wilston. There are plenty of pluses here apart from the fantastic food, including easy parking and BYO with no corkage fee. Psst, while you're there you might also want to try the panang curry (if you're into transcendental food experiences, that is).
The standard at Green Papaya in Woolloongabba has remained sky high, even since Quan from Regurgitator's mum sold it a few years back. Their Pad Thai is loaded with veggies and full of spice. The rest of the menu, which is split into Thai and Balinese sections, is worth a gander, as well. Not as cheap as many other Thai joints, but the nosh is worth it.
An Urban List favourite, Thai Wi Rat (funniest when said with a Scottish accent), in Fortitude Valley, never fails to deliver spectacular meals, and their tangy Pad Thai, packed with peanuts and those little dried prawn thingies, is right up there with the best Thai in Brisbane.
Featuring big servings for little prices, the flavoursome dishes at this Highgate Hill Thai locale always contain heaps of tender meat and fresh vegetables. Thai on High keeps things simple and it works perfectly.
A female friend tells me the best way to enjoy the Changrai experience is to go through a rough breakup, then sit on the couch in your underwear and eat spoonfuls of takeaway Pad Thai on top of the prawn crackers (drizzled with peanut sauce) while binge-watching Game of Thrones episodes. I'm yet to try it that way, but it sounds like a pretty awesome Saturday night, if you ask me.
TUL Note: After a six-year stint as a freelance journalist in Buenos Aires, Daniel is back in Brisbane to find that his knowledge of Argentinian football is of little practical value here. Luckily, his other areas of expertise, such as eating food, drinking wine, and writing about it, are applicable across most cultures.
Image credit: Pinterest