Food Drink

FIRST LOOK: The Thai Guy brings Bangkok street food to Adelaide’s East

The Thai Guy is a new restaurant on Magill Road cooking up Bangkok street food with a focus on delicious charcoal flavours.

Images by George Graetz

If you’ve ever experienced the bustling streets of Bangkok, which are known for its show of vibrant colours, aromas of sizzling skewers and spicy curries, sounds of woks clanging and the bustling traffic outside, you’ll know it’s a sensory overload – but of the best kind.

It’s what new Magill Road restaurant, The Thai Guy, is bringing to Adelaide, but with a more casual and relaxed take.

Spearheaded by the visionary Terry Intarakhamhaeng who opened popular Thai restaurant Soi 38 in 2014 and the now-closed Fire, this new venture merges Bangkok street food, charcoal cooking, and ‘super chill vibes’.

“Now, with The Thai Guy, I’m going back to my roots, to the very heart of Bangkok’s street food culture,” Terry says.

The Thai Guy will also serve as a base for Terry’s festival pop-up of the same name, bringing the vibrant flavours of Bangkok’s street food directly to Adelaide’s festival scene. This dynamic kitchen will act as a bricks-and-mortar extension of the food truck, bridging the gap between the traditional street food experience and a permanent dining destination.

Similar to the food truck, many dishes at The Thai Guy will centre around ‘Charcoal Cooking’. This method provides a slower, uneven heat, elevating flavours as the smoke infuses food with depth and richness, enhancing its taste.

“Returning to charcoal cooking feels like coming full circle. It’s a technique I’ve grown up with and it adds so much flavour,” Terry says. “This venue is the perfect set up for it, and I love the possibilities and flavour it brings.”

The dishes are designed to capture the essence of Bangkok, reminding you of holidays spent exploring Thailand. It’s like stepping back into the vibrant streets, from the bustling markets to the lively outdoor fairs, which have a lot of the dishes that you’ll see on The Thai Guy’s menu.

Think snack style bites like crispy chicken wings, delicious corn fritters, charcoal skewers, and crispy pork belly. It’s these kind of dishes that you can easily pair with a classic pad Thai, red duck curry (which is delicious by the way) or garlic gai lan.

One standout dish is the pad Thai hot plate, hailed by Terry as a current favourite in Bangkok’s bustling street markets. This unique rendition features traditional Pad Thai enveloped in a delicate omelette, presented on a sizzling plate alongside your preferred protein option—be it succulent king prawns, tender chicken, savoury pork, or flavourful tofu—topped with crackling, crisp bean sprouts, and a perfectly fried egg.

“Our menu is a fusion of traditional Thai street food styles, blending the best of both past and present trends happening in Bangkok,” Terry says.

The Thai Guy boasts an extensive wine list, alongside beers and cocktails designed to complement the bold flavours of the menu. One hot tip is to try the South Australian Bink Wines ‘Little Red 2023’ which is a blend of Red Muscat, Pinot Blanc, Pinot Meunier and Ruby Cabernet (served chilled) with your meal – it’s a match made in heaven.

If you want to finish the night off with a sweet treat, even dessert gets a modern twist at The Thai Guy. “We’re adapting traditional Thai desserts to suit the Australian palate, keeping it fun,” Terry adds. From taro waffles with coconut sorbet to pandan crème brûlée donuts, there’s something for everyone.

The restaurant is a casual yet vibrant vibe, a reflection of the new generation of Bangkok eateries.

“[The Thai Guy] is for everyone. You can enjoy authentic Thai flavours or just relax with a beer and a snack,” says Terry. “It’s less about the formalities of classic Thai dining and more about the experience.”

Teal colours reminiscent of Bangkok’s traditional houses set the backdrop, while a striking mural of a Bangkok Tuk Tuk, courtesy of @studio_surf, adds a touch of urban flair outside.

“We want to bring flavours of home-style cooking and the vibrant street ambiance of local markets and neighbourhoods into [The Thai Guy],” Terry says.

The Thai Guy
Where: 402 Magill Road, Kensington Park South Australia
Open: Monday – Saturday 5pm-9pm
Instagram: @thethaiguy.adl
More info: Click here

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