Spearheading the list of 'Great Thai Restaurants in the North' is Thalia Thai. Standing at the head of Brunswick Lygon St, Thalia Thai has an unassuming front that opens up into a two level dining space.
Walking in you are immediately exposed to the energy of Thai cooking. A sea of pots filled with curries, spouting flames, and a small army of chefs that rush to cook everybody's meals. This intensity, however, is confined to the front entrance, and as you walk further in you begin to forget that the stressed out chefs ever existed.
Thalia Thai's menu offers a range of base meals that you can then tailor, depending on whether you feel like a meat, fish or vegetarian dinner. This style of service is very friendly towards vegetarians as it gives access to all curries, stir fries and noodle dishes.
The menu is also very reasonably priced with mains costing between $14-17. Adding extras is dirt cheap as well with most extra costing one or two dollars extra, so don't be shy about being a little bit creative with your meals.
We ordered a chicken Pad Thai with prawn extra, a Beef Penang Curry and a pork Basil and Chilli Stir Fry with tofu extra. Waiting time was approximately 20 minutes. The servings for the Pad Thai and the Stir Fry were enormous – which was great for us - but if you order these dishes make sure you have built up your appetite.
Dining at Thalia Thai was a very enjoyable experience. The Stir-Fried Pork and Vegetables were well cooked, and the basil came through strongly. It was however, a bit light on chilli punch. The Beef Penang was also a pleasant meal. Creamy, with well balanced flavours and tender Beef.
The Pad Thai however, was our stand out dish. My parents live in Singapore and they have a great local restaurant that serves noodle dishes with an amazing slightly burnt texture which – for some reason or other - work great with the noodle flavours. Thalia Thai is the only restaurant that in Melbourne that I have eaten at that manages to capture the same taste.
This isn't the first time that I have been to Thalia Thai, and it certainly won't be the last. Thalia Thai's large portions with punchy flavours make for an excellent dining experience in the Inner North.
Ben, I almost went to Thalia Thai on my recent visit to Melbourne. My foodie friend recommended it as a good Thai place with reasonable prices. I didn't expect it to be fancy so I had pictured the place to look even more basic than your photos show. I would probably have written an article on it too had I gone :)