There are a surprising number of Thai restaurants in the Chermside area, but one that many people keep returning to for great value for money authentic Thai food is Tosakan Thai. Essentially great quality and delicious Thai food without being overpriced.
Someone once told me that after travelling around Thailand and eating the same dishes everywhere, they felt that Thailand only has a limited number of dished. This is true, only if you eat in restaurants catering to the tourists, otherwise, there are a vast array of foods. Personally I do my best to avoid the cliches like red, green, yellow and other curries, and try to find something a little different.
Since Thailand launched its "Global Thai" gastrodiplomacy campaign in 2002, to help Thai people open restaurants around the world, Thai food in Australia has evolved from cheap fair, that often involved adding the same flavours to different combinations of meat and vegetables, to offering more of the authentic dishes and styles that make up both traditional and contemporary Thai food.
Another issue in Thai food is how sweet the food is. Many Thai people complain that Thai food in Australian restaurants is sweeter than in Thailand. You can get a lot more variation in sweetness in Thailand. I tend to try and order at least one thing that is sour, like a Thai salad, to counter the sweetness.
About Tosakan Restaurant
Located just behind Westfield Chermside, on the tiny Way Street under the apartment buildings, it is one of the worst kept secrets in the Chermside dining scene, with a lot of repeat customers. Most nights of the week, the restaurant will be fairly busy.
Parking can be an issue sometimes, but there is usually street parking around the area. You can park at Westfield, just a block and a half away, but be aware the time limit there is now 2 hours free unless you download the app, then I think you will get 4 hours free.
Some Good Menu Choices
It may be worth ordering from the entree menu if you are hungry. The service is a little slow at times. To be honest, though, the starter options are very cliched, and while I like Thai fish cakes and satay chicken skewers, I don't need to eat them that often and you can get them anywhere.
Looking through the menu, I want to skip the curry and soup options. You don't have to, and their green and pa-nang curries are delicious.
One small section that most people will skip over the is grilled options. I love these because I know Thai people who like to cook them as home, and they are not that famous as a restaurant dish. Last time I went there, we had the moo yange, which is barbecued pork that is marinated in garlic, coriander root and black pepper. It comes with a sauce, but it is delicious enough to eat by itself.
I love the Thai salads at Tosakan. The combination of hot and sour is a good antidote to the sweetness of any other dishes that you order. The last time we went there, I had to the calamari salad. We chose this because the lime, chilli, coriander and mint really complement the perfectly cooked calamari.
You can't really go wrong with the stir-fries. My personal preference is something that has lots of basil or something with lots of vegetables.
My temptation is to just eat the meal with steamed rice, but a lot of people will choose fried rice or noodles. These are delicious meals by themselves. My preference is the noodles as I prefer plain over fried rice. Remember, the noodles can be very filling.
When it comes to desserts, things like black sticky rice are famous, but not to everyone's tastes. At Tosakan, they serve it with ice cream and a mini waffle, which should please most palates. They also do desserts that are made up of Thai fruits and either ice cream or tapioca.
On weekdays they are open for lunch and cater to the many people who work in the area. They do a lot of food with rice, fried rice dishes or noodle dishes, starting from $10.
Tosakan Thai has long stood out among its competitors in the area for good quality authentic Thai food at a reasonable price. Even with newer competitors opening up and being in an obscure location, they are always busy. My guess is that it has to do with the combination of good food and friendly service.
Tosakan Thai sells authentic Thai at a reasonable price with friendly service