Thai is one of my favourite cuisines to cook and eat. Fresh humble ingredients perfectly balanced to achieve harmony between the tastes sweet, sour, hot and salty is my definition of flavour nirvana.
For inspiration and mouth-watering Thai recipes and tips, I turn to local Charinya Ruecha. Charinya’s a passionate home cook with a knack of distilling dishes from her homeland into simple-to-follow cooking videos on social media. Her Instagram account Charinya’s Kitchen has over 190,000 followers tuning in for her advice.
“Thai food is famous and fabulous for its balance of spice, sweet, sour, saltiness and savoury tastes. I think the combination is the best in the world, but I am a bit biased!” said Charinya.
“Each region in Thailand has its iconic dish. While dishes from central Thailand like Pad Thai (stir-fried noodles) and Tom Yum Goong (hot and spicy prawn soup) are well known in Australia, I recommend ordering dishes from other regions to try next time you are in a Thai restaurant.
“From the Northeast, try either Larb, an aromatic mincemeat salad or Som Tum, a spicy papaya salad. An iconic dish from the North of Thailand which is similar to Laksa is Khow Soi (noodles in coconut soup), and from the South, I recommend trying Khao Mok Gai (Thai style chicken biryani).”
When she is not whipping up home-cooked creations to share with friends, Charinya loves anything spicy on the menu when eating out at local Thai restaurants. These dishes are in her current list of favourites.
Located on the Kingston Foreshore, Coconine has become a firm favourite of the local Thai community for serving dishes that are not commonly available at other restaurants, according to Charinya.
Try the authentic Boat Noodle from their special lunch menu with a hearty amount of thin rice noodles, beef, pork, tripe and vegetables, or the Meig Pla Pao, a salt-crusted grilled Tilapia dish with salad.
Coconine is located on Trevillian Quay, Kingston.
A popular southside suburban gem, Baitong in Weston Creek specialises in no-frills Lao and Thai dishes.
Charinya likes to order their sweet and spicy papaya salad, Som Tum, and the fragrant Nam Kao, featuring a crispy rice cake, lemon pork and fresh herbs.
Baitong is located at Cooleman Court, Weston Creek.
Taking up pride of place in the large space made vacant by Jamie’s Italian on Bunda St in Civic, Kinn Thai has been a crowd-pleaser since opening in 2015. The interior is modern and trendy with food to match.
Boasting an extensive menu, Charinya opts for dishes from the central region of Thailand, ordering their spicy Tom Yum soup and sticky Crispy Pork with Green beans.
Kinn Thai is located in the Canberra Centre on Bunda St.