Since the new Thai Mudgee venue opened in February, there’s been an increasing buzz. The aroma and reputation have been attracting new local customers as well as old-time regulars who have followed their move.
On the menu you’ll find a range of Thai favourites, including Tom Ka Gai (Chicken Coconut Soup), Drunken noodle, curries and heaven-sent oven grilled wok fried dishes.
Head chef and part owner Firanee Hocheuay, who’s known by the nickname “Boo” tells ORM, “We’re the only Thai restaurant on the Gold Coast with our own hot room herb garden. We grow all our own herbs here – so we never run out!”
Boo grew up in central Thailand, around 45 minutes outside Bangkok. She owns the restaurant with sister Rungnata and their third business partner Peter Walker.
“I grew up watching my mother and grandmother cook. When I was a teenager my grandmother, who’s very fussy, used to say, ‘You can go and play with your friends when we’ve finished cooking.’ I’d find a paste or sauce at the supermarket and say, ‘Look, we can save time.” She’d reply, ‘No, we make everything fresh, from scratch.’ And so, I learnt to cook that way and I’ll always cook that way because it’s the best. If a customer has an allergy I can guarantee exactly what’s in all of our food because I’ve cooked everything from scratch.
“Also, my partner’s mum used to cook in the palace in Thailand for the king and his family - I learnt from her too.”
No wonder the food here is so beautifully cooked; it’s literally fit for a king. Moving to a larger venue is also testament to the quality of the mouthwatering menu at Thai Mudgee.
Increasing local demand meant they were turning customers away because they couldn’t fit them into the old venue, which could only seat around 80. Now they can cater for around 200, larger parties are no problem.
Mayor Tom Tate attended the grand opening with his wife. “We had a chat in Thai together,” Boo says. “He told me what food he misses because you can’t find it in Australia – like perfect sticky rice or a particular delicious BBQ pork. Of course I can cook that for him!
“If customers come on quiet nights, I’m happy to cook to order. If you want to try more chilli you need to build up a tolerance so it doesn’t unsettle your stomach. Sometimes customers who’ve been to Thailand on holiday come in and ask me to cook a specific dish, I enjoy doing that.
“I’ve lived in Australia for 20 years. I firstly owned medium sized restaurants in Sydney, then moved to the Gold Coast ten years ago. This is home now and I’m doing what I love!”
Spend five minutes here and you understand what all the fuss is about.
Where: 69 Railway Street, Mudgeeraba.
Open: 7 nights from 5pm. Dine-in and takeaways. Please call to arrange large bookings and parties.
Phone: (07) 5525 1655.