It’s not the easiest restaurant to find but new Thai joint Hide ’n Seek is worth the hunt. The caramelised crispy chicken wings are some of the best in town.
The breakfast, lunch and dinner spot sits between Renaissance Arcade and North Terrace, in the towering brick building formerly occupied by cafe and bar Austin & Austin.
Not much has changed decor-wise. The new Thai owners have rearranged the bright orange seats, added a lick of turquoise paint, and strung coloured flags from the ceiling.
Two weeks after opening on June 20, a predominantly Thai crowd hunches over fresh, leafy, north-eastern dishes served on bright crockery.
“When we first moved to South Australia two years ago we felt a bit lonely,” says co-owner Apple Tonkanya, who made the journey from Thailand via Sydney. “In Sydney there’s a big Thai community and near Central Station there’s Thai Town where you can find whatever food you like, but here I couldn’t find much. I wanted to create a small community where Thai people can come and enjoy the food they love.”
The food can be as communal as you’d like it. There’s som-tum platters piled high with green papaya salad, steamed pork sausage, pork crackling, rice noodles, soft boiled eggs, peanuts and mixed vegetables. The various elements are rolled in lettuce or cabbage leaves.
“We love spicy, salty and fermented food,” Tonkanya says. “This is unique to Adelaide but typical of home, where every single street has a vendor that sells it.”
In the kitchen, Tonkanya’s husband Kavee Kaeopoklang – formerly of Taste Baguette, Golden Boy, Gin Long Canteen and Fish Head – is joined by Photchaman ‘Phot’ Arnupapdecha, who cut her teeth working in local kitchens including Madame Hanoi. Together, with the help of Chanon Tonkanya and wife Pukkapon, they produce dishes such as spicy seafood hotpot and crying tiger: 200 grams of marinated beef with herbs and roasted rice.
“The dinner menu is more of an authentic Thai taste,” says Arnupapdecha, who is originally from Bangkok. “We bring the fusion through the brunch and lunch menus.” There you’ll find granola topped with basil seeds, fruit and Thai basil oil; pork-belly omelette; and pancakes with caramelised seasonal fruit and a shot of lemongrass-palm sugar syrup. Coffee, tea, beer, wine and tom-yum cocktails round off the menu.
You should really try a pastry, too – Kaeopoklang hits the kitchen at 4am to start baking. “It’s a long day for us but if the customers enjoy the food and are happy that’s the reward,” Tonkanya says. “It’s a small kitchen but we play and talk in Thai back there. We’re having a lot of fun.”
Hide ’n Seek
26/28 Austin Street, Adelaide
(08) 8227 1351
Mon to Sat 7am–3pm
Mon to Sat 5pm–late