The CBD’s Phat Elephant and New Farm’s Chai Thai are arguably two of Brisbane’s best spots for Thai food. Owner Alyssa Phadungkiat is also behind a pair of fine breakfast cafes, Chapter IV and The Hamptons.
Now Phadungkiat has added Phat Boy to her portfolio – a flash new 140-seat Thai restaurant that opened last week in Brisbane Quarter. “[Phat Boy] is about elevating my love of Thai food,” she says. “This is the next challenge … taking [Thai cuisine] to new heights.”
Phadungkiat says the food at Phat Boy is more refined then her other venues, but the aim is to keep it fun and accessible. The menu features kung tung, a seafood dish that is served directly onto the table. Diners are given bibs and gloves so they can dig into chilli sauce-coated prawns, crabs, clams, mussels and corn. There’s also san choy bow and DIY som tum (papaya salad), which adds to the interactive dining experience. “We thought it would be really fun for people to learn how to make [som tum],” Phadungkiat says. “We have everything prepped for you, so you just have to throw it together and bash it.”
For the fit-out, Phadungkiat has gotten creative, importing light shades from Thailand and installing vivid neon green lighting in other parts of the venue. A feature wall is filled with graphics that the Phat Boy staff members designed themselves.
The restaurant is one of only a few at Brisbane Quarter without white tablecloths, something Phadungkiat believes is a point of difference. “Everyone else has decided to go slightly more fine-dining, whereas I wanted to do what I love,” she says.
Drinks include a bunch of elaborate Thai-flavoured cocktails, a small wine list, and a beer list that includes Thailand’s Singha on-tap and available by the tower.