Merica Charungvat and Yuliana Arifin wanted to put a fresh spin on one of their favourite food groups (burgers) while paying homage to the cuisine they know and love: Thai. Already responsible for two Thai eateries in the city, FOMO Thai and Pad Thai, the business partners wanted to expand to something a bit kookier and present something sans plates. “We think you don’t just have to eat Asian food using cutlery. It’d be great to put it in a burger bun so you can eat it anyway you want,” says Charungvat.
Highlights are the Pou-nim (soft-shell crab) Black Burger, which uses a bamboo charcoal bun that comes with a generous slice of Granny Smith apple, Asian slaw and a tangy dressing, and Thaiger’s most popular order, Crying Thaiger – a grilled, medium-rare steak with mixed leaves and a Thai dressing.
Thaiger isn’t easy to find, though. This hole-in-the-wall eatery is hidden away in an inconspicuous laneway off the bustle of Bourke Street, parallel to the Walk Arcade. Blink and you’ll miss it, the burger shop seats three people at most, so take-away is the most practical option. With a sleek, modern aesthetic of clean lines and bright pops of colour that follows through to its practical packaging, Thaiger proves that delicious things come in small, portable packages.
Shop 16, The Walk Arcade, 8 Causeway Lane, Melbourne
(03) 9663 8558