Menu - Mr Yum
Although Melbourne has no shortage of Thai restaurants, Merica Charungvat’s Thai Tide stands out from the crowd. You won’t find classic tom yum soup or pad thai here – instead, expect region-specific dishes rarely seen outside Thailand. The dynamic, share-friendly menu is backed up by a killer list of Australian natural wines and attentive service across two moody, neon-lit dining rooms.
You might start with a punchy peanut, lime and herb betel leaf wrap, then move on to chunks of crispy pork belly with Sriracha, or banana blossom done crudité-style with long beans, rainbow cauliflower and creamy red-curry dip. Mains include a flavour-bomb soup of chilli, gooey ant larvae, mushrooms and punchy herbs; tender pork belly stewed with cinnamon and star anise for 24 hours; and mackerel with a caramelised palm-sugar glaze and green-mango relish. For dessert, it could be coconut-custard pudding with coconut ice-cream, or a classic street food pick of green mango with chilli-shrimp paste.
While the food takes inspiration from Thailand’s regional cuisines, the drinks are mostly Australian. There’s a big emphasis on minimal-intervention wines, with around 40 bottles on offer. You might find easy-drinking bottles from Victoria’s Patrick Sullivan, See Saw from New South Wales, WA’s Dormilona or Smallfry, and Ngeringa from South Australia. There’s also a rotating by-the-glass selection of four wines, as well as non-alcoholic wines and beers from the local brewers and blenders at Sobremesa Fermentary. If you’re feeling nostalgic, you can order a disposable camera to your table (the team can even have your film developed off-site).
And it’s the kind of space worth capturing. Neon light panels give the interiors a red tint, from the granite flooring to the simple wooden seating to the plants growing along the walls. Zwei Interior Architecture (also behind Small Axe Deli) led the design, bringing new life to the heritage-listed 19th-century building.
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