I first heard of Thai Wi Rat when we returned from our Thailand holiday a couple of years ago, and were looking for restaurants that do great versions of Thai food in Brisbane. Unfortunately, it pretty much dropped off our radar until now. L happens to work in Fortitude Valley and as I regularly have weekdays off, I often meet him for lunch. I managed to score a miracle park so we decided to eat somewhere in the Chinatown mall, which is when I remembered Thai Wi Rat.
Thai Wi Rat is actually both a Thai and Laotian restaurant, and is reknowned for being as authentic as possible and not skimping on the heat in its dishes. It is possibly the only place in Brisbane that serves Laotian dishes. The restaurant is located at the top of the mall, and has indoor and outdoor eating areas. Most of the outside tables were occupied when we approached, so we snapped up the last table to take advantage of the lovely weather.
This restaurant has a definite no-frills approach, so don’t expect table service nor a modern fitout, be prepared to get your own water and order at the counter.
The menu was fairly large and extensive, but we noticed they had $10 lunch specials of various stirfry dishes and curries which come with rice, so decided to order one of these each and an entree.
To drink, I found myself ordering iced coffee, but too late I realised it was probably going to be full of condensed milk. If you have ever been to Thailand, you will know they throw Carnation milk into practically every beverage. The iced coffee I had here at Thai Wi Rat was exactly the same, extremely sweet, but I found as the ice melted it diluted and became quite drinkable and delicious.
Our entree was chicken satay sticks, which came with an extremely thick satay sauce which had large chunks of peanuts throughout. We polished these off very quickly, and were very impressed by the tenderness of the chicken and the deliciousness of the satay sauce.
L ordered Beef green curry, which we found wasn’t particularly spicy unfortunately, and had an overwhelming flavour of bamboo shoots which L did not mind, but I am not a particular fan of. The dish was still quite nice, full of brightly coloured vegetables, but L being a chilli fiend was disappointed.
I had the Panang Curry with chicken, which was actually spicier than the green curry. The flavour of the curry sauce was absolutely delicious though, quite fragrant and thick without being creamy. I found L ended up finishing my meal off as he liked my dish more than his.
We were a bit surprised by the lack of heat in the green curry (supposed to be one of the spicier curries) as I had read that Thai Wi Rat does do very spicy food. We will no doubt go back for another lunch visit, as I would love to work my way through the menu and taste some other dishes, maybe even taking a risk on the Laotian food.
CThai Wi Rat Chinatown Mall 48 Duncan Street Fortitude Valley Ph 07 3257 0884 Open 7 days, Lunch and Dinner