Thanya Thai, located just a short stroll away from Dominion Road’s strip of cheap Asian restaurants, is perfect for when you’re dining out with someone who actually cares about sanitary ratings. Formerly Jungle Flavour, this gem serves some of the best Thai food in Auckland, and with mains priced in the mid-teens (with BYO too). I’d like to think it would be the new and much improved Thai Me Up if it were in a slightly more central location.
While the likes of Barilla, Spicy House etc. will always have a place in my heart, Thanya Thai’s food, atmosphere and service is markedly better and worth the extra five bucks. Take a deep breath and deviate from the Pad Thai as all the curries and stir-fries are delicious, can be as mild or hot as you like, and look exactly like they do in the pictures.
Instead of being too loose with the coconut cream, everything on the menu expertly makes use of classic Thai spices and herbs like lemongrass, kaffir lime and galangal; so you’ll leave feeling satisfied yet light as a feather. In my opinion, the flavours are on par with the street food on offer in Bangkok and higher-end establishments closer to home like Joy Bong and Sawadee.
Top marks go to the Panang curry, where you can choose from beef, chicken or veg in a mild, thick sauce of coconut milk, chili and palm sugar topped with shallots and roasted peanuts. The hot and herby Jungle curry and Goong Grob (tempura prawns) are also favourites.
Overall, some of the yummiest Thai food in Auckland money can buy – and not even a whole lot of money at that.