Thai cuisine is easily one of the best staple takeaway options and for good reason. It seems every suburb has its own hidden gem, usually camouflaged by ageing decor or an unflattering location, that locals will swear serves the best green curry in town. Not much to look at, but the food is amazing and cheap, the local will tell you.
Authentic thai can be relatively easy to find given the abundance of restaurants but what if you're searching for something a little bit more than the usual fare? Enter Green Papaya Balinese and Thai Restaurant in Woolloongabba.
Situated on the corner of Potts and Stanley streets, the older sibling to breakfast favourite Pawpaw Cafe (situated in the same building), is an authentic Thai and Balinese experience wrapped in a simple and elegant package. Quiet and dimly lit, the ambience is welcoming as diners enter from the bustle of the main road.
Green Papaya’s menu is a balance of traditional dishes and modern twists on southeast asian classics and the Ka Nom Pang Ka-Praw ($13.9) is a great place to start. The entrée, a fried bread pastry with basil and chicken, is a simple combination that is made excellent by the accompanying sweet chilli jam.
Perusing the selection of Balinese and Thai mains, the Tamarind Snapper ($24.9) and Penang King Prawns ($26.9) are inviting and mostly hit the mark. The Tamarind Snapper, crispy fried & topped with crispy ginger, unfortunately lacks the described texture sitting underneath the tamarind sauce, which in turn can seem a little overpowering. By comparison, the Penang King Prawns offers a solid execution of a classic Thai dish.
For those still able to fit in an after dinner treat, the dessert menu, like the rest, is an intriguing combination of tradition and fusion. For the curious, it’s hard to pass up the opportunity to try a Dessert Spring Roll ($13.9). At first glance you could almost be fooled into thinking you have mistakenly been served an entrée, the fried banana and chocolate filled rolls look exactly like their traditional savoury counterpart, but the scoop of coconut ice cream should give it away. The crisp exterior of the spring roll combines perfectly with the smooth gooey centre as does the cream and crunch of the shredded coconut ice cream.
Green Papaya offers a mostly refined and interesting take on both Thai cuisine and its underrated Balinese cousin in a comfortable and ambient setting.
P.S. Of course they do takeaway and it probably tastes just as good on your couch as it does inside.