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Thai Tide

Neon lights, ant larvae soup, and a menu titled 'exploration'. This isn't your typical Thai joint.
By James Shackell
May 01, 2023
By James Shackell
May 01, 2023

Thai Tide is one of the few Thai restaurants that doesn't use 'Thai' as a direct pun, and for that we're very thankful. Merica Charungvat has been serving up no-nonsense Thai food on Bourke Street in the CBD for well over a decade. Well, until recently. These days, delicious nonsense is kind of the point.

See, Thai Tide started with 'Aussie-style' comfort Thai, then flame-licked street food, then chilli crab, and now they've morphed again into one of the city's most boundary-pushing Thai restaurants. Not a pad thai in sight.

thai tide - melbourne thai restaurant

Instead, step into the neon-lit dining room, designed by the renowned Swei Interiors, and you'll find dill-spiked soup with sticky rice and ant larvae, steamed tapioca dumplings, stuffed with mince pork, battered whitebait coated in cumin and fried garlic, and finger-lickin' pork lard chips (trust us).

Thai Tide's menu literally has an "exploration" section. Diners are instructed to leave their green curry expectations hanging on a hook by the front door. You come here to be challenged, to have fun, and to enjoy incredible regional Thai food.

thai tide - thai restaurant in melbourne

Images: Parker Blain

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