Take time to experience one of Christchurch’s newest arrivals. WORDS Vanessa Ortynsky, PHOTOGRAPHY Charlie Jackson
Thai Chef’s Restaurant is located at the western edge of Hagley Park, and it boasts an authentic, award-winning menu.
Open on Riccarton Road since November, the restaurant is the first of its kind in the South Island, as well as the largest and most recent addition to the famed collection of restaurants. With humble beginnings in a red caravan in Napier, 16 years ago, the Thai Chef’s name has become synonymous with delicious Thai cuisine. The establishment prides itself on a carefully selected menu, which contains authentic favourites alongside a few eye-catching specials. Appealing to the Kiwi sense of humour, the Naughty Pig, Three Alcoholics and Sexy Little Duck are worth a try if you’re craving something a little different. With a focus on flavour, Thai Chef’s menu aims to satisfy diners seeking tradition with a twist.
Our waitress walks us through the seven stages of spiciness available with each dish, ranging from “no spice” to “bloody hot”. For those less adventurous, like myself, I recommend sticking to the conservative end of the spectrum. If you’re after a kick, the staff will be more than happy to have the kitchen add additional chillies to your dish to bring it up a notch – or three. The food is exquisite, with a noticeable attention to detail, and even the simplest of dishes served with flair.
The flair extends to the cocktail menu as well, meaning I can order a mango daiquiri with my go-to Thai dish, Massaman curry. The curry is served with coconut rice and warmed over a tea light candle. Another favourite is the Naughty Pig with pickled chilli, which brings out an intense flavour with every bite.
The dessert menu is equally as enticing, featuring unique treats like the Siam brûlée. This Thai treat is served with palm sugar, sweet sticky rice and mango sorbet.
With full bellies, we check out the the adjacent Sukhu Tiger entertainment lounge, which accommodates group functions and hosts karaoke nights. Known for warmth and hospitality, Thai Chef’s latest location delivers on both accounts and serves up a delicious, memorable feast.
Thai Chef’s Restaurant • 1 Riccarton Road • 03 341 1163
Lunch: Mon-Fri, noon-2.30pm • Dinner: Mon-Sun, from 5.15pm
Dine in or Takeaway • www.thaichef.co.nz