Stepping into Chiang Mai Thai, Surfers Paradise, you could be mistaken for thinking that you were in an upmarket restaurant in Chiang Mai itself. Restaurateurs Michael and Nopporn Theravanish have opulently created an authentic Thai atmosphere in each of their Gold Coast restaurants, but Chiang Mai at Mantra Crown Towers is our favourite, the place we love dining with visitors to the coast.
Of course the food is taste adjusted to the Western palate, but we can still be transported off in our imagination to exotic places, aided by the golden griffins looking over us dividing the restaurant area, the intricate wood carvings on the walls, the imposing carved elephant chairs or the smiling traditionally clad wait staff. If you dine outside in one of the intimate Thai wooden huts, you’ll look across the pool, twin towers towering above you, to the Surfer’s skyline.
This is an award winning restaurant: Informal Dining Restaurant of the Year; Best Themed Restaurant and Best Thai Restaurant in Queensland earned, no doubt, by its authentic immersion in another culture, the generous fresh servings of your favourite Thai dishes, and the smiling gracious service.
To a newcomer, the choices are daunting, so a banquet is a smart option. We always indulge in favourite main courses: Yellow curry king prawns, Red curry duck or Duck with vegetables, Prik King Lamb and Coconut rice, sharing the dishes to avoid food envy. Main dishes are well priced (mostly under $25), and you can BYO, however many choices from the Wine list are reasonably priced. Beware, though, the rice pricing: at $4 per person for plain rice and $5 for Coconut rice, they’re generous serves, so it may pay to order less than more.
Because of its popularity, we always book a table, are promptly seated and drink orders follow. While the restaurant is large and service not overly attentive, for such a large restaurant (200 seats), our meals arrive fairly quickly. The presentation is spectacular, a myriad of colours and flavours as the aromas reach us: fresh lemon grass, lime leaves, fragrant spices with a deft touch of chilli.
Like many locals, we’ll keep going back to Chiang Mai Thai. It’s a special night out delivering exotic ambience, great Thai food and comfortable relaxed dining with a touch of opulence.
Crown Towers, 5 – 19 Palm Avenue, Surfers Paradise Ph: 07 5526 8891