Simple Fare

Soi 38 @ Melbourne (2023)

Thai Boat Noodle is one of my favourite street food that I am use to get from Golden Sultan Complex. I have had it since my favourite closed. Then I stumbled upon Soi 38 in Melbourne.

Soi 38 is just across the Sheraton hotel that I usually stay in Melbourne. As I was walking down Little Collins Street to get to and back from my office in the CBD, I would walk past this multi-storey carpark and there’s always a constant queue in front of the restaurant.

When owners Andy Buchan and Chavalit Piyaphanee opened Soi 38 in 2015, they served just two dishes: the signature Thai boat noodles and tom yum soup with prawn wontons. Mr. Kijthavee lamented Australia’s lack of boat noodles, the dish that was originally sold from boats (hence the name) in Bangkok.

The men purchased a cart like the ones used to sell noodles on the street in Thailand. Soi 38 began as a pop-up in a cafe and bar in 2013, selling soup from the cart. In 2015 they moved into the parking garage, adding brightly coloured metal tables with stools. The cart now serves as the counter of the restaurant, where customers order and pay.

Thai milk tea

Thai Tea is is made from strongly-brewed black tea, often spiced with ingredients such as star anise, crushed tamarind, cardamom, and occasionally others as well (often making this beverage a favorite among masala chai tea fans). This brew is then sweetened with sugar and sweetened condensed milk, and served over ice.

Thai Boat Noodles (kway teow reua)

Boat noodles are distinctive mainly for the complex dark brown broth, which is traditionally made with pig blood. Mr. Kijthavee says he has not been able to find the fresh blood needed, so he has made up his own recipe that replicates the sweetness and depth that blood usually provides. 

Make sure you customise your boat noodles using the condiments of fish sauce, white sugar, crushed dried chillies and chillies in vinegar to achieve your personally preferred combination of the four pillars of Thai cuisine – salty, sour, sweet and of course spicy!

Deep fried pork belly

They were out of their pork crisps (deep fried pig skin), so we ordered a side of deep fried pork belly that had that signature crackling as well. Served a chilli infused dark soy sauce, the pork belly was crunchy and full of flavours.

Grilled pork balls

Finally, another street food favourite, the grilled pork balls. It required longer grilling, they tasted boiled rather than grilled.

Highly recommended, if you can stand the queue.

Soi 38
38 Mcilwraith Pl, Melbourne VIC 3000, Australia
Tel : +61 403 547 144

Visited Jul 2023

@soi38 #soi38 #thinkofbangkokthinkofsoi38 #soi38melbourne

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