Monday, July 18, 2011

Green Papaya @ Stanley St East, Brisbane

Ever since I left home and started to get used to the concept of paying rent, I realised that my eating out patterns have changed tremendously. For starters back in Malaysia, I wouldn't mind paying RM50 (AUD 15-17) per pax for a normal weekend lunch or a RM100 (AUD 33-35) for a nice catch up dinner (not that it can buy you much these days). 

Comparatively, I earn the same amount now in AUD but to splurge more than AUD 30 per pax seems almost exclusive to celebrations especially when our usual eating out doesn't seem to exceed AUD 20 per pax. 

With that thought stuck in mind, that night, I suggested we go out for a nicer dinner at Green Papaya. 

Having heard that this is a place to go for Thai and other South East Asian cuisine, there were some expectations although having not eaten good Thai food in what seems like a century, that level was never going to be very high.


It's been a long while since I seen a proper setting.

In some ways, it was good that the Gang I eat with joined us, so we could order a few more dishes to share. 


The Tamarind Fish was well balanced with sweet and sour notes, brilliant start to a meal.


The Pad Kangaroo was exciting on paper; letting you imagine a jumping animal on your plate while in reality, we are really doing the nation a favour by eating some of it before they conquer the country like the Apes. The lean meat was thankfully not over-cooked and the curry that went with it was delicious without numbing your tongue.


This may look like a plate of fried rice but don't let the looks deceive you. In fact, this is a plate of Tahu Telur,  silk soft tofu wrapped with egg and deep fried to a crisp, served with a sweet (almost rojak-like sauce, for those who know what I am talking about). Very nicely done, probably even better than the ones I get in Malaysia.


Not ordering a roast duck curry in a Thai restaurant is akin to not ordering Sweet and Sour Pork in a Chinese Takeaway for me. It is crucial and failure to not order it, causes a mental war in your head, with the question, should I or should I not. Served in a pretty pineapple, this was really scrumptious, with the only question in the head; do they recycle the pineapple for the next person? 


What looks like an otak otak is a chicken mousse which was very mild in flavour but fragrant to the nose. For those who can't eat spicy, this is the dish to order.


I have friends who are in the transfer pricing business and all I hear from them is benchmarking margins, profits and etc. With me, I benchmark the quality of Pad Thai when I go to a Thai restaurant. Above average I would say, not the best I have had but certainly a good contender.

While Green Papaya doesn't win any awards for big portions or cheap pricing, it does deliver a good experience by serving good Thai cuisine and yet has a good enough vibe for a romantic date, with a casual setting to catch up with a few friends.

Green Papaya Balinese & Thai on Urbanspoon

Verdict: 4 stars out of 5 stars. This place seems to be the place for Thai food for me but if there's any place that you think serves even better Thai food in Brisbane, let me know!


CUMI & CIKI said...

wah! 4 out of 5 is a good find. Must be authentic.. I like the looks of the otak otak!

Baby Sumo said...

I was craving for Thai food last week, reading this sort of reignited that craving again!

Michelle Chin said...

man, i was going to blog about a bad thai food experience at salem, ma

"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

michelle: well cant expect much in salem, could you?

babysumo: well, time to for some thai food.

ciki: the kitchen staff all look pretty authentic too!

Sean said...

kangaroo! it's been nearly a decade since i last ate kangaroo meat (in adelaide in 2002). i remember it tasting OK and liking it, the way i like venison :D

msihua said...

Everything in Msia is just so bloody expensive. I don't know how anyone can afford to spend so much eating out and doing things. When I go back for a visit, it's fine as I'm on a different currency, but it just amazes me!


Could this finally be one of the nicer Thai restaurants in Brisbane?? I drove past the other day and was actually curious to find out what it was... Then I saw your post, haha! Thank you for posting, I will be sure to try this out soon! :-)

"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

omggimmenow: it is for me, i m hoping i can find even better ones!

msihua: i guess for a start i dont pay rent in msis and with rent and utilities costing me a quarter of my current salary in aust, its prob easy to c why i splurge like no tmmw in msia.

sean: its lean a bit like venison but no where near as tender though.

Gastronomy Gal said...

have never been but have heard good things. I also have heard that they use really good quality produce, so am thinking they probs would not reuse the pineapple.

"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

gastronomy gal: in such a nice place, i would think of course not, but its good food for thought when you see fruit used for decor during dinner.

Cora said...

Those dishes look awesome! So much colour.

I remember Green Papaya when they did 'upmarket' Vietnamese. This was close to 5 years ago. My family didn't think much of Vietnamese food at the time but after we ate their, they gained new respect. I had no idea they're doing Thai food now, and it's interesting they kept the same name. Thanks for the review!

Brisbane Devoured said...

I want to eat here but cant really justify the prices... I cant get my head around paying that much for thai food!

we usually go to Siam Samrarn at west end.... although havent been in ages so not sure if its still as good.