Boo's Kitchen brings the fresh traditional flavours of northern Thailand to Woolloongabba, in this unique restaurant that is unlike any other Thai eatery in Brisbane, from its name to its menu, music and decor.
At the heart of the convivial restaurant is chef and owner Boo, whose personality is as bright and bold as the tastes of the delicious cuisine she prepares. When not cooking up a storm in the open kitchen she is known to mingle with the customers, talking about the home-style food from Isan, her region of Thailand and making them feel like a guest in a Thai family home.
Guests can watch the world go by from the inviting astro-turf terrace on in the charming interior, which unlike most Thai restaurants in Brisbane, features colourful cushions, stools, wooden tables and coloured lights. The striking, unique interior is a match for the bold flavours of the food, which keeps those-in-the-know coming back for more.
This is the perfect place for diners to explore the tastes of Thailand beyond the standard Thai fare offered in most Brisbane restaurants, although Boo also offers a handful of familiar dishes such as fish cakes, curry puffs, Panang or Massaman Curry and Pad Thai, but with her own flavour stamp. Her menu, which features traditional Isan dishes from her home in the regional north (think salads, BBQ skewers, noodles and seafood), is written in a personal explanatory way, with stories behind the dishes and flavours, making it easier to decide on what to order.
Keeping it in the family, Boo works closely with the Head Chef (her brother Lek) to create dishes that are different from your standard Thai menu, with her popular Chefs Specials menu. One such dish is the melt-in-the-mouth Thai Slow Cooked Beef Cheeks, with an adaptation of Choo Chee Sauce, fried onions and dill.
Another is Salmon Krapow, a grilled fillet of Atlantic salmon, dressed with the savoury stir fry sauce that pairs perfectly with the crispy deep fried basil, which is the key flavour ingredient.
Another delectable Chef's creation is the fluffy Bao Buns filled with Crispy Pork Belly and a specially created teriyaki mayonnaise sauce - a must try!
A new addition and absolute showstopper is the Soft Shell Crab Pad Thai, unlike any Pad Thai you've had, featuring the entire shell of the crab perched on top of the Pad Thai, and enhanced by micro herbs.
Meanwhile, Boo's version of Thai Pineapple Fried Rice stays true to its Thai origins served in a pineapple and will evoke memories of warm balmy evenings in Thailand, eating at beach shacks or at rickety tables at the local Thai restaurant.
From the main menu, recommended starters include the juicy Satay Chicken Skewers (made from chicken Maryland) with fragrant house-made peanut sauce, tender Salt and Pepper Calamari (tossed in salt and pepper sauce) or the Crab Net Rolls (deep fried and filed with crab and prawn meat) served with plum sauce.
Some recommended Mains include Garlic Pepper Prawns - large juicy prawns stir fried with garlic, spices, pepper and seasonal vegetables, Bangkok Chicken fried noodles with spicy sriracha sauce and a Boo speciality - Whole Barramundi with 3 flavour sauce.
Head Chef Lek (who has worked with the Pullman group and luxury resorts in Pattaya) brings his own creative flair to the menu with 'Chef's Special Flavours' such as Hainanese Chicken Rice, Thai Duck Curry with Lychee, Pineapple & Basil - succulent boneless duck with lychees, cherry tomatoes, pineapple and basil - or the delectable Massaman Lamb Shanks (unique blend of Thai and Indian flavours with cinnamon stick).
No visit to Boo's Kitchen would be complete without ordering one of the Thai salads for which the northern region is known. Customarily here all meals are accompanied by a salad and choices at Boo's include Isan Spicy Wagyu Steak Salad (spring onion, coriander, mint, lime juice, dried chilli and tender strips of beef), and traditional laab (dry salads traditionally served with rice); while super popular dishes include Boo's Duck Salad (made from a family recipe) and Isan sausages (specially handmade with a mixture of pork and herbs sliced and served with fresh cucumber, sticky rice and dipping sauce).
Boo's desserts are worth saving room for too, with a choice of sticky rice and mango (a seasonal traditional summer dessert that is classic Thai street food) and warm chocolate cake with vanilla ice-cream and raspberry compote.
There's also a cracking wine list to complement the menu at Boo's Kitchen with wine served in beautiful glassware. The small curated selection of wines include a Tatachilla Cabernet Sauvignon, St Halletts Shiraz, Red Hill Estate Cool Climate Pinot Noir, Mudhouse Marlborough Pinot Gris and Sauvignon Blanc, and St Hallett Barossa Rosé - all good quality but without the price tag. Apart from the wine selection, beer on tap is available including Estrelle Damm, considered the oldest Spanish beer, which goes down a treat with Thai food.
Good to know - In keeping with the fun casual atmosphere at Boo's, you won't find traditional Thai music here but the hits of the 70's or 80's, which the chefs have been known to sing along to.
Need to know - Parking is available (and permitted) in the nearby Princess Plaza Shopping area and there is also underground parking.
Boo's Kitchen is a valued partner of Must Do Brisbane.com
1/12 Annerley Rd
0426 395 515