Having tried a range of Thai restaurants in the CBD, I specifically want to share Soi 38 with you today. It’s no secret that Melbourne is renowned for its multiculturalism, making it possible to find a variety of cuisines all over the city. Thai food, in particular, is one of the most popular cuisines and can be found in every suburb. But this restaurant, not only the food is simply delicious, it transported me right back to the city of Bangkok!
Soi 38 Melbourne CBD
It’s not hard to find a good Thai restaurant in the CBD – in fact, there are tons of them. But if you’re also looking for a dining experience that’s sure making you feel like you’re in a completely different country, Soi 38 is the perfect spot. Tucked away inside a parking lot building, this restaurant may not catch your eye right away, but trust me, it’s worth the search.
Although it may sound like it’s hidden, finding Soi 38 is not as hard as you think. You can travel to the very center of the CBD of Melbourne, on Bourke Street to be exact. Take the tram number 86 or 96 going towards Parliament, and hop off at Spring Street. From there, take a small stroll to Mcilwraith PI, and enter through the First parking building. You’ll find Soi 38 on your right.
As you enter, you’ll notice that the setup is very humble, with two separate areas – the front and back. The front area has the typical old Asian restaurant feel, with closely arranged tables where you can hear everyone’s conversations, and the walls adorned with old paper articles, photographs, and their unchanged menu. While the back area is more spacious, it still retains that casual vibe. They use colorful sets of plastic chairs and tables and placed a fan in the middle to keep you cool. The pièce de résistance? A TukTuk car serving as decor!
Soi 38 has two opening hours, lunch, and dinner. Lunch service starts at 11 AM and finishes at 3 PM, while the dinner service starts at 5 PM, and they close at 10 PM. For a restaurant in Melbourne, they definitely have a big range in terms of opening hours, and that’s a wonderful thing!
And believe me, people know it – Soi 38’s popularity is not only among the locals but also international travelers. It’s definitely not uncommon to see lines of diners waiting to get in around peak hours. So you want to make sure that you come at the right timing to avoid the crowd. But knowing how casual the place is, the line does move fairly quickly, and the smell of the food will keep you excited for sure.
So, you know how Soi 38 has these two different opening schedules? Well, they also have separate lunch and dinner menus, each with its own vibe. Drop by during lunch, and you’ll get to try boat noodles, a classic Thai dish in cute little bowls. But for dinner, it’s all about that a la carte life, letting you pick from a bunch of awesome dishes. And the best part? The food is super affordable, even though it’s crazy good!
For lunch, you’ve gotta try their Crab Noodles with sliced pork and wontons. The broth is just the right amount of savory, and the crab meat adds this sweet, umami seafood kick. The pork is so tender, and the wontons are silky-smooth. Another great option is the Boat Noodles with Pork or Beef, both packed with flavors that’ll make you feel all warm and cozy on a cold Melbourne day. And if you’re into duck, oh man, you’re gonna love the Duck Noodles! The meat is cooked to perfection and goes so well with the sweet brown broth.
When it’s dinner time, start with the King Fish Ceviche. It’s light, fresh, and has this amazing combo of juicy fish and tangy lime juice. Then, treat yourself to some deep-fried pork belly. It’s got this amazing crispy outside, and it’s tender and juicy on the inside.
You should also try the Larb Moo, which is a mix of ground pork, lime juice, chili, and mint leaves that’ll make your taste buds go wild. And if you’re looking for something a bit more chill, the Grilled Chicken is where it’s at. It’s marinated in this sweet and savory sauce and grilled just right, with a perfectly charred skin that’ll have you coming back for more.
For anyone looking to get a taste of traditional Thai food, Soi 38 is definitely worth checking out. The restaurant provides affordable prices and its atmosphere both lunch and dinner make for a pleasant experience. With street-style dishes such as a variation of boat noodles, Larb Moo, deep fried pork belly, and many more, one will be sure to find something they love here. And the range of flavors that come with the dishes are lovely and authentic. To wrap it up, if you’re ever in Melbourne and feel like discovering new dishes from different cultures – Soi 38 should surely be on your list.
- Soi 38
- Mon – Sat [Lunch] : 11:00 AM – 03:00 PM
- Mon – Sun [Dinner] : 05:00 PM – 10:00 PM
- Type : Thai Restaurant
- Price : $
- Alcohol : Beer – Cocktail – Wine
- Dessert : –
- Indoor Capacity : +-25
- Outdoor Capacity : +-30
- RSVP : Walk-in Only
- Waiting Time : 10-15 minutes
- Toilet : Not Sure
- Wifi : No