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This may just be the best Thai food in Joburg

You’ll remember chef Micky from her award-winning restaurant Sai Thai in Cyrildene. Four years ago she decided to close up shop and concentrate on catering private functions but, to our delight, she’s just opened another restaurant, named Chef Micky’s Thai Dining, on Corlett Drive.

Fast facts

Food type: Thai cuisine
Cost: R130 average main meal
Parking: On the street
Star ratings: Food and drinks:5; Service: 3; Ambience: 3

Food

The menu is divided into starters, soups, stir-fries, seafood, curries, noodles and specials. Everything is made from scratch – you won’t find any store-bought pastes or concentrates in Micky’s kitchen. She uses whole stalks of lemon grass, lime leaves, curry leaves and chillies, chopped and crushed in a pestle and mortar. (This also means you’ll find these whole ingredients in your dishes.)

The food is outstanding. Her tom yums and chicken coconut soups, sultry and delicious, are rich with stock and pack a flavour punch. The stir-fries (oyster sauce, spicy basil, black pepper, angry duck and spicy eggplant) are crisp and fresh. The curries are beautifully aromatic and intense, while the prawn pad Thai is unlike any pad Thai you’ve had – you won’t be presented with a plate brimming with oily noodles and dotted with the occasional shrivelled prawn, but rather a delicate balance of fresh and aromatic ingredients in equal quantities: noodles, fresh herbs, sprouts, egg, scrumptious prawns and crispy pieces of tofu with lemon wedges. Plus, the accompanying ground peanuts, vinegars and chillies make it feel like a celebratory feast – it’s worth visiting simply to have this dish.

One of the noodle dishes at Chef Micky’s Thai Dining. Photo by Kate Liquorish.

Also notable, although understandably pricier, are the speciality fish dishes: whole deep fried fish or steamed fish with tamarind, ginger and spring onion, lemon chilli or Micky’s homemade sweet chilli sauce.

Cooking like this does take time, though – expect a 20 minute wait on quiet days and anything up to 45 minutes on busy days. It’s so worth it.

Drinks

BYO for now, as they wait on their liquor licence.

Service

Patience is key: the service is rudimentary and the waitresses are still finding their feet. If you’re wanting to know what to order, ask for chef Micky to come out and assist.

 

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Ambience

The space is bright and open; simple square tables are laid with black-and-red cloths and walls are dressed with Micky’s awards and a few Thai artworks. The restaurant is set amongst an open strip mall of shops that all face Corlett Drive, but the food, rather than the setting, is the main attraction.

Best for…

Family lunches or dinner with friends

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Eat Out critics dine unannounced and pay for their meals in full. Read our full editorial policy here

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