Happy days are here southern friends and they come in the form of Tugun’s new tropical Thai eatery, Sticky Rice.
Not just any old Thai eatery though, this one is offering up authentic southern Thai eats with a modern twist and an emphasis on share plates. As it turns out, sharing meals is the way things generally go in Thailand. Who knew.
The space is upstairs on Golden Four Drive, above Café Caribou, and overlooking delightful little Tugun. It’s an actual tropical paradise with a jungle-style mural painted on the back wall, straw thatched paneling and dark wood accents.
Woven furniture and authentic Thai lightshades are offset by gold cutlery and custom-made white tiled tables and, our favourite part, a neon sign shining from the back corner stating “let’s get together and eat more rice”. A nod to your main man Bob Marley whose cruisy tunes are soothing your tired soul in the background.
Now, the food. The small plates are all of your favourite Thai dishes but likely more fresh and delicious than you’ve ever experienced. There’s Thai Fried Chicken with a rice flour crust, sticky rice and sweet pickle, Salt and Pepper Tempura Calamari and Soft Shell Crab with chilli jam, fried garlic and fresh lime and a couple of Thai soups that will knock your socks off.
The big plates are also the goods, again with all your favourites, but not as you know them. Dishes like Crying Tiger with Wagyu sirloin, BBQ Street Chicken and Green Curry with eggplant are some of the best tasting (and smelling) eats ever.
Oh and there’s Massaman Beef Cheek. Yes sir.
Thai cocktails are a fun time too. The menu is filled with the classics and all with a Thai twist. For example, the Tom Kargarita is (the love of your life) a margarita but with the tastes of the Tom Kha Gai soup thrown for an extra flavour sensation. The Tom Yum Collins is a gin-based tipple with kaffir lime, galangal, lemongrass and chilli. Oh my.
Owners Sarah and Monty opened Sticky Rice after quite the around the world jaunt. Upon their return, they decided to bring their beloved Tugun a taste of Sarah’s southern Thai heritage and that they have pals.
The food is epic and the vibes are reminiscent of the tropical Thai holiday we would all love to be on right now (beat it rain). Get in there and give your tastebuds some love.
LOCATION: Shop 7, 443 Golden Four Drive, Tugun (above Café Caribou)
HOURS: From 5pm until late Tuesday to Sunday
Words and photos by Kirra Smith.