The Hobart

Thai Food Memories in Moonah

by Zilla Gordon
Thai Food Memories in Moonah

Moving to Hobart from Brisbane almost two-and-a-half years ago, I’d heard this town served up some great food. I knew there were wine bars hidden around a sandstone corner, or I could pick locally caught seafood at tuck in while watching the boats at Constitution Dock.

But I knew little about the offerings beyond the so-called “flannelette curtain”. I knew even less about Sarinya Thai Fusion Restaurant (Sarinya) off Moonah’s Main Road. Making a booking for 7pm on a Friday night, my partner and I were quickly seated and given menus.

There were classics, as well as vegan-friendly options on the menu, so it was tempting to go for my staple order of a chicken pad thai. However, after I noticed the inclusion of a whole fish, the decision-making was easy.

The whole fish instantly took me back to a trip to south-east Asia I had more than ten years ago. I’d been served a whole deep-fried elephant fish and the table of hungry diners were invited to break off crispy shards of fish and roll it into rice paper rolls. So the crispy whole tilapia fish with tamarind sauce ($28) was a must.

We’d also opted for the marinated crispy quail ($12.90), home made Thai fish cakes ($7.90 for four), the larb pork minced salad ($16) and a side of steamed rice ($2.50). While there was a constant flow of Friday takeaways, there were still a few other dinners who’d opted to dine in on the warm and sunny evening.

Deep fried whole fish

Our entrees arrived quickly. The fishcakes were fragrant and sung of kaffir lime leaves and their texture soft and moist. Arriving shortly after, the quail was crunchy, salty and tender and a welcome change from a spring roll.

Our larb was everything I’d hoped it to be – my partner and I visited Thailand together in 2019, and we’d struggled to find somewhere that recreated the fresh flavours we’d experienced on the streets of Bangkok. Spicy and light, the khao khua (toasted rice powder) added a satisfying dimension to the well-balanced flavours of spicy, sweet, bitter and salty.

After a little bit of plate shuffling, we made room for the

deep-fried fish, which was accompanied with a spicy tamarind sauce with green beans and tomatoes. You know the food is good when the conversation is replaced by the silence of eating. Although plated with a knife to cut the flaky white fish, I was happy to put in a little extra work and pick off every single mouthful I could.

Potentially a finger bowl would have come in handy here for those who, like me, don’t mind getting their hands dirty. While the fish was good, the accompanying side sauce was the hero. Its distinct sweet-but-sour flavour was perfect when poured over the remaining steamed rice, leaving me with a delicious last mouthful.

With dinner under $70, Sarinya offers great value for money but it also serves up something a little different than a green curry or massaman (although you’ll still find those on the menu). More importantly, the food made me feel like I was back in the balmy streets of south-east Asia. And while the edge of the Moonah commuter car park might not seem like the ideal location for a Friday night meal, after dining at Sarinya, it might be my new go-to.

Sarinya Thai Fusion

1/79 Main Rd, Moonah

Love this


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Escape To The Country
Pet the animals, walk in the wilderness, pick your own berries and enjoy colonial accommodation... Farmstays and day tours are popping up across the state, providing a fun weekend away for visitors and Hobartians keen to get their gumboots dirty. Here are four farms to visit this Spring.
Exploring The World’s Widest Canyon – Capertee Valley
The Blue Mountains and surrounding areas suffered greatly during recent bushfires but slowly the National Parks in New South Wales are reopening, with some ready to welcome visitors back.
Talk Sexy To Me …
If I asked you to think of a food item that makes you sexy, healthy, attractive, youthful and energetic I can almost guarantee that you didn’t think of gelatin.
Madame Saisons: Corona Cuisine – Surviving Lockdown
The vacant stare in front of the open fridge or cupboard has afflicted us all on occasion. No matter how much food we have in store, there seems like nothing to eat. When you’re hungry and lacking cooking inspo, the ‘hangries’ can easily take hold.
Hannah Moloney
Meet the Tasmanian designing a better life for us all. Hannah Moloney of Good Life Permaculture is a leading landscape designer and educator in South Hobart (you may have noticed her bright pink and green house up on the hill). She’s spent 15 years designing and managing projects around urban agriculture, small-scale farming and community development. She believes in ‘radical hope’ and facing the climate crisis in a proactive and positive way.
Australia’s Online Beauty Queen – Kate Morris
Kate Morris had an idea to sell cosmetics online at a time when it wasn’t done. She borrowed $12,000 from her boyfriend’s parents and set up an online store, Adore Beauty in the garage. Twenty years later, the business is thriving, enjoying annual revenue around $100m. Kate recently sold a chunk of the business to private equity investors, Quadrant.
What’s With The Weather?
Even though Tasmania is known for its mild summers, it doesn’t take much to get sunburnt. Tasmania experiences extreme ultraviolet (UV) levels, but contrary to popular belief this isn’t due to the hole in the ozone layer, which is actually south of the continent.While higher UV levels often occur at the same time as higher temperatures, the two are not linked. Instead, UV levels are determined by the angle of the sun in the sky: the higher the sun, the higher the UV. In December and January, the position of the sun over Tasmania gives the state a UV index of 11 or more on most days, which is classified as “extreme” on the UV index. Tasmania’s lack of humidity and generally clear skies contribute to the stinging feeling of the sun. UV can reflect off buildings and water, making it possible to get a higher dose of UV from these reflected rays, even in the shade.
Transport Trackers – Your New Timewaster
It was almost 2am and US singer Halsey had just finished her set and was being whisked off stage at Falls Festival and into her waiting Tesla.
Cascades Female Factory Reopens
On a site where only the outside walls remain, how do you help visitors contextualise what happened inside those walls? At the Cascades Female Factory site in South Hobart, actor Karissa Lane, together with director Craig Lane-Irons and writer Finegan Kruckemeyer have created The Proud & The Punished, a 45-minute monologue to share the horrifying, heart-warming and sad stories of the women and babies, who went through the site from 1828 until 1856. At any given time there were between 700 and 1200 prisoners.
Day Of Impact 1967
Devastating bushfires on mainland Australia strikes vivid memories to those of us who lived through the 1967 bushfires in Southern Tasmania when 62 lives and 1293 homes were lost.
AboutContributeAdvertiseNewsletter Sign UpContact
July 2021

Stay up to date with everything happening at the Hobart Magazine.

Thank you to Luke Brokensha for mobilising his friends and local residents recently to host two rubbish clean ups along the Hobart Rivulet after heavy rains.
The warm weather returns...hello summer.
Need a laugh? Check out @theinspiredunemployed feed on Instagram.
Moto Vecchia Cafe in Bellerive and Czegs Cafe in Richmond have joined the Clarence City Council dementia program, creating dementia-friendly spaces for all patrons.
It’s hard to believe it’s not standard practice to have a working phone in every aged care room - shared phones make private conversations impossible and increase the risk of spreading COVID-19.
Tacks on the tracks. Mountain bikers beware of tacks being left on certain tracks on the mountain.
Just when you think your cousins are alright. NZ Opposition Leader Judith Collins took aim at Tassie during her recent (unsuccessful) campaign, calling us Australia’s “poor cousin.” She also seems worried about us nabbing tech businesses, “It’s a lovely part of the world but do you necessarily want to go there with your high- tech business? Possibly not,” she said. We beg to differ!