Coconut milk, potatoes, tender meat, and the aroma of spices in the air. Thai-tanic appetites don’t stand a chance against a good bowl of massaman curry, and we’ve trawled our way through the best Thai restaurants Brisbane has to offer for the city’s spiciest, sauciest massamans on the menu.
Oh, and leave those chopsticks on the table – these saucy numbers are a job for the biggest shoveling spoon you’ve got handy.
From the melt-in-your-mouth chunks of beef to the rich, nutty curry sauce, Siam Pagoda have nailed every element of their massaman curry, and we can’t get enough. Pile it on top of creamy coconut rice and you’ll be licking the bowl clean before you even get to the end.
Come for the poached eggs, stay for the massaman. These brekky fiends turned curry masters serve up their slow cooked beef cheek curry every Wednesday to Sunday (spoiler alert: it’s amazing). Chuck a roti on the side if you’ve got the stomach space, but we’ll be seriously surprised.
Just Thai and stop us from setting our sights north for a meal at Thai Kitchen. The owners’ love of fresh produce shows its face in everything, including their beef Massaman beauty. Pick your spice preference and make plans for the night’s food coma.
Fair warning: you’ll have to muster up some serious self control to resist planting your face straight in Chili Coco’s massive massaman bowl. With rice on the side and more curry than you’ll know what to do with, try not to lose your head when you find out they can deliver straight to your door.
You’ll find not one, but two drool-worthy massaman curries on Jai Thai’s menu – so we suggest one for lunch and one for dinner! Grab grandma’s traditional beef massaman with steamed rice for $10 at lunch, and then head back for their scrumptious slow cooked lamb shank version at dinner.
Don’t worry, East-siders, we haven’t forgotten you (though we may muscle you out of a seat if push comes to shove). Mons Ban Sabai has been batting for the suburbs for over 10 years, and definitely curries our favour with their beef cheek massaman curry. Feeling brave? It makes an appearance on both banquet menus.
Normally, it’s the more the merrier when Thai’s involved, but you’re going to find it hard to remember the ‘sharing’ concept when it comes to Phat Elephant’s Massaman. Slow-cooked and fall-off-your-fork tender, these elephant-sized portions are hard to part with – even when we’re full to bursting.
Rose-coloured glasses have nothing to do with our love of Thai Rose’s beef and chicken massaman creations. There are no wrong answers, here – pick your fancy and enjoy with potatoes, cashews, and crispy onions. Sadly, the likelihood of leaving room for the deep-fried banana and ice cream is pretty low – but we believe in you.
Be still our beating hearts. Not only do My Thai Kitchen whip up their massaman curry with slow-braised beef we could live on for a year, but their cheeky daily specials are worth a check, too (three words: Massaman beef burger). Oh, and thanks to their cooking school, our mad massaman skills are officially on the way.
We’re all about pleasing the masses. Or massamans, rather.
Words by Samantha Chariton
Images by Judit Losh