04 Jan Most Authentic Thai in Collingwood: Mama Nee
Hidden in plain sight, Mama Nee is the spiciest, tastiest and most authentic Southern Thai Restaurant in Collingwood. Don’t make the mistake of walking past this local gem.
It’s easy to overlook Mama Nee, a Southern Thai restaurant in Collingwood, with its simple red awning and the aesthetic of any old Asian BYO or takeaway joint. On Smith Street, trendy, hipster-friendly restaurants with punny names and eye-catching facades abound, but Mama Nee brings way more to the table than all the kitsch, industrial settings or fad-based menus combined. It’s got the the spiciest, weirdest, most flavourful Southern Thai food in Collingwood, so if you’re looking for the most authentic of cuisines, look no further.
The restaurant is small, with a strip of an open kitchen right when you walk in, manned by the “aunties” who mash up their own seriously fiery curry paste. The owner’s nephew, Sun, a sweet man who speaks perfect English, runs the restaurant. Sun will kindly and patiently take you through the large, laminated menu that warns customers to “READ This Southern Thai food section Carefully before you order” because “some dishes have strong, unusual smell, extreme flavour and can be intensely spicy.”
And they weren’t lying. Almost everything from curry dishes to stir fry has a solid touch of spice to back up the rest of the layers of flavour. You’ll go through two jugs of water and a couple bowls of white rice within the first two minutes, even if you asked for your dish to be mild. But that doesn’t make you want to stop burning your mouth to finish off each hellishly good bite.
For the adventurous eater, try the Gang Tai, a super spicy fermented Fish Intestine Curry with Minced Fish and Bamboo Shoot and the Dry Tom Yum, a hot Vegetable Stir Fry with Tom Yum Paste, Mushroom and plenty of Chili. But you’ll never go wrong with the Beef Delicious, Chicken Coconut Salad, Pineapple Fried Rice, Tom Kha Coconut Soup or Stir Fried Chinese Broccoli with Crispy Pork Belly.
Mama Nee Southern Thai Restaurant
324 Smith St,
Collingwood VIC 3066
Tue – Sun 5:30pm – 9:45pm