Thai Nesia

Jackie McMillan
27th Jul 2023

Thai Nesia has been part of the fabric of Oxford Street — now dubbed the Rainbow Precinct — since I was in primary school. They make no bones about being queer friendly, with a satiny rainbow flag the first thing that catches your eye as you enter the fabric-heavy dining room. This obvious community support, combined with friendly Thai service, cements Thai Nesia in the memory of residents and precinct users. This makes it a full and convivial space even on a cold and wintery Wednesday night. Thai Nesia is also a rare BYO-only restaurant, so if you like to imbibe, grab a bottle as you saunter up the street once known as the Golden Mile

So, what does nostalgia taste like? Well as a queer club kid loading up for a night of drinking and dancing, I remember being wowed by Prawn betel leaves ($12/2). By today’s palate they lack the salty, sweet, sour and hot explosions I’ve had elsewhere, but are fresh and enjoyable regardless. Another menu stalwart, Chilli basil duck ($30), teams roast duck slices with crisp Thai basil leaves, snake beans, and fresh baby corn. To an uplifting soundtrack that includes plenty of Kylie, I tuck into Pad pla prawns ($30). In this dish, an adequate amount of king prawns are teamed with nicely spicy curry paste, lemongrass, kaffir lime and ginger, but let down by hard, undercooked apple eggplants. While Thai Nesia replicates my memories, I suspect my palate ain’t what it used to be.