Limlay’s elevated Thai street food

Limlay’s elevated Thai street food

Thai culture has landed on our shores with the opening of Limlay, an impressive 100-seat restaurant. Situated on the Gold Coast Highway in the centre of Burleigh Heads, Limlay is a gorgeous addition to the southern dining scene and to Thai culinary offerings on the Gold Coast.

Brought to us by the Nahm Group’s Pat and Alex, the couple who have shown us their take on Thai cuisine at Nahm Thai Coomera followed by the elevated cuisine of Nahm Talay Thai Surfers Paradise and Valyn Thai Restaurant and Bar on Isle of Capri, Limlay’s signature feel is unique.

Playful and fun, Limlay, which literally means ‘by the sea’, references the street food and bar scene of Thailand, all within a stunning luxurious setting.

If you’ve envisaged a stereotypical Thai restaurant, your expectations will be smashed at the musk-coloured front door. And that’s only the beginning. On entering the restaurant, there’s a definite coastal vibe to the cream chequered banquettes, marble top bar, sheer drapes, Rancilio coffee machine and textured render walls. This is not Thai as we know it, but rather ‘the ultimate fusion of Thai cuisine and coastal living’.

Look further and you’ll see fun theatrical elements: bottles of spirits along the backlit bar, pops of colour and shapes lit by feature lighting, a ferris wheel shot stand with flickering coloured lights, and a cloud of dry ice topping a cocktail, all referencing the night life of Bangkok streets after dark. They tell us that this is a great place to come and have a good time.

The menu too brings us a fresh taste of Thailand. Some dishes are well-known and others less so, capturing the authentic taste of Thai cuisine with a modern and elevated presentation.

Classic dishes populate the menu, covering all our Thai favourites: starters and signature dishes followed by curries, salad and BBQ, wok-fried dishes and sides. To many dishes there’s a twist: Massaman curry features lamb shank. Red duck curry sports a confit duck leg, while Khao Soi, the signature dish of Chiang Mai, is modernised with karaage chicken, beef cheek or Wagyu. There’s no denying the quality of plump Hokkaido scallops, nor of the Wagyu Rump MBS9+ in the Thai beef salad (Wagyu Salad). It’s all stunning.

Thai street food favourites deserve a menu of their own; classic dishes such as Thai boat noodles (boat, brown or dry noodle soup available only at lunchtime), Tom Yum Noodle Jumbo, Thai salads such as Som Tam, noodle dishes like Pad See Ew, as well as BBQ Pork jowl, and Bua Loi, a dessert made from glutinous rice balls with coconut milk.

We begin our meal with starters of Miang Kam (prawns served on betel leaf with chilli, Thai herbs and roasted coconut) and Hokkaido scallops with chilli lime dressing. Both act as palate awakeners with notes of chilli, lime and ginger bringing a zingy tang.

Next, we dip into the street food menu. There’s often an earthiness in street food that we miss in Australian Thai restaurants. We find it in the Tom Yum, something darker and sourer with its mix of meat and seafood, an antithesis to the starters.

Tom Yum noodle jumbo is one of Bangkok’s most famous dishes, a pot of hot seafood-infused soup housing noodles, mixed seafood, chicken mince, crispy pork, and Thai herbs. It’s definitely a more street food version of the tom yum than our usual seafood or prawn version of the dish. We accompany the tom yum with delicious butterfly pea coconut rice.

My favourite, most breath-taking dish, however, is Limlay’s signature dessert. The ‘Limlay’ is an assemblage of sweet potato balls with butterfly pea and tapioca sauce, chocolates and fruit to form a scene that represents the coastline and beach just beyond the front door. It’s an amazing, creative dish that’s a ‘must try’, first with the eyes and then the taste.

Limlay’s beautifully presented elevated Thai cuisine comes with exquisite service and décor to soothe the senses. It is a unique dining experience, and one of the most intriguing meals we have experienced recently. It’s not only delicious, it gives us food for thought.

Limlay Thai, 1/ 1730 Gold Coast Highway, Burleigh Heads QLD 4220 Ph: 07 5681 2186 Open daily for lunch and dinner.
Open: Mon – Thurs 11.30am – 3pm, 5 – 9.30pm, Fri 11.30am – 3pm, 5 – 8pm, Sat 11.30am – 4pm, 5pm – late, Sun 11.30am – 4pm, 5 – 9pm.
1730 Gold Coast Highway, Burleigh Heads QLD 4220