A Taste of Thai in Colac

By Christina Kim - August 05, 2015

Driving along Princes Highway from Geelong landed us in the lovely town of Colac in the late evening.

Surrounded by volcanic plains from Bass Strait (approximately 45 kilometres/25 miles) gave rise to the land's potential in agriculture and Colac rode on the commercialization path in the agricultural district on the Western District of Victoria as one of the major commercial centres.

Colac takes its name from the nearby Lake Colac on the southern shore and is about 150 kilometres off the south west from Melbourne city.

Colac is not just the agriculture commercial centre but is also an administrative point for the Colac Otway Shire.
They were named a city in the 1960s and is currently home to an estimated of more than 11,000 people.

Princes Highway runs across the town of Colac and it is where we found this charming place for dinner that night.

Mango Thai Restaurant, located on the main street of the town of Colac, caught our attention with the crowd inside the restaurant.


The restaurant is a brainchild of Mango (yes, that is his real name); of whom the restaurant is named after.
The owner hails from Thailand himself, bringing over his family and their local recipes and cooking skills to this part of the country where he called home.
The restaurant was also named after his mother; Pamela, from whom he got his inspirations from, and is also known as Mango (and Pamela) Thai Restaurant though mostly it is just referred to as Mango Thai Restaurant.

The interior of the restaurant is delightfully designed with the concept of a wooden cabin or shed in mind, though tastefully decorated with the unique mementos from the owner's collection.



It was an interesting mix of collection and I liked that there were also a cultural collection displayed on the wall near the kitchen area.

A stark reminder from the past

Most of the cooking ingredients were also of Thai origins, to recreate the authenticity of the the flavors of the cuisine.



The dishes we had that night:-

Fresh Spring Rolls for starters; Rice Paper Roll (AUD$7 for 2 rolls)
Thai Style Fish Salad rolled with rice paper wrap served with sweet chili sauce

A light yet appetizing combination of fresh vegetables with bits of fish packed delicately with a translucent skin which just melts in the mouth.
Dip it into the tangy sauce to make that difference.

Stir fry glass noodles with vegetables (AUD$15.00)
I love the way they describe this on the menu; A low fat flavorful dish of seasoned vegetables stir fried with egg, a definite sign that this is for the health (and weight) conscious and I bet that worked with most of their modern customers.


Steamed Barramundi with Lemon (AUD$25.00) is my pick of the night and is just perfect.
The fish fillet was just so tender and rightly timed in maintaining the juicy freshness, further enriched with the piquant flavors from the zesty lemon sauce.
Brownie point for the deboned fillet, thank you for the thought :-)
(Of course, barramundi just happens to be one of my favorite fish, just saying)



The service was excellent and the folks running/working in the restaurant were just friendly beyond description that made the whole dining experience even more enjoyable, besides the awesome food.

It was a great reminder of our Asian flavors, and though we just had a brief chat, Mango was really thrilled to learn that we came from his region too, but really, this guy just had this big smile on his face for every one of his customer and he just treats everyone with much enthusiasm and warmth.
It was evident from the compliments passed out by most of his regular customers dining there that night.

It is no wonder this restaurant has garnered much popularity among the locals; with all the above mentioned attributes.

With flavors like these, I didn't even mind that it was again not an Australian meal.
(I was sorry that I only had one night in Colac, or I would have visited them again, oh well, there's always another time).

I am not paid to say this about their restaurant, the words from their customers (on the spot) are live testimonials of the great experience everyone had here.

Mango (and Pamela) had truly brought both the flavorful tastes and warm hospitality; both of which are symbolic of Thai to the Australian coast.

23 Murray Street, Colac, Victoria

+61 3 5232 1013

This is not a sponsored post, and solely based on author's personal opinions, tastes and preferences and do not represent the general public. Experiences vary from one individual to another.

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