Can’t decide between hotpot or barbecue? Enter Thai mookata, a traditional hybrid cooking device that’s popping up in some of Melbourne’s best Thai restaurants. Here’s where to grill and boil a feast at your table.

Nana Mookata Thai BBQ and Hotpot

Raise a glass of Singha to Melbourne's first mookata restaurant. Nana's iconic two-person Thai barbecue set is $39. It comes with a marinated meat medley, seafood, glass noodles, vegetables and an egg. Grill your meat up top, while the juices run down into a flavour-packed broth below. Other exciting dishes include raw prawn salad with fermented fish and Thai street food like mooping – delicious marinated pork skewers.

Khaosan Lane

New Thai BBQ joint Khaosan Lane is named after a popular street in Bangkok. It's the place to go for steaming seafood hot pots, sizzling cook-your-own meat and giant fruity cocktails served in jugs. Stretching down a hidden laneway and lined with rainbow-coloured string lights, the atmosphere is more South East Asia than it is Melbourne. To add to the party vibes, live music kicks off at 8.30pm every night. 

A group dining on hotpot in a colourful restaurant with a Bangkok mural on the wall.
Khaosan Lane

Nisa’s Thai Street Food

This family-run restaurant is dishing up street food straight out of Bangkok. Nisa’s was another early adopter of mookata and it nailed the DIY dining brief. Your meal is completely customisable for a choose-your-own-adventure feast. Sizzle up thinly sliced pork belly, beef and liver. Then throw on some fresh seafood like calamari or prawns. Wash it all down with a refreshing Thai milk tea for the full experience.  

Heng Thai 

Hotpot meets hawker market at this bottomless foodie wonderland. Heng Thai is a Bourke Street food hall dishing up spicy noodles, shaved ice desserts and all-you-can-eat BBQ hot pot. Mookata-style barbecue sets start at $39 with loads of delicious add-ons. Load up the grill with pork neck, Wagyu and fresh seafood. Then visit the mini in-store grocery for Thai snacks and crisps.

People reaching for meat on a gold mookata grill surrounded by Thai dishes.
Heng Thai

Asia Unique Cafe & Tavern

Melbourne foodies know some of the most authentic dishes are found in unassuming food courts. Enter Asia Unique Cafe & Tavern, a hidden gem in the Paramount Centre. Come for the cheap eats, stay for the $4 Thai beers. Available everyday, from 4.30pm, the mookata set for two is $35. It comes with all the trimmings, but you can add on more meat or veg if you’re extra hungry.  

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