Easy and authentic Pinto Thai is brought to you by Chin
Behind every good business is a story, or a driving force mostly built out of passion and love for the craft, and in the case of Pinto Thai by Chin, the story is one not only of passion and love, but a beautiful dedication to her much loved “Khun Yai” (Grandma).
Speaking with owner Chin Sopharakkul, Chin fondly recalls spending time with her grandma as a child, watching her in the kitchen and learning all of her cooking skills,
“I would spend every school holidays with my grandmother, and she would teach me everything she knows about food and how to cook, she would force me to do it [laughs]. I feel she planned my future.”
Located within the food court at Charlestown Square, Pinto Thai is the newest addition to Chin’s Thai restaurant line up, Benjamin’s on Darby St being her first, however Chin prefers not to draw comparisons between the two as she explains,
“Benjamin’s is more of a fine dining restaurant, Pinto Thai is all about quick and easy meals that are authentically Thai”.
Made fresh in the kitchen, the tight menu line up offers a list of dishes, some of which you’re likely not to be familiar with, such as the Pad Kratiem Gai which Chin explains is a dish all Thai people love.
“Pinto, or bento, translates to lunch box in Thai and it’s my memory of childhood. The concept of Pinto Thai is it’s a more traditional style of Thai food, served fresh from the stove, it’s the real Thai you should know, similar to the street dining experience you get when in Thailand.”
Other dishes you may not be familiar with but must try include the Pad Peanut Noodle complete with Chin's homemade satay sauce, the Golden Boat, a deep-fried egg pastry wrapped with marinated pork mince and crushed peanut, and the very traditional Kao Man Gai, a Thai style poached chicken served with seasoned rice, and homemade soy chilli sauce.
When entering the food court it’s Pinto Thai’s distinctive store facade that catches your eye and provides further insights into Chin’s past and love of design,
“I’ve moved to Australia when I was 17 and have been in Newcastle ever since, I went to high school here and did my Bachelor and Master Degree in Architecture at Newcastle University. I love design and was drawn to it but I also love to cook, so I feel this allows me to do both.”
“I have designed everything at both Pinto Thai and Benjamas. The wood paneling at the front of the Pinto Thai counter is very traditional for Thai homes, I also designed the logo, and the menus. I like to do things a bit differently.”
For those of you who love Thai food, you're are going to have to put Pinto Thai on your list of must visit destinations.