What springs to your mind when you think of Thai food? Authentic Southeast Asian flavours? Fresh, aromatic ingredients? A little bit of heat and spice? If all of the above sounds pretty good, you’re in luck – Newcastle’s newest Thai destination, The Icon Thai Restaurant, is serving up all this and more down in Honeysuckle.
Situated in a prime waterfront location on Honeysuckle Drive, The Icon Thai opened its doors in early February 2019. It’s run by local husband and wife duo, Tide and Nina Bandith.
“The team is very proud to be serving up authentic Thai food right in the heart of Newcastle, with an aim to make you feel like you’re taking a trip to Thailand when you visit,” says Tide, who is head chef as well as owner at Icon. He’s been preparing delicious Thai cuisine since he was only 16, previously working with his mum up in Port Macquarie for over ten years.
It’s safe to say Tide has brought his years of experience with him to this new venture. The Icon Thai menu is full of authentic Thai favourites: stir-fries, curries, noodles, soups and salads, all made with fresh and flavourful ingredients. Some of the most popular signature dishes include Spicy Crispy Fish (deep-fried fish fillet stir-fried with chilli jam, basil and mixed vegetables), Heavenly Beef (tender strips of marinated beef, deep-fried and served with sweet chilli sauce), and Massaman Lamb Cutlets (served with a classic Massaman sauce, potatoes and peanuts). The Pineapple Fried Rice brings a novel approach to an old favourite: fried rice served in a hollowed-out whole pineapple and topped with fat, juicy prawns. And speaking of prawns – Icon has an extensive menu selection for seafood lovers, including the ever-popular Lemon Prawns, served with homemade Thai lemon sauce and mixed vegetables, and the Seafood Bucket: stir-fried mixed seafood with special chilli jam sauce and basil.
Those with a sweet tooth aren’t forgotten either, with a selection of classic desserts and sweet treats available to round out your meal. Mango Sticky Rice, one of the most famous Thai desserts, is plated up beautifully at Icon: fresh mango shaped into a delicate flower next to a mound of sweet sticky rice, with coconut milk to pour over for the finishing touch. And for a less traditional but equally tasty treat, Icon has recently introduced an intriguing new dessert: Nutella Lava Puffs… How could anyone resist pockets of deep-fried, chocolatey Nutella goodness (provided you can fit them in, that is)?
There’s something for everyone here, from the Thai food novice to the seasoned Southeast Asian eater. For those extra-keen enthusiasts, word is that there’s even a secret menu available if you ask the right people… You heard it here first.
In terms of the in-house dining experience, visitors can expect a warm, relaxed vibe, perfect for families, larger groups and casual dinners for two. There’s cosy indoor seating among colourful décor: splashes of red and accents of greenery and gold, plus a few quirky touches like cheeky wall hangings and suspended glass jars filled with posies of flowers. But the real star is the venue’s outdoor seating. Making the most of its waterfront locale in Honeysuckle, Icon boasts plenty of outdoor tables in its front courtyard area, making it an ideal spot for lunch in the sun or an al fresco dinner on a warm summer’s evening.
The locals certainly seem to be loving The Icon Thai so far – just six months after opening, the restaurant has been announced as a finalist in the 2019 Hunter Local Business Awards. Here’s to many more years of authentic Thai dining in the heart of Newcastle!
The Icon Thai is located at 2/15 Honeysuckle Drive, Newcastle and is open Tuesday to Sunday for lunch (11am–3pm), dinner (5:30pm–9pm) and takeaway. Call 4031 4750 to book a table or make an order, and check them out on Facebook at facebook.com/theiconthairestaurant or Instagram @theiconthai.