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March 28, 2024

Meet Soi 38’s spin off: The Thai Guy

Expect traditional Bangkok street food like skewers and sizzling plates at Terry Intarakhamhaeng's latest venture, east of the CBD on Magill Road.

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  • Words and pictures: Claudia Dichiera

“The Thai Guy is another me,” owner and head chef Terry Intarakhamhaeng says, explaining the thinking behind his new restaurant.


The Thai Guy
402 Magill Road, Kensington Park 5068
Mon—Sat: 5pm ’til 9pm


Terry lived in north-east Thailand and worked as a tour guide before moving to Adelaide and starting his career as a chef in 2009.

Through his travels and tuk tuk trips, he created a close connection with the Bangkok street markets as it sparked memories of his childhood — the overall theme of his latest venture.

“When you were a child, they just give you a stick and a handful of sticky rice — off you go,” Terry reminisces on his first relationship with food.

“So your meal’s sorted for lunch or snack: [now] get out my way, I need to do work… we would just sit there in the sandpit eating sticky rice with half sandy, half skewers, but at that time you don’t care.”


The Thai Guy originally started as a food truck, with their first festival being the 2023 Lucky Dumping Market.

Terry says he opened The Thai Guy as a brick-and-mortar store as a “support home for the festival scene” and “for supporting the staff”.

He isn’t new to Adelaide’s restaurant scene  – Terry also owns the popular Soi 38 on Pirie Street, but says the food is completely different.

“My background with Soi 38 in the city is a bit more regional because I was a tour guide, I learned the recipe from the locals and then delivered it to the international tourist group — so that’s where I start,” Terry says.

“And then the interesting thing about Soi 38 is that there’s something that you don’t usually see on the menu in Thai restaurants [in Adelaide]… but also they have some crowd-pleasing items.”

Terry also says Soi 38 is “sophisticated and also refined” Thai food.

“It’s presented the way how modern food should be presented,” he says.

He also opened Fire before it closed mid-last year, and put his energy into The Thai Guy as a result.

Terry by the mural of him


The Thai Guy is a more casual, relaxed alternative to  sibling Soi 38, and he says it goes “back to the future”.  There are nods to Terry’s childhood in every aspect of the restaurant: the interiors, the feel and, most importantly, the food.

“Here [at the Thai Guy] is different because we are typically festival people. The festival people in Thailand is all about fun, smoky, tasty, finger-licking, and that type of thing,” Terry says.

“There has been a change over time in the trend of street food and festivals and so on. The presentation of street food is different, it’s changing dramatically to meet the needs of young people.

“The trend of foodies photograph, Instagram, Facebook and that kind of thing.

“We believe that we don’t have that here.”

Have a look at that sizzle


The authentic street food ranges from curries and hot plates that use techniques common in Thailand.

“You cook on the hot wok [and plate] on a sizzling plate, and then you crack the raw egg onto the sizzling plate it will technically cook itself,” Terry says of one of his signature dishes at The Thai Guy, pictured above.

“So you don’t actually have to pre-cook it and then plate it — it’s timing. And then the egg by the time it’s lying on the table is cooked, soft, yolky how you like.”

In the snack-orientated menu, Terry uses charcoal where he can because that’s a common technique in Thai street food. This is shown in the six skewers on the menu with meats like whole squid, pork, sausage and radish.

“Our satay is my memory of childhood during the Chinese Drama Festival,” Terry says.

“It happened once a year and it lasts seven days and the only reason we would go there is because of the chicken satay served with pickle and bread.

“It’s literally like white toast with butter served with it… the purpose of it is to dip and scrape the sauce. Think of how you use the roti or naan to wipe the plates.”

Terry also highlights the deep-fried roti with curry dip, pork belly with dipping sauce, whole market fish and stir-fried basil as menu favourites.


The bright blue and white brick wall hosts an array of prints close to home for Terry. He says he was going for “old Bangkok style” and a mix of “homey and old shop”.

“[It’s] because the people live behind their shops in Thailand. So they have a shop front and they have a bedroom in the back,” Terry says.

“So most of the decorations are very personal.”

Terry explains to CityMag the meaning behind each choice of art on the walls.

“A secret Buddha — things like that… and that’s the money-attracting drawing kind of thing,” Terry says.

“It’s all from my family. When I decided to open this shop, they said ‘oh, take this, it will bring money to you’: gold, red, the green is the colour of the residence.”

Terry wanted to make the space feel like somebody’s home.

“All of these cushions come from the hills tribe in Thailand,” Terry says. “And then outside is me on the tuk tuk,” Terry says.

“But I wanted to be like you’re sitting in the market and the tuk tuk is whizzing by while you’re eating.”

The Thai Guy is located at 402 Magill Road, Kensington Park and is open from Monday to Saturday from 5pm until 9pm. They are open all Easter long weekend.

Connect with the business on Instagram for more.

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