35 South Wharf Promenade
South Wharf
Vic 3006
+61 3 9245 9800
BangPop on Urbanspoon


Hot, spicy Thai food in Melbourne?! Can it be true?! When I heard that there was going to be a new Thai restaurant in South Wharf that offered authentic, spicy, street food, I was skeptical. However tweets and pictures appeared to be promising and furthermore, a 25% discount was offered during the soft opening. I dragged The Angmoh down for dinner on the evening just before its official launch.


Bangpop is situated in the South Wharf Promenade and is one of Paul Mathis’ babies. It had taken over The Sharing House, which I had dined at previously and enjoyed. The décor has been kept the same: glowing orange filaments suspended in glass bulbs, perched seats surrounding the bar, and the colourful lego counter. It all didn’t seem to fit the image of a Thai restaurant, and certainly not the country music in the background.

The Angmoh and I decided to share the papaya salad, chicken ribs and a duck curry. Papaya salad is one of the most ubiquitous dishes on menus in Thai restaurants, and yet also one of the most disappointing (or bastardized, if I may). There is never a balance of the essential Thai flavours (sweet, salty, sour and spicy) and most of the times, a sickly saccharine taste overwhelms the entire dish with hardly any chilli to counter it.

Som Dtum Thai – Isaan green papaya salad

Bangpop’s papaya salad packed a punch. It had julienned green papaya, long beans, baby tomatoes with a sprinkling of dried shrimp and papaya. It wasn’t overly sweet, and the best part was, I had to down several glasses of water and blow my nose while eating it. It certainly was hot.

Kai Chae Nam Pla Tod – Marinated chicken spare ribs with nam jin talay and pickled shallots

Our next dish of deep fried chicken ribs was spectacular. It was fried without being greasy and the dipping sauce was irresistible. It had plenty of bite from the garlic, and dipping the rib made it finger-lickin’ good.

Kang Daeng Phed – 16 hour cooked duck leg red curry with basil, fresh chilli and roast coconut

The duck curry was sweet from the pineapple and roasted coconut, and the addition of basil enhanced that sweetness, and also brought about a slightly herbaceous fragrance at the same time. I will admit that I am not familiar with this particular Thai flavor. The coconut milk also gave it a richness that might have made the curry slightly cloying. The duck, on the other hand, was  superb. After being subjected to a long slow cooking process, the meat was tender and fell off the bone easily. The duck had its own slightly poultry salty taste and was a good counteract to the sweet curry. As I’m not a fan of strong rich food, I felt a little equivocal about the dish.

Bangpop certainly didn’t disappoint in the chilli department. Bring plenty of serviettes or a bottle of milk, as Bangpop will leave a bang and a pop in your mouth.



Filed under South Wharf, Thai

8 responses to “Bangpop

  1. Oh nice! I saw your posts on IG last night – everything looks fantastic! I am… a little concerned about the chili factor… but I will brave it in the name of that amazing duck!

  2. You’re blogging – yay!

    I will miss The Sharing House, but will give Bangpop a try at some stage. Mhmmm chilli.

  3. fatboo

    It does feel a little “errrmmmm” that they’ve not changed the decor much from the swap from The Sharing House to BangPop, but I’m glad the flavours seem to be a bit of a ‘pow’ at the moment!

    Let’s hope they don’t make the hotness levels wimpy over time just to cater for (boring) local palates. :p

  4. After hearing you say it’s spicy I really want to go now!

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