Paddington welcomes Ma Chim, a new Thai-inspired eatery and bar

Rosalie Village continues to evolve into one of the best precincts to dine in Brisbane’s west. Joining the ranks of the neighbourhood’s cadre of eateries is Ma Chim, a Thai-inspired chow house and micro bar from a pair of kitchen-savvy siblings. 
May 24, 2024, updated May 24, 2024

Offering everything from Esan-style sausages and Peking duck baos to wagyu Thai boat noodles and tom yum hot pots, Ma Chim’s menu is well worth exploring.

Bowyo and Yew Muangsong had no plans to go into business together. The siblings were far too busy. Bowyo, co-owner of Ping Pong in Newstead and executive chef of Yolk and Morning After, had plenty on her plate. Same for Yew, who is an accomplished chef in his own right. But, back in February, something changed – a spontaneous impulse that spurred the duo to take on something new.

“We never planned on opening a restaurant together,” reveals Bowyo. “But one day – I don’t know what I was thinking – I saw a space online. We were like, ‘Oh, how much money have you got? You want to do it?’ I logged in, applied and then they picked me. Everything was approved in one week.”

Since signing on the dotted line, Bowyo and Yew have been working non-stop, spearheading venue and brand design, as well as recipe ideation, for Ma Chim – their brand-new Thai eatery and micro bar, which officially opened to the public on Baroona Road in Rosalie Village earlier this week.

The site, formerly the home of Fish Lovers, has been completely redone. The team has removed the central seafood display to open up the space, swapping tiled floors for timber-like boards, adding a new cocktail-dispensing bar, strips of cushioned timber banquettes, a number of marble-like table tops and a green neon sign that beams from its position above the kitchen window.

Ma Chim is cosy inside with room for 20 guests, but seating expands out to the alfresco patio at night, bringing the total to around 50.

A Thai phrase that translates to ‘come and taste it’, Ma Chim sees the duo dipping into their wealth of culinary knowledge, transforming family recipes and regional specialties with modern techniques and presentation. The menu features a smorgasbord of authentic Thai delicacies, from street-food snacks, noodles and salads to grilled options, curries and hot-pot dishes.

Through this sheer diversity (and a keen focus on catering for food intolerances), Bowyo and Yew have ensured there is something for everyone.

“Everyone can have it,” stresses Bowyo. “I want people to think, ‘I don’t what I should eat because everything looks nice’. There’s no wrong choice – we can please everyone.”

Of Ma Chim’s street-food-style snack selection, highlights include crispy wonton tacos with Peking duck, chilli laab spice and Esan herbs, Lao-fermented pork and rice sausages, crumbed calamari with tom yum spices and crispy curry leaves, and snapper and basa fish cakes with red curry paste.

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From there, groups can fill their table with an assortment of dishes, from serves of gai yang dang (Thai street-style grilled chicken Maryland), grilled Angus rib finger with chilli jaew dipping sauce and khao man gai (Thai-Chinese Hainan chicken rice), choo chee (whole fried barramundi with dry red curry sauce), to pad pong karee (fried soft-shell crab with dry curry sauce) and tay po red curry with sous vide pork belly and pineapple.

Of special note are stand-out signatures like the Thai boat noodle with stewed wagyu, meat balls and pork crackers, and the seafood-filled tom yum mama hot pot. Dishes are served on pink and blue plates imported from Thailand.

As for drinks, Ma Chim’s bar is dispensing cocktails, wines and beers, alongside mocktails, refreshing Thai lemon iced tea and Thai milk tea with brown-sugar pearls.

With Ma Chim’s opening at Rosalie Village, the eatery joins one of Brisbane’s most exciting dining hubs, slotting in alongside Indian street-food vendors, out-of-the-box ramen joints, neighbourhood craft-beer pubs and intimate wine bars. Bowyo sees Ma Chim as an evergreen dining option, perfect for those seeking an authentic taste of Thai fare or just somewhere they can dine on a whim.

“People can come whenever,” says Bowyo. “Got nothing to do? Come for small snack and a cocktail. If you can’t think of what to have for dinner tonight, come to Ma Chim.”

Ma Chim is now open to the public – head to the Stumble Guide for more information. 

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