Basil Nut Thai, Mosman – Cheap Eats

As you would all know, sometimes life throws you a curve ball and all plans and schedules have to be abandoned.  I’m having one of those weeks and with time feeling tightly squeezed we’re looking for a few shortcuts.

And I’ve found one.

It’s called, ‘Eating out’.

But we’re on a budget.

So I’ve been looking for restaurants that are affordable but also serve good food.

And I think I’ve found one.

And it’s in Mosman, not far from where I live.

The tiny restaurant

Just over a year ago Basil Nut Thai opened in a little, hole- in-the-wall that is such a tiny space that if you blinked while walking past, you’d certainly miss it.  Seating only a handful  inside and  just as few on the pavement, the restaurant is BYO and open for lunch and dinner.  We didn’t book and by a stroke of luck they’d had a cancellation and we were able to take the only available table.  We were fortunate that the table was inside as dining outside on a slightly chilly night was not something I was looking forward to.

The restaurant is always totally full.  It’s totally full at lunch, at dinner, on weeknights and weekends.  You need to make a booking.  And quite often it’s difficult getting through on the phone.  And when you dine there, you can see why.  It’s because the food is not only delicious, it’s affordable, beautifully presented and unique compared with what’s on offer at your standard Thai restaurant.

The very tiny kitchen that’s barely separate from  the dining area.

The menu is extensive with over 60 choices which is incredible given the size of the kitchen.

The extensive blackboard menu

The tables that are indoor are the same as the tables outside, and are purpose built for outdoor living but never mind.  There is a ‘no-fuss’ vibe with no tablecloths on the tables and the takeaway menu being adequate for the dining-in menu as well.  There’s no soothing or entertaining music and the serviettes are disposable, small, thin and easy to tear.

There were a surprising number of entrees on the menu and we ordered Money Bags…

Four for $8.00. Minced chicken, prawn, carrot, onion, ginger and spices.

And we ordered chicken satay skewers…

Three for $6.00 and served with a homemade satay sauce.

And we ordered salt and pepper squid…

Salt and Pepper Squid. Entree size for $12.00.

And we ordered Vietnamese rice paper rolls with duck…

Vietnamese Rice Paper Rolls with Duck and hoisin dipping sauce. Two for $8.00

We ordered two main course dishes with a serve of boiled rice.

Lemongrass Soy Roasted Duck for $18.00.

I loved this dish.  It was very clean and fresh with plenty of crunch from the greens and wonderful flavours from the duck.

Exotic Seafood Kulaway Curry $25.00

This dish is only available for dine-in customers and is the most expensive dish on the menu.  Most of the main course dishes are between $14.00 and $18.00.  Isn’t this a wonderful piece of theatre!  The curry is cooked in a green coconut and then when cooked you peel back the lid and there it is.  King prawns, ling fillet and calamari in exotic seafood curry sauce with herbs, spices and basil cooked in a whole green coconut.  It was generously filled with seafood and you could scrap the softened coconut from the shell – bliss!

Carl and I didn’t feel like dessert and there were only four on the menu anyway.  But you don’t choose a Thai restaurant on the strength of its desserts anyway.  When Alfie eats out he doesn’t think a meal’s complete without a dessert so he ordered a Pandan Tapioca Pudding with shreds of coconut and ice cream for $9.00.

Pandan Tapioca Pudding with Ice Cream

And he didn’t like it.  But Carl loved it.

Basil Nut is open for dinner seven nights a week.  It’s BYO and in a suburb that can charge up to $15.00 corkage per bottle of wine, there’s no corkage charge here at all.  The service is okay but efficient and the food is delivered to the table very promptly.  The dining experience of being squeezed into spaces that are one size too small is similar to that of flying long-haul economy except you have a first class dining experience; and the other patrons are very friendly too.  And given the tables are so close together, it’s beneficial to get along.

Basil Nut Thai is a wonderful find in a suburb that’s in desperate need of quality cuisine at reasonable prices.  It’s been a refreshing experience to dine there and has given me a night off after a few hectic days that didn’t allow me time in my own kitchen.

Basil Nut Thai

Shop 1, 928 Military Road, Mosman

Ph:  9968 2079

Oh, and if you like Basil Nut on facebook and upload pictures of your meal, you’ll be given a 10% discount.

If you liked this post, why not like me! 





  1. These folks must be related to Yummy Thai in Buderim – inexpensive, delicious and no corkage fee. I’d go to dinner with you too!

  2. claire @ live and love to eat says:

    Holy colorful menu board! The presentation looks amazing.

  3. Joanne (eats well with others) says:

    Finding good, cheap food is no easy feat! I’m a sucker for good Thai food, though…and this looks awesome.

  4. Eat.Play.Shop. says:

    What a cool place, and what a great find! That duck looks especially delicious!

  5. Looks fabulous and a place I would like!

  6. says:

    Um, yes please! I love eating out but we’re also on a tight budget. This looks like my kind of place! Thank you for sharing. What a wonderful start to my Wednesday. I hope your day is full of good food and laughter. We need more of both in this world!

  7. Minnie Gupta says:

    This is MY kind of place. I adore the dishes and they look scrumptious! Lovely review 🙂

  8. That coconut-perched curry is SPECTACULAR. Though Thai for me always leads to madly searching the menu for Som Tam 🙂

  9. A gorgeous assemblage of dishes. Wish I lived nearby to try them out. 🙂

  10. Minnesota Prairie Roots says:

    We have a Thai restaurant here in Faribault, but nothing this super fancy. I’d love to dine here.

  11. Mandy - The Complete Cook book says:

    Now, if I just did not live half way across the globe…
    🙂 Mandy xo

  12. Ashley @ Wishes and Dishes says:

    I LOVE Thai food – it’s my fave!! This food is making me drool

  13. gardencorrespondent says:

    What a great looking meal — thanks for taking us along with you! Glad you got a break from the kitchen, too.

  14. Making me drool my friend, I love this 😀
    On my places to visit list!

    Choc Chip Uru

  15. Victoria at Flavors of the Sun says:

    Wow, what a find! Reasonable and interesting as well. That Curry Extravaganza in the green coconut was certainly innovative and fun.

  16. This looks like a fun and delicious restaurant – bonus that the prices are reasonable too! I can completely relate to being thrown curve balls and having to abandon schedules and plans. It’s been that way for weeks around here. Fortunately we get a week of pure enjoyment now. I’ll pop back in again when we return home. Cheers Charlie!

  17. What a great spot for a weeknight meal and I love that it’s BYO. We have a few restaurants in the city that do BYO but they are generally $20+ I loved everything that you ordered and it looked rather filling too. We have cheap Thai places in Toronto but they don’t present so beautifully, it usually very utilitarian. And it’s quick in and out, no lounging around with a glass of wine at the end of the meal, they just want to free up the table.
    I think you’ve found a great place, thanks for the tip (if I ever get over to your neck of the woods!)

  18. Oh my, I’d love took try the seafood curry, regardless of taste I’d pay for the looks alone!
    I don’t have that much patience for a snooty restaurant if service isn’t great, but a place like this is all about food so cramped quarters and plastic tables somehow seem irrelevant. Lucky you to have such yummies nearby 🙂
    Hope your week falls into place Charlie, and that you find time to fit everything in xox

  19. It’s great to discover a nice little restaurant and Basil Nut is a real find. These dishes each looked almost too good to eat. Note I wrote “almost” because they’re also so enticing. I, too, have notice that some Asian restaurants have lesser dessert menus and that’s fine with me. Like you say, that’s not why I chose to eat there. I hope this meal is the start of a better week for you, Charlie. Good luck!

  20. kitchenriffs says:

    Sounds like a great place! I’m always looking for cheap eat. Usually that means I make it myself, alas, but it’s always fun to let someone else cook for you. Even if you have to pay for the privilege. 😉 And the food here looks so good I’d be quite happy to exchange a few dollars for great food.

  21. Claire @ Claire K Creations says:

    What beautiful presentation! Isn’t it funny… every Thai restaurant I’ve ever been to has served satay chicken layed flat on a plate with each one next to each other. They look sooo much better piled up and it’s such a simple little change.

    Brisbane is seriously lacking restaurants like this.

    As soon as I read the description of the dessert I was thinking, wow Alfie that’s very adventurous, I’m impressed!

  22. What an amazing menu! And indeed, what amazing food and very good prices. I think you’ve found a winner Charlie 🙂

  23. The Café Sucré Farine says:

    Looks like a fabulous dinner, I could probably eat Thai 5 nights of the week. I love finding places like this and we all certainly need a break from cooking at times.

  24. Gourmet Getaways says:

    The restaurant looks really good! I don’t think I have ever had dessert at Thai restaurant??? … That dessert looks really interesting 🙂 Great pics, but I swear you are the busiest person I know !!

  25. yummychunklet says:

    I already like the look of this place because of the heavy-handed cilantro garnishes!

  26. Everything you chose looked delicious! I might have to go with Alfie on the dessert though….not sure if I could stomach green tapioca. Ha! 🙂

  27. Denise@magnolia verandah says:

    This looks absolutely fabulous.

  28. What a find! It sounds like my kind of place too. I will be off line for a few days. Catch up with you on Monday.

  29. Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella says:

    That seafood curry in the young coconut looks wonderful! :O And I was just thinking how good it would be to scrape out the coconut bits (something Mr NQN just loves doing :P).

  30. Jennifer Cullen says:

    Yum. Definitely sounds like my kind of place. Our local newspaper did just did a review of an Indian joint located within a gas station in an iffy part of town. Hope to go there this weekend!

  31. Ooh yum! I love finding a cheap and tasty restaurant nearby my place. And with sixty fab dishes to try, what’s to stop you from going back ? 😀

  32. WOW!

  33. Jed Gray (sportsglutton) says:

    A Thai BYO?? Now you’re talking Charlie!! We need that here!

  34. Gina@dawsondogs says:

    Wow the food looks great. Now I’m hungry.

  35. What is a money bag?

  36. Oh my gosh this reminds me of when my husband and I discovered out favorite go-to place on busy nights when neither of us feel like cooking – King of Thai! We just lovvvee Thai food. Nice photos!

  37. Barb Bamber says:

    We love eating out at our local Thai restaurant.. but yours looks to be so much more gourmet! What I can’t get is how affordable they are.. and with so much variety on the menu! How do they do it? I’d eat there once a week if I had the chance!!

  38. Charlie this all looks and sounds wonderful – and I’m soooo hungry right now!

  39. That looks so good! I was traveling last night and found a great Thai restaurant.

  40. What a wonderful place to spend some time and enjoy a wonderful meal. The menu board was quite impressive. I don’t know when I’ve been anywhere with so many options. I agree with you that the presentation is really nice! You are really good at your restaurant reviews, Charlie! 🙂

  41. This sounds like a wonderful find – for some reason, the outside of the restaurant reminds me of a Vietnamese restaurant that I walked past on Crown Street, Surry Hills the last time we were in Sydney.

    That seafood curry looks epic!

  42. The food looks wonderful and what an interesting tapioca that is! I love Thai food so much I’d put up with the close quarters for sure.

  43. justonecookbook says:

    I absolutely love Thai food and I wish this place is in my neighborhood. Our neighborhood ones are all so-so, so I always eat good Thai when we go to the city. Now I feel like I need to eat Thai food this week. 🙂

  44. Dear Charlie,

    It’s amazing how they can churn out such a huge variety and well presented dishes from that tiny kitchen. I never even knew this place existed whenever I drive along Military road.

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