Vivienne Cowburn | 21 November 2018

P’Nut Street Noodles at Windsor is illuminated with neon lights, pictures of Asian street markets and lucky cat statues.  With the distant smoke of the city and the spicy fragrance of sizzling sambal, it’s hard not to feel as though you’ve been transported to the bustling streets of Bangkok.

Committed to providing quality food and authentic flavours, P’Nut Street Noodles is your 'not-so-average' Thai restaurants. Using authentic ingredients, the recipes used in P’Nut’s kitchen come from his grandmother, who was a popular street chef in Thailand. Executive Chef Nut Kunlert helped her make sauces from scratch and grind chilli pastes that would be used in the noodles and soups served at her stall. This early introduction to Thai cuisine inspired Nut to learn more about the surrounding regions that influenced the street food culture of Thailand.

While devouring noodles freshly prepared for you by one of Brisbane's best Thai's chef is one thing, sometimes you need to create your own. Offering Thai cooking classes to the public, P’Nut is a place where you can learn to create your favourite Thai dishes using some of Nut’s own recipes.

For my lesson, I would be learning how to create P’Nut’s very own Chilli Basil Noodles, under the guidance of Nut himself. Rather than rigidly stick to a recipe, I was able to customise the spice combinations, vegetable additions and even the meat that would go into my dish, all according to taste. Throughout the class, smells from the ingredients were so sharp and powerful that they could effortlessly slice through my blocked nose. Fragrances of lemongrass, the eye-watering zest of freshly sliced chilli peppers, and pungent brown cubes of shrimp paste, soon filled the air and I certainly was not complaining. 

One of the highlights of the cooking classes at P’Nut was watching Nut effortlessly create these highly indulgent meals. His ability to crack eggs one-handed is nothing compared to watching in awe as he tosses the wok (a highly fascinating process, if you must know)! All the spices, flavours and vegetables cascaded in a decadent wave of colours before seamlessly falling back into the wok. While wok tossing is a process that looks deceptively easy, my feeble attempt proved otherwise. 

The best part of the class was getting to devour what I cooked. The chilli basil noodles are best served hot and fresh, with a sprig of fresh basil on top. To accompany your noodles, there are small snacks including spicy chicken dumplings, spring rolls, crumbed chilli squid and laksa soup and ice cold beers to enjoy as well. The noodles at P’Nut will transcend your expectations. And you’ll find just as much joy in making them as you will in consuming them.

About the author

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Vivienne Cowburn is an eclectic writer and coffee snob. For more of her musings on Brisbane's food and coffee scene, check out her blog 'Pear and Ivy' or follow her on Instagram @pearandivy.

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