Andrew Park’s connection to Thailand first formed when he met his now wife, Thai-born Wasana Park, over two decades ago. Once married, the couple opened three suburban Thai restaurants in Brisbane’s west called Siam Sunset (they have since sold two).
In 2016, Park became Thailand’s Honorary Consul-General in Queensland, which laid the perfect foundation for the couple’s next big project, a 140-seat Thai restaurant in the city called Jumbo Thai.
Thai cuisine is largely regional, and the menu at Jumbo Thai encompasses dishes from all over the country. Southern Thai food – Park’s personal favourite – features heavily through dishes such as sand crab and betel leaf curry, and sticky tamarind prawn stir-fry. There’s also a spicy larb dish from Chiang Mai, a city known as the capital of the north.
A straightforward wine list features plenty of aromatic whites and light reds to complement the often full-on Thai flavours. There’s also a bunch of Thai-influenced cocktails and imported Chao Siam Pale Ale on-tap.
Located inside the heritage-listed Hotel Embassy building, Jumbo is a beautiful light-filled space with high-ceilings, a graffiti mural and stunning artwork from Thailand. One piece in particular features a large, bald Thai man covered with traditional Buddhist Sak Yant tattoos. Early on the Parks decided to call him Jumbo, and he became the venue’s namesake.