And Soi, Sally can wait

“She’s knows it’s too late as she’s walking on by”

As The Dear Luncher arrived to the not-so salubrious setting in which Soi 38 is located – a car park – he realised that wonders never cease in Melbourne. Strangely, somehow, walking into Soi 38 actually creates an immediate Bangkok feel. As Your Dear Luncher waited patiently for his lunch companion, he realised he was ravenous and ordered something called wonton crisps. They were nothing to write home about at all. And yet here I am, writing about them. [facepalm]


The lunching companion arrived and the adventure began. Speaking of adventures, when Your Dear Luncher was a boy, he dearly loved the Choose Your Own Adventure story books. In particular, this classic by R. A Montgomery –


They do not make books like this anymore, at least not to The Dear Luncher’s knowledge. However the culinary experience The Dear Luncher experienced recently at Soi 38 in Melbourne’s CBD reminded him of these novels. Your Dear Luncher was struck with a sense of unbridled freedom when examining Soi 38’s order ticket. Destiny beckoned. No longer existing in a deterministic regime of sheer dreariness, Soi 38 wanted me to make three important decisions: choose my soup, choose my noodles and choose my style. And all for the minuscule sum of $10. Perhaps The Dear Luncher has underestimated capitalism?


The Dear Luncher selected the Thai Laksa beef, with Sen Bamee (egg noodles) in the Kruk Krik (half soup) style. Here it is, up close and personal:


It looked great and for the most part it tasted great as well. The noodles were decent and the laksa was flavoursome – with just the right amount of kick. Unfortunately, and it’s a big unfortunately – the meat (beef) was terrible. Lots of rind. Chewier than a Stimarol strip of chewing gum from the 1980’s. The kind you’d find in a packet of footy cards. This was deflating. It actually felt and tasted like the cheapest cut of beef known to man.

The venue itself was a nice novelty and The Dear Luncher does not wish to write them off just yet. He will return to sample some of the boat noodles. This is an excellent lunch spot for the budget conscious city dweller.

Soi 38 Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Location: 38 McIlwraith Place, Melbourne.
Phone: 0490 396 382
Cuisine: Thai


2 thoughts on “And Soi, Sally can wait

  1. Soi 38 says:

    Dear Luncher, we don’t normally respond to Zomato reviews but we do respect bloggers (there aren’t that many left these days). Thanks for taking the time to blog about Soi 38, we are really disappointed to hear about your experience with our beef. Of course we will say this isn’t usual and would like you to give us another chance at our expense. If you’d like to take up our offer please send me an email at and let us know when you’d like to visit and we’ll take care of the rest.


    1. thedearluncher says:

      Dear Soi 38,

      Your Dear Luncher appreciates that his experience was not the usual; and as per the blog post – will be returning in due course.

      The Dear Luncher appreciates the offer of paying for his meal, but that will not be necessary.

      Yours in glorious anticipation,
      The Dear Luncher.


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