Walk into Smile Buffalo and the atmosphere hits you—spicy, lively, and promising something special.
That’s the vibe of Smile Buffalo, the glamorous Thai restaurant that’s got Yarraville talking.
Navara Kingtada is the dynamic owner of the restaurant, as well as Wawa Japanese next door and has been involved in a host of other restaurants and food concepts in Melbourne. She has built this impressive hospitality story all while raising a family.
“I came to Melbourne from Thailand in 2008 to study hospitality. After that, I started working in restaurants and have been doing it for the last 15 years. We opened Smile Buffalo in Yarraville in July 2022 and it is one of the two restaurants I own around Melbourne now,” she explains.
What keeps her motivated? “I love to create. Everything you see in this restaurant is something that I’ve chosen – I told my designers my dream and they made it real! I’ve helped to develop the recipes and designed the plating.
“Most importantly, the menu includes dishes that I like to eat. The Thai food we serve is authentic – if I don’t like it, it doesn’t go on the menu. We always focus on high quality and freshness; using high-end ingredients, not shortcuts.”
Bestsellers include the twice cooked duck red curry, the classic Beef Massaman and cashew nut chicken stir fry. Almost all dishes are proudly made from Navara’s recipes.
Hold tight, there’s more spice to come. Smile Buffalo isn’t just chilling in Yarraville; plans are cooking for another joint in Northlands and Box Hill, with maybe more Wawa branches. Navara’s story is far from over!