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Mahaniyom Review: A Must-Try, Mouthwatering Twist on Thai Cuisine

4.5 Stars

A meal at Mahaniyom in Brookline, Ma.
A meal at Mahaniyom in Brookline, Ma. By Courtesy of Makenna J. Walko
By Makenna J. Walko, Crimson Staff Writer

Mahaniyom — a hip Thai tapas restaurant and cocktail bar in Brookline — has been the subject of gushing reviews ever since its opening four years ago. Lauded as Boston Magazine’s Best Thai Restaurant in 2023 and Eater Boston’s Best New Restaurant in 2021, the restaurant has gained a “golden child” status among Boston’s hottest restaurants — so much so that it leaves one wondering, is it really possible for the restaurant to live up to the hype?

The answer is not just yes — and not just an ordinary yes. It’s an “immediately text the group chat and make dinner plans ASAP” kind of yes. Although reservations fill up far in advance, the restaurant is worth the wait. Perfect for a girls night out or fun first date, Mahaniyom combines a cool, vibrant ambiance with a mouthwatering menu.

Beneath dim lights and wood-paneled ceilings, the small, homey restaurant bustles with the sounds of people laughing and talking, and the air is thick with the rich fragrance of the flavorful dishes that make Mahaniyom famous. On the restaurant’s brick walls hang eclectic art and cultural decor that further add to the restaurant’s atmosphere: both cozy and cosmopolitan, trendy and tasteful.

The service is excellent and not only do the servers give expert recommendations, but dishes arrive quickly and efficiently — even on a Friday night when Mahaniyom is in full swing.

And, of course, the food itself is top-notch, and stands out in a city that boasts a wide array of options for Thai cuisine. The restaurant is tapas-style, so the portions are smaller — the best approach is to order a few dishes for the table to share.

The beef massaman — one of the restaurant’s signature dishes — is a great starter, and boasts a lively spice profile and immediate kick. The chive cakes are just as good: melt-in-your-mouth soft, perfectly moist, and flavorful. The pad thai — a classic — is not quite as swoon-inducing as some of their other offerings, but it is a reliably good dish for less adventurous eaters who lean away from spice.

Mahaniyom features a rotating dessert of the day, but, if by a stroke of good fortune they happen to offer tub tim krob, the dish is a must-order. A traditional Thai dessert that includes water chestnuts soaked in grenadine, then boiled in tapioca flour, and served in iced coconut syrup, tub tim krob is a refreshing palate cleanser for the end of a meal — particularly in the hot summer months.

Mahaniyom also offers an extensive drink menu including standard fare as well as specialty cocktails that put a creative twist on traditional Thai-influenced flavors. For the under 21 crowd, there are also great non-alcoholic options from which patrons can choose.

Perhaps the only downside of the restaurant is that it lands on the pricier end, but diners certainly get bang for their buck. As expected for a tapas restaurant, the servings are not enormous, but the atmosphere and quality of the food make Mahaniyom worth the price tag.

All in all, Mahaniyom is the perfect place to celebrate the end of the school year and eat away one’s exam period blues. On their website, Mahaniyom claims to offer patrons “the taste of home,” and home has never tasted better.

—Staff writer Makenna J. Walko can be reached at

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