Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Jinda Thai, Richmond

Love the array of chill condiments! So damn tasty with the noodle dishes

Thai Iced Milk Tea for all...

Deliciousness in a glass...

Fried Rice Kua Gling - $12.90
Stir fried pork soft bones with chilli, lime leaves and yellow curry paste

Pai Thai with Prawns - $14.90

Red Curry Roasted Duck - $15.90

Gai Ping & Nam Jim - $7.90
BBQ Thai style marinated chicken rib with homemade spicy 'nam jim'

Thai Milk Tea Crepe Cake with Ice Cream - $8.50

Som Tum Soft Shell Crab - $12.90
Green papaya salad, cherry tomatoes, snake beans and fresh chilli

My favourite dish there... Absolutely delish

Moo Yang - $15.90
Thai style marinated pork neck served with 'nam jim' and sticky rice

Massaman Beef Curry - $9.90

Pad See Ew Beef - $12.90

Boat Noodle - $9.00
Aromatic beef based soup with your choice of beef or pork

Spicy Dry Egg Noodle Pork - $9.00

Guay Jub - $9.00
Pork based brown soup with rolled rice noodles, crispy pork and offal

Coconut Crepe Cake with Coconut Ice Cream - $8.50

Seriously delicious Chai Tea Cake, which we shared after our meal. It was made by my cousin to congratulate my sis on her graduation

You can look them up on their Facebook page "Spoonfuls of Love"
They do seriously amazing baked treats...

For the longest time, I have had the biggest exasperation with Thai food in Melbourne. It is one cuisine that I truly enjoy but have struggled to find places that meets my annoying standards... Consistently. Sure, there's Ying Thai on Lygon (but it's been there for ages and I'm bored of it already) and Thai Taste in Collingwood (but I'm pretty sure the original chef has left because the food is awful now). I've tried so many others over the years and nothing has really stuck out to me. Sydney does Thai food way, way better than Melbourne (in general). In fact, I have become so complacent with the cuisine from the constant disappointments that for a long time, Thai food meant nothing more to me than the greasy, boring Pad Thai from the local takeaway shop. Nothing that really celebrates the beautiful culture and highlights the vibrant flavours that they really use. I do, however, think that the other place that sort of came close (which I still enjoy going to) is Bangkok Terrace in Hawthorn.

So, when Jinda Thai opened in Melbourne, word spread about them really quick (thanks mainly to social media and images of their signature Thai milk tea crepe cake). Seriously, there was a period when I would see photos of food from Jinda Thai every single day on Instagram without fail. But, having been so let down so many times in the past that I wasn't in any hurry to try this place out... 

And now that I've finally tried Jinda Thai, I honestly see what all the rave was about. The inside was not what I expected at all. The space was surprisingly large with high ceilings, wooden tables, exposed bricks and little antiques and artwork throughout the restaurant. It was quite beautiful, actually. The menu was very large (which normally I'm not a fan of) but it was very comprehensive, well laid out and easy to follow. 

We started off our meal with a perfect glass of Thai Milk Tea. The sweet aroma of the tea with the milky aftertaste was just fantastic. It honestly didn't take long after that before the food hit our table. The first dish we had was the soft shell crab som tum (or green papaya) salad. The sweet, sour, salty and spicy flavour of the dressing was so well rounded and balanced it tasted incredible. The soft shell crab was extra crunchy from the little clusters of fried batter on the outside. This dish was fantastic. Definitely a winner.

Next, we were onto the various noodle dishes that we ordered. What Jinda Thai does so well is the selection of noodles that they have. Super cheap and incredibly tasty selections. We couldn't get enough of the Pad Thai and Pad See Ew here and it was so delicious to eat with the array of chilli condiments. I must say that the spicy dry egg pork noodle sounded ordinary but everything from the fresh toppings to the texture of the noodles were fantastic. Although, I must say I wasn't too wow-ed by their signature boat noodles (even though it's a dish that everyone can't stop raving about). For me, I just found it a bit hard to enjoy soup made of blood (which was essentially what it was).

The other dishes here are consistent too, whether you're ordering the grilled meats as a starter or the curries as your mains. The soft bone fried rice we was seriously spicy but my gosh the fresh herbs and flavours that went into it definitely excited our senses. Finally, you cannot end your meal here without having their crepe cakes for dessert. They are absolutely DELICIOUS! The soft pillowy textures of the crepe, layered with a feather light whipped cream and topped with the luscious sauce -- just fantastic. Both the Thai Milk Tea and Coconut flavoured ones were a winner but personally I was leaning towards the latter.

Overall, I think Jinda Thai is a downright good and reliable choice and is the answer to the Thai food prayers of many people around Melbourne..... FINALLY!! The food is delicious, authentic, relatively inexpensive, with great selections in a comfortable setting and also good with groups or bookings. Plus, the food is relatively quick even if the place is packed out. No, really. The open kitchen is massive and always looks like there's 20 - 30 people in there at a time. Very capable team. Jinda Thai is definitely a place that most people fell in love with from their first visit and everyone always seems to have a different favourite dish to eat there (and I love it when that happens)Been back twice the past 2 months and already looking forward to coming back. Definitely going in "Wince's Faves".

Jinda Thai Restaurant on Urbanspoon

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