D has been talking about this place for almost a year now. His colleague O recommended it to him and has visited a few times without me. He knows I love Thai food but sadly each time he attempts to take me there, Jinda Thai is either booked out or I'm working interstate. Anyway... I finally made it and got to dine there. *fist pump*
It's located in Abbotsford, off Victoria Street on the "Thai" end of the famous strip of pho noodle shops. It's tucked away and you would easily drive on Victoria St and not notice it. Inside the warehouse conversion style restaurant is a trendy, upbeat modern Thai restaurant. With Thai inspired decor, it really is a hidden gem (like many good Melbourne restaurants). As you can tell by the pictures the place was packed on a Sunday night.
There was no way D was going to a Thai restaurant and not ordering a Thai Milk Tea - it was creamy and sweet. It was the perfect drink to pair with the spiciness to come. I opted for the longan drink which had a concentrated flavour of sun dried longan.
To start we got the Soft shell crab with green apple salad. The crab was crisp and had just the right amount of salt. The green apple salad is for someone that can take heat in their food. The initial taste has a zesty tang, followed by the sweetness of the green apple. However the heat will set in fast and I will not recommend this to people who cannot handle spicy food. Normally I would take chilli with most Thai and Malaysian dishes and be fine with it. This time it was different. I struggled and the worst part was, it was so tasty, I just kept torturing myself with the heat because the other parts of the salad was so good. Just wish the spiciness was more toned down on this dish.
As a balancing act to maintain a 'healthy' diet (I use those words very loosely, I am horrible at dieting), we got the Pad Ka Na. This was Chinese broccoli cooked with garlic and salted Mackerel. Crunchy stems of greens with an intense salted mackerel laced through the stir fry. This is the 'yummy' way to eat your greens!
It is part of the usual routine that D has to order green curry, coconut rice and pad thai at any Thai restaurants we ever visit. This chicken green curry was creamy and sweet. It's tailored more towards a "western" taste so don't come here expecting the same punch as you would get in Bangkok. However, I still quite enjoyed it with the coconut rice.
The pad thai had the usual suspect of ingredients. Peanuts, lemon juice, fish sauce, bean shoots and we picked prawn for the core ingredient. The stick noodles were cooked to a nice soft and smooth state. Good classic, only downside is the size. If I was dining alone and ordered just that, I would walk out hungry.
For dessert I got the famous crepe cake. I keep seeing these photos pop up on my Instagram, so it was a must. The flavor of the cake was green tea with red bean and served with coconut ice cream. I really enjoyed the many layers of green tea and cream between the crepes which gave it the perfect texture. This was a light dessert, so I walked out very happy.
Overall 16.5/20 I found myself to enjoy most things, even when I struggled with the spiciness. The dessert was the highlight for me. I am looking forward to going back to try other things such as the boat noodles.