I wouldn't say I'm a massively organised person, but I do like to make plans, have plans and know what I'm doing. Even before I started food blogging, I think I've always liked to have something to look forward to, whether it's a party with some friends, a quiet meal with Brad or a little family excursion out.
So generally, spontaneous meals or outings don't happen so often for me, but when they do, I'm ever ready to go!
Which is how I found myself at Jinda Thai with Daisy after attending the Luxbite Christmas party. Although our original plan had been to just grab some pho on Victoria Street, I randomly remembered I hadn't been to Jinda Thai yet, asked if it was nearby, and we found a park right in front of the restaurant!
To top it all off, after we walked in and sat down in the waiting area, Kat and her partner wandered in…and so we got a table for four…so we could eat so much more!
Although being a spontaneous meal, it meant that I was probably a little bit overdressed in my hot pink stilettos and sequinned dress. Oh well!
I was surprised that on a weekday at 8:30pm Jinda Thai was still bursting at the seams, a hearty ocean of laughs, chatter and amazing smells. Although there was an element of 'hipster cafe' going on with the interior, with the bare brick walls, high ceilings and plenty of white paint kept the place feeling fresh and bright, even late into the night.
We fortunately didn't have to wait too long for a table to be cleared, where it then took a while to navigate the menus, so many things, only one tummy! The sad realities of a food lover.
Although I would normally never do a black tea at night, I couldn't resist trying the milk Thai iced tea. I loved the cute jar was served in, but was a little sad it didn't quite have that rich and dark tea flavour, coming across a bit diluted instead.
I can't remember the last time I had son in law eggs. Does this make me a bad blogger? I feel like it does. Sticky, sweet, chillies. It's everything. Especially when you've got a bit of it on rice. Died.
I just love what the Thai's do with pork neck so had to order it here as well, where it was sweet and tender, with a bit of zest and acid from the tomatoes and onion in the salad it was served on top of.
Although I'm brought up on the red hot Malaysian curries, I have definitely developed a soft spot for the Thai curries, which I find generally have a richer and creamier texture, and more of the coconut milk or cream flavour coming through (and who doesn't love that now?) We opted for the red duck curry this particular night, which had a nice hit of spice, but also that creaminess I adore, especially when spooned (or poured out of the bowl) over rice.
The soft shell crab som tum came recommended by Daisy, and there were definitely no regrets in ordering. A beautiful balance of sweet, spicy, savoury and salty, with the crisp salad and crunchy fried crab. I could definitely do a whole serve of this on my own!
Kat was also very keen to try their soup noodles, I forgot what they were called (possibly boat noodles?) but seemed to be a speciality that's not typically found in Melbourne. She opted for the noodles with spicy pork, which definitely had a nice kick of chilli, and an absolutely delicious broth that was both rich and comforting.
Having just been at Luxbite before we arrived, and filling our bellies with plenty of sugar, I couldn't quite justify dessert, although I've been readily frothing over other people's Instagram photos of the pandan cake and a Thai tea layered cake (or at least I think it was from Jinda Thai)! Just something one will have to save until next time (and I have been pestering Brad that we should go check it out…)
I was readily impressed with Jinda Thai's offering, although I didn't find it had as big of a chilli kick as Bangpop does, I did find the flavours very familiar, comfortable and homely, but also big and vivacious, as I remember it in Bangkok. And if you're not convinced of it's authenticity, the waiter was writing our order on his notepad in Thai…that's got to stand for something right?
It might also help that it's next door to what is possibly the best Thai supermarket (according to Kat, who's Thai herself), where Kat pointed out the best curries and teas to use to make our favourite dishes at home. Also discovered ube ice-cream in the freezer, but at that stage had about 4 ice-cream gracing my freezer…just another reason to return no?
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