I never knew my high school friend Garfield (nickname) was ever into food, because I never really saw him eat! I just remember him drinking crazy amounts of Coke Zero or Pepsi Max and the only food he liked was calamari. But recently he’s been asking me to take him places and introduce him to more food places especially Thai restaurants. He’s spent a couple of weeks there last year and did the same this year and is now fully hooked on and even wants to move there and live one day!
It was his birthday last week and when I asked him where he wanted to go, of course he said ‘THAI’ just like I would say ‘anywhere with desserts’ I was brainstorming for places to go when I read Catherine’s post about Jinda Thai and remember seeing a few more people on Instagram going and everyone seemed to really enjoy it ~
Jinda Thai isn’t on the busy main Victoria St but off a small side street Ferguson St and is adjacent with a Thai grocery store. I really liked the decor of the restaurant very different from what it looks like outside, it’s quite spacious with plenty of natural lighting, with the menu written on large black boards.
The menu’s quite large with all the classic Thai dishes and also some other more authentic dishes that I haven’t heard of before such as the boat noodles. The Birthday boy felt like some beer and unquestionably had was Thai beer told you he’s obsessed! He was also telling us how much cheaper it is in Thailand only $1 a bottle.
Aaron (@fongwi) and Catherine both demanded that I have to try the Thai Milk tea here at Jinda because they believed it to be one of the best. I didn’t know the Thai name for this drink was Cha Yen and I must agree it was amazing. Had strong tea flavours but then diluted and sweetened with condense milk. Mr Bao found it to be a little sweet but it was perfect for me!
We decided to start off with some appetisers and ordered the satay platter with one of each beef, chicken and pork skewer covered in spicy peanut sauce and also served with a sauce on the side that tasted like vinegar. The satays had that nice chargrilled flavour and the meat was tender, we did find the portion a little small to be called a platter and wouldn’t have mind paying more for a few more satays.
I thought rice paper rolls were from Vietnam and didn’t now they had a version in Thai cuisine, the rolls was filled with chicken, rice vermicelli, carrots and lettuce. And a sweet ands spicy sauce was also given, I loved how soft and fresh the rice paper rolls were and wasn’t dry or hard, as it happens when they’re pre-made.
I love Som Tum (green papaya salad) and I also adore softshell crab so putting them together made complete sense to me and it was delicious! Soft shell crab was crispy and wasn’t made soggy from the dressing. Mr Bao and Garfield found it a little spicy and had turned a little red, while I really liked the spiciness and heat. Highly recommend dish! But once again thought it was slightly small.
Mr Bao and I don’t normally order Pad See Ew not because we don’t like it but we somehow order Pad Thai more. But it’s Garfield’s favourite and he was adamant that he wanted to try. This turned out to be Mr Bao and his favourite dish of the night. It was fresh from the wok and still piping hot when it reached out table, the sauce that covered the noodles wasn’t overpowering while the thin slices of beef was well marinated with Chinese vegetables mixed through. It reminded me a lot of a similar fried noodle beef dish we have in Hong Kong need to find the name ~
I was really interested in the boat noodles where you can choose the soup base you wanted, and the type of noodles you wanted. I chose the spicy pork soup with glass noodles which came with sliced pork and pork meatballs. I loved the soft nearly melt in your mouth texture of the glass noodles and also the slightly herbal tasting soup. Some people have said that its quite similar to the Malaysian Bak Kut Teh (Herbal pork soup), which I agree but I find it less bitter and was sweeter. This was definitely my favourite dish and will have to order this again!
The boat noodles also came with a little tray of condiments, with chilli flakes, salt, pickles of some sort and another more sour tasting sauce. We tried a little bit of everything and thought that the boat noodles already had enough flavour without adding these to it ~
Last dish we ordered was the Penang curry they usually do it with beef, but they were nice enough to change it to chicken for us as we didn’t want to beef dishes. This is another curry dish that I don’t get very often, but think I will order more from now on. I really liked the curry sauce and how it was slightly spicy but sweet at the same time. It gains more points because it has pumpkin pieces and I can never seem to get enough of it.
I was panicking a little when the waiter said that they didn’t have a dessert menu, but then said with a smile that he can tell me what desserts he had. *PHEW* There were a few options one of them was this deconstructed sticky rice dessert, with papaya, taro puree, glutinous rice and two scoops of coconut ice-cream. I found it to be very good value for only $6.5 and was lovely. Especially liked the taro and the chewiness from the glutinous rice. Found the coconut ice-cream to me quite light and more like a sorbet
Another dessert we got was the Pandan chiffon cake with coconut ice-cream. It was a small slice of cake and didn’t have much expectations but it turned out to be one of the best pandan chiffon cakes I have ever had. With the perfect soft moist texture and the creamy pandan frosting that has intense pandan flavours and not that flavour from artificial essence ~ If you like pandan cakes you will definitely love this one, I can’t wait to go to back and try the coconut cake!
We really enjoyed our meal at Jinda Thai and Garfield thinks it’s very authentic and probably the closest compared to the ones he’s had in Bangkok ~ All the dishes were lovely with great flavour, we did find the dishes to be a little bit on the small side and even though we ordered quite a bit of food we didn’t leave with a fully stuffed stomach which isn’t necessarily a bad thing
Would also like to wish Garfield Happy Birthday again and hope you liked the Peanut Butter Chocolate cake I made for you ~ It’s really nice to still keep in touch with you guys! I miss those High School days!