Saturday, August 23, 2014

Jinda Thai, Abbotsford by Big Fil

If you want to visit this popular place just off Victoria Street you'll need to book ahead.  Silly me, assuming that on a stormy Thursday Night with the rain pelting down we'd be able to grab a walk-in table for the two of us.  Well, it turned out we could, as long as we were out in 45 minutes so the table could be made ready for the pair who had wisely made a booking.  Even then we were lucky, with both the group of four who walked in just ahead of us and the couple behind us having to find an alternative venue for the evening.

Inside is fairly warehouse chic, a large open space with unpainted brick walls with a few pictures scattered around.  While it's a style of outfitting that you do commonly see around town I did think this was one of the warmest and most comfortable that I've seen, complemented by the warm and friendly (if occasionally a little disorganised) service.

Between myself and my companion for the evening (Ms Candide Ginger) we ordered 2 entrees and two mains to share.  First up, of which the photos unfortunately didn't come out at all, was the chicken wrapped in pandan leaves.  Pandan is sometimes referred to as the Asian vanilla, and it's flavour and aroma lightly permeates the chicken during the cooking.  The chicken was moist in the middle, slightly crispy on the outside and nicely fragrant.  While it was also a little greasy, it wasn't nearly as much so as some other versions of this dish I've had before.

Second entrĂ©e and something I always order were the son-in-law eggs.  These are slightly more than soft-boiled then quickly deep fried, to give them a crispy exterior covering a soft, velvety interior.  The accompanying sauce is sticky, with a lovely tangy flavour from the restrained use chilli and tamarind.  The version at Jinda could have used a more concentrated sauce and the eggs a little runnier, to my taste anyway, but was still good.

I must admit to being a bit of a sucker for beef massaman curry.  Soft and delicately flavoured, a good one is like a warm hug and an excellent one can have some nice underlying complexity from the underlying spices.  Jinda's was definitely in the softer flavoured variety, which was good in some ways because it managed to provide some balance in the dishes for Ms Ginger, who had quite a surprise on her face after her first bite of our accompanying salad.

Which was, of course, a som tom or green papaya salad.  This would have to be one of the spiciest salads you can find, and Jinda's is every bit as spicy as you'll find in Thailand.  The papaya and beans add crunch to the mix, the soft shell crab was meaty and very well cooked.  It is delicious but if your chilli tolerance is low I'd suggest you give it a wide birth.

A great addition to the low to mid-range Thai restaurant scene in Melbourne, somewhere which many have commented is one of Melbourne's weaker foodie areas.  As mentioned service could be a bit more organised - we knew we didn't have long and it took a little while to receive menus and the food came out spaced a bit strangely (5 minutes for one dish, 15 for the next, 2 minutes for the third).  It's all done with a smile though which makes a difference. 

Food - 8
Service - 6.5
Ambience - 8
Price - 7.5

1-7 Ferguson St
Abbotsford VIC 3067
Tel: (03) 9419 5899

Jinda Thai Restaurant on Urbanspoon

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...