Jinda Thai Restaurant
3-7 Ferguson St
Abbotsford, VIC 3067
03 9419 5899
My meal at Jinda reminds me of how transient your circle of friends in Melbourne can sometimes be. This little gathering happened because a friend of mine, Mel, had finished her studies here. This was to be her farewell with our group before her onward journey back to Singapore.
Cha Yen – famous iced milk tea $3 | Jinda’s Brown Rice $3.50
With high accolades coming from the foodie community, I actually did make a previous attempt to dine here months ago, but did not score a table. So this time round, we had the foresight to book ahead!
That’s how eight friends ended up spending an evening here… chatting for hours, and overordering plates and plates of food.
Thai Fish Cake 5pcs/serve $7.90 | Som Tum Soft Shell Crab $12.90
We started off with the usual suspects for starters. First with a delightfully fragranced house made Thai fish cake. Then with a rather insipid soft shell crab papaya salad that featured no spicy kick at all.
Nam Tok – classic Thai salad dish w grilled pork neck $12.90
Son in Law’s – crispy boiled eggs, tamarind sauce, dried shallots, chilli & coriander $11.90
Going forward with the lighter selections, our next two dishes were pretty good, with the grilled pork neck salad coming out as the winner in terms of punchy (albeit non-spicy) flavours with succulent pieces of pork neck.
All that said, I personally thought the son-in-law eggs were on the sweet side (because of the sweetish tamarind sauce) and I wasn’t all that impressed by the ring of greenish tinge around the yolk – a sign of overcooking.
Red Curry Roasted Duck $15.90 | Green Curry Chicken $14.90
Moving forwards towards the larger eats, the two curries that we ordered did not really hit the mark. Like most of the Thai curries I’ve seen served in Melbourne, they were mild, creamy, sweetish and not spicy. It’s a flavour profile that the majority of locals here enjoy, but if you’ve been to Thailand and had the curries there, you’re more likely to be disappointed.
Nam Jim $25.90
Deep fried fish roasted grounded rice, tamarind sauce, dry chilli, lime juice, fish sauce, palm sugar
I had no complaints with the deep fried fish here though, it came perfectly crispy and the dipping sauce was good.
Pad Pug Tofu – Asian stir fried mix vegetables & tofu $14.90
Tom Sab – spicy clear soup w herbs & lots of dried chilli w soft pork bones $15.90
To help assuage our feelings of surfeit and guilt, we had a serve of stir-fried tofu with vegetables. I was also curious to try out the tom sab here, which came nice and spicy but did not have the same depth of ‘meatiness’ in the pork broth as Tom Toon Thai Noodle Cafe’s version from around the corner.
Boat Noodle – aromatic beef based soup with your choice of beef or pork $9.00
Our final dish for the night was a curiosity bowl of the much-acclaimed boat noodles here, which I thought was pretty good. The rich broth boasted a nice and deeply-beefy flavour profile with warming hints of herbs.
Crepe Cakes – w coconut ice cream (Thai Milk Tea) $8.50
We ended the night with serves and serves of crepe cakes, one of the main reasons why I wanted to dine here.
Taro | Pandan
Matcha | Coconut
Between the eight of us, we sampled each and every flavour on offer here, with my favourite being the pandan… and then Thai milk tea coming in at a close second. I also really liked the coconut ice cream that came with it, it had a slightly coarser texture (like a sorbet) but contained chunks of fresh coconut in it. All that said, I thought that the texture of the cake itself could’ve been softer… perhaps because it came straight from the chiller.
The company I had here was great… we stayed behind and chatted waaay into the night. But in terms of the food, I personally think it’s good quality but somewhat lacking in punchiness. And seeing that I enjoyed the boat noodles, I think the next time I’m back here I’m more likely to order from the one-dish-meal section as opposed to the larger share plates.
My other quibble here is this recent trend in Melbourne where diners are seated at small and narrow tables crammed with cutlery, plates and cups. We actually ran out of table space because the dishes came out very quickly. Small tables at brunch spots are fine because each customer usually orders one dish. But for a share plate focussed place, a table of 8 should be given a larger or wider table, especially when we actually booked ahead.