Jinda Thai Restaurant
1-7 Ferguson St, Abbotsford, VIC
03 9419 5899
Jinda Thai is unlike any other Thai restaurant around. It serves authentic and tasty Thai street food at prices that simply cannot be beaten, especially for the quality of food being served. Just ask those who have been lucky enough to find it.
There is no way you will ‘just stumble upon’ Jinda. Even with step by step directions you may not find it. It’s nestled down a quiet alleyway near the North Richmond train station just off Melbourne’s famous Victoria Street. The building doesn’t look like much from the outside but you’ll be pleasantly surprised once you step inside. This Thai food haven sits in an open warehouse filled with exposed brick, decorations of all colours and an eclectic collection of wall art. The most eye catching piece of art is the portrait of Jinda, the restaurant’s muse.
Opening in 2013, this family-run restaurant has been a hit with inner-city locals from the beginning. Its success is owed to Jinda, the beloved grandmother of the Tanpapat family. The Tanpapat clan grew up on Jinda’s homemade cooking and have designed the restaurant to reflect her legacy. Two generation of Tanpapats run the restaurant together with each family member taking on a different role. While they have vastly different interests and views, they come together to make Jinda Thai the best it can be.
Head Chef, Chathita Tanpapat, leads the large, open and always bustling kitchen. The menu at Jinda is hard to manoeuvre simply because there are so many mouthwatering dishes to choose from. Veggie curry puffs, marinated chicken wrapped with pandan leafs, and rice paper rolls are always a hit to start with. The Panang beef curry is sure to blow your socks off, while the green curry chicken will satisfy a group if you’re sharing.
If you want to order on the safe side, Jinda offers exquisite Pad Thai and stir fry options too. The signature dish is the som tum soft-shell crab on a green papaya salad because of its light, fresh flavours and post-chilli kick. The food here does not shy away from strong spice and tang so prepare your tastebuds for the festivities.
And leave room for dessert as the mille and pandan crepes are not to be missed. While Jinda Thai does offer an inexpensive and small selection of beer and wine, the charge for BYO is only $3 per head. You’ll be surprised at how low your bill is once your meal has, regrettably, come to an end. Be sure to order the Thai iced milk tea if you’re looking for a non-alcoholic option.
You should know that Jinda has quite the following so don’t be surprised if you show up on a Monday night and are greeted with a smile and a long wait time. The good news is that they take reservations, use that knowledge to your advantage.