16th February 2014
Sydney has changed me. Whilst I know we’re lucky to have such a gorgeous buffet of restaurants on offer in Melbourne, there’s just one cuisine that Sydney has KO’d us in – Thai food. And whilst it’s been said over and over again by every Melbourne blogger that authentic Thai cuisine just doesn’t exist in this city, it doesn’t stop me from searching for the vibrant flavours I experienced at Chat Thai. Today our search led us to Ying Thai, a Lygon Street restaurant that came with very high recommendations.
I would’ve been less surprised if we had walked in and had confetti thrown over us; the interior of the restaurant was splashed with lurid shades of pink, green and blue, with large cartoons painted on the walls. It’s a little bit overwhelming, but I liked it almost immediately.
|Yum Nuer ($12.9)
Just like how I judge a Chinese restaurant on their dumplings, I judge a Thai restaurant on their salads. After all, what better way is there to showcase the signature flavours – fresh, spicy, sour – of Thai food? Well any way is better than with this Yum Nuer ($12.9), a grilled beef salad that was certainly not yum. The dish may have been spicy and sour, but it tasted entirely unauthentic – where were the copious amounts of aromatic mint and coriander? And whilst the chilli was fierce, it wasn’t the least bit aromatic, but more a harsh chemical burn. And worst of all, our beef tasted about 3 days old – I don’t think anything else needs to be said.
|Pud Phong Karee Ta-Lay ($20.9)
Thankfully the Pud Phong Karee Ta-Lay ($20.9) was a lot better than the salad. Though uninspired, the yellow curry was creamy and not overly sweet with a hint of spice, and tasted quite good over bowls of Jasmine Rice ($3pp). The stir-fried seafood that the curry sauce covered was rather lacklustre; aside from a few prawns and mussels, the majority of the dish consisted of imitation crab meat – definitely not worth the money we shelled out for it.
I try and see the best side of every restaurant I visit, I really do, but I don’t have anything positive to say about Ying Thai. The curry was satisfactory, but I’ve had better ones more often than not. And the salad? It’s the first time a memory of food has made me feel put off. At what would’ve been almost $20 per head (we weren’t charged for the salad as it was off), it just wasn’t worth it.
Rating: 7/20 – melbourne, i give up.
This rating reflects my personal experience at the time of visit.
Just A Bit Special ($15-$30)