Ying Thai

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.

Ying Thai 2 on Urbanspoon

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  • Reply Sally Li 16/02/2014 at 10:23 pm

    Awww. I so wanted to visit. Oh well

    • Reply ming 17/02/2014 at 10:33 am

      Hi Sally, if I were you, I would still go and check it out. I don’t much like Ying Thai but several of my friends swear by their crab curry :)

  • Reply Elspeth 17/02/2014 at 12:41 am

    Yim Yam in Collingwood is one of the best I’ve had in Melbs.

    • Reply ming 17/02/2014 at 10:34 am

      Hi Elspeth, thanks for dropping by! I’ve never heard of Yim Yam, but I’ll definitely check it out if it has Thai food even half as good as Sydney’s!

  • Reply Sue @ suelovexx 17/02/2014 at 9:31 am

    Completely agree about Sydney and their Thai food! It was one of the first things I noticed. We went to Chat Thai as well and it was amazzzzingggg. Yet to find anywhere as good in Melbourne :(

    • Reply ming 17/02/2014 at 10:35 am

      Hi Sue, thanks for visiting! I can’t stop thinking about the dinner I had at Chat Thai – I ate so much that I had to go back to the hotel and lie on my stomach for a good two hours before I could move again! One of the waitresses told me that they were planning to expand down to Melbourne – let’s hope she’s right!

  • Reply Anonymous 18/02/2014 at 8:05 am

    Jinda at 5 Ferguson st abbotsford. Need to make rsvn for dinner and lunch. Tell me then if you still think chat thai is the best.

    • Reply ming 19/02/2014 at 10:22 am

      Hi there, thanks for dropping by! I’ve actually never heard of Jinda before, but it looks delicious, thanks for the tip and I’ll be sure to visit :)

  • Reply Olivia 19/02/2014 at 12:38 pm

    I love your blog :) I love going to Pok Pok in Docklands. Great Thai food.

    Question: is it possible to change your blog so that when I click “what am I craving” at the right hand side of your blog, for example the “Asian” link, it comes out with names of restaurants and each with links. It is quite difficult to keep scrolling along all the blog posts and I can’t skip to the oldest post easily if I wanted to. Do I make any sense?

    Thanks :D

    • Reply ming 20/02/2014 at 9:11 am

      Hi Olivia, thanks for dropping by and I’m so glad you enjoy my blog. I’m hearing about so many good Thai restaurants from this post and I can’t wait to make a visit to Pok Pok – the menu looks just sumptuous! In regards to the clunky navigation of my site, I agree entirely… which is why I am currently in the (very slow) process of updating my blog, so hopefully before too long all the problems will be fixed up :)

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