Melbourne’s best Thai eats

You may have read me bang on about Melbourne and the blessed culture that makes us the leader in food, taste and diversity. 

Last week was all about Greek cuisine. This week, it’s time for the spicier side of Melbourne – Thai cuisine. Forget Thai green curry and pad Thai, there’s plenty more to uncover here.

Glen Iris’ cherished resident and master of Thai cuisine, Little Thai Princess, still stuns table after table after decades of operation. I’ll admit, the restaurant isn’t the easiest to access, snug next to the freeway entrance at the bottom end of Toorak Road – although considering such restraints and the restaurant's success, need I say more about the excellence of the food? I’ll skip that part and trust we’re on the same page. Try their soft shell crab with papaya salad: a spicy salad of peanuts, shrimp, cherry tomato and snake beans served with tremendously luscious soft shell crab. I’d also suggest their exotic tom yum soup; spicy and sour with lemongrass, galangal, mushroom and cherry tomato. And if you’re after a suggestion from their well-acclaimed and awarded chefs, they might offer up the pad honey beef – and for good reason – which stir fries tender beef with fresh vegetables, honey and cashew nut. Little Thai Princess boasts high-quality flavours and humble traditions which haven’t gone unnoticed, winning countless awards for their unique flavour and very smiley service.
Richmond is a proud spot for many – football, pubs, an awkwardly captivating feel I still don’t understand why I adore, and of course, Asian cuisine. Just walk along Victoria Street and you’ll stumble across plenty of great Thai restaurant. Although there’s one that stands out above the rest, and that’s Jinda Thai. You might have to wait a minute or two – I’d say 15 to 20 tops – but mark my words the food is worth it. Once seated, order a Beer Lao to start igniting a full Thai feel. Follow that with the satay platter, made up of a selection of grilled juicy, marinated skewers, with your choice of chicken, pork, or beef. Personally, I always go with satay beef. For mains, you can’t turn away their most popular fish dish – a whole deep fried tamarind fish with dried shallots, coriander and palm sugar. Although deep fried, this dish is delicate and soft. Always order a side of coconut rice and papaya salad too.