Tom Toon Thai Noodle Cafe is one of the now many Thai restaurants in Richmond, located just doors away from Ying Thai and walking distance from Jinda Thai, Jaidee Thai and iSpicy 2. You’re spoilt for choice in this particular part of town.
Tom Toon isn’t a large restaurant, but it does have this unique character about it. I always seem to lean towards the Thai Fried Rice and here flavour-wise it’s fantastic. Delicious, but just as a personal preference I prefer Fried Rice to be drier, but I’ve noticed that most Thai Fried Rice’s are like this as compared with the Chinese or Malaysian Fried Rice.
My favourite is still Jinda Thai, but the rest of the bunch aren’t too far behind in quality.
Tom Toon Thai Noodle Cafe
241 Victoria Parade
Abbotsford VIC 3067
Jaidee Thai is one of the numerous Thai restaurants towards the Hoddle Street end of Victoria Street. Jinda Thai, iSpicy 2 and Ying Thai are also located around these parts of town. Jaidee Thai is the newcomer on the block and what they offer isn’t too different from the rest.
Jaidee Thai’s Pad Thai looks great with its combination of chicken, fresh bean sprouts and chopped peanuts. However taste wise it falls a bit short compared to the likes of Jinda Thai’s Pad Thai and even iSpicy’s. The aroma and flavour of the sauce used isn’t as strong, and if you have ever tried Jinda Thai’s version, you’ll instantly be able to tell the difference. Over there, it’s fragrant as it arrives in front of you, with the nutty smell of the chopped peanuts. Although that is not to say Jaidee Thai’s Pad Thai isn’t good, it has its pros but with so many Thai eateries around, a dish like this needs to stand out.
Jaidee Thai’s Thai Fried Rice (Chicken) served with a slice of lime smells and tastes great actually. The chunky tomato adds depth to the fried rice, along with the greens. The let-down of the dish is that the rice is on the wet side of things, which makes the fried rice feel soggy. I definitely prefer my fried rice to be drier but this might be the Thai style of Fried Rice as I recall dining at Tom Toon Thai Noodle Cafe and it was quite similar.
Although I haven’t been left impressed by the dishes I’ve tried, you’ll still end up with a decent meal at Jaidee Thai. I’d probably give it another go sometime in the future, but Jinda Thai is still the one to beat.
112 Victoria Street
Richmond VIC 3121
Ying Thai is the first location of this popular Thai restaurant. Ying Thai 2 is located in Carlton and is frequently visited by Melbourne Uni students and locals. The Richmond venue doesn’t appear to be as popular around lunch weekdays but it doesn’t indicate quality whatsoever.
The dish pictured above was the Chicken Flat Rice Noodle with Chilli and Basil, otherwise known as Pud Kee Mow. What I liked about this dish was that it was spicy, and a really decent hit of chilli at that. It might be too spicy for some, but it just hits the spot for me.
The Pud Kee Mow, you can choose your protein of choice from Chicken, Beef, Pork or Vegetable, like many of their dishes actually. I’ve never actually had this before but I really did like the flavour, the spiciness, a bit of soy that adds sweetness and a hint of salt and the basil. You can’t forget the fragrant basil.
They add carrots, capsicum, broccoli and cabbage if memory serves me correctly. I liked the abundance of vegetables no matter how oily this stir fried noodles dish may be. The chicken was on the tougher side, but I wouldn’t call it very overcooked. I think with stir fry it’s very difficult to cook well, so it was acceptable for me.
The Thai Fried Rice is also excellent, and very filling too. So tasty that I even forgot to take a picture. Next time.
Ying Thai serves as tasty Thai food. I may not know what authentic Thai food is but I know what my tastebuds say, and they say it’s pretty darn good. If you’re ever near the corner of Hoddle Street and Victoria Street, give it a go. Just may need to be a bit patient, sometimes it takes 10 minutes or more for food to arrive.
Ying Thai (Menu)
235 Victoria St
Abbotsford VIC 3067
Whenever I go to Flemington, I usually go to Chef Lagenda or ChilliPadi. For some reason Laksa King never crosses my mind, even though when they were in their old location we used to go there all the time. We ventured here once again to give it another go. I always found Laksa King to be the one more popular with the general public, it always seems to be full around lunch time.
Their Chicken Curry Laksa above, is well known, but also very similar to Chef Lagenda. Many would know the story behind it. Compared to some other Laksa’s both Laksa King and Chef Lagenda lean on the creamier side. I used to find it too creamy, however, on my last outing, I actually didn’t mind it for a change. It also had a nice hit of spice to it. I prefer Grand Tofu in Glen Waverley for my Laksa fix, it’s spicier and less creamy. However, this is just fine once in a while.
Thai Fried Rice is a surprisingly common dish in many Asian eateries. Laksa King’s version isn’t too shabby. It has a nice hit of chilli to it, and has that slight tom yum flavour, which gives it a nice sweet and sourness. The prawns were also perfectly cooked. The wok flavour really makes the dish. Overall, it’s one of the better Fried Rice’s around and I wouldn’t mind eating it again even if it’s on the oily side.
Ah Char Kway Teow. You can’t be a Malaysian restaurant without this. You also can’t have a tasty Char Kway Teow without the devilishly delicious fried pork fat. I know, that sounds hideously disgusting but if you have ever tried it, it just adds something special to it. It’s just crispy, fatty goodness. Obviously, I wouldn’t eat this all the time, nor would I eat all the pork fat in the dish but one or two pieces with the noodles just hits the spot.
One thing I didn’t like was that the fried pork fat wasn’t even crispy! What was the point, it was a total disappointment. The Char Kway Teow was delicious apart from that. It had that special wok flavour and had just enough heat. Again, it was on the oily side, however you don’t order this expecting something healthy in the end. Overall, I was pleasantly surprised and wouldn’t mind ordering it again.
We saw people ordering Ice Kacang and it looked huge and delicious to boot. It’s like this large tower but it was so difficult to mix. Since the ice was quite hard, all the ice basically falls on the table. You basically have to dig sections out and mix it in your own bowl. Note to Laksa King, get wider bowls please.
Compared to my all time favourite Ice Kacang from Chillipadi Mamak, this is nearly as delicious but both are very different in taste. Laksa King’s version uses brown sugar syrup heavily as you can see it has a golden brown colour to it. Chillipadi uses a mixture of rose syrup and condensed/evaporated milk. I think any Ice Kacang with nuts added to it is a plus. It isn’t the same without that crunchiness. Although different, it wasn’t overly sweet and had all the other ingredients added to it, such as jelly, palm seeds, corn and lychee.
I’ve mentioned Laksa King numerous times, but first time I’ve actually given it a review. They serve predominantly Malaysian cuisine and don’t skimp on flavour. YMMV, but with the dishes above, most were winners in my book.
I know Laksa King caters more towards the Western flavours and demographic but it still retains the Malaysian flavour which is what most people seek.
6 – 12 Pin Oak Crescent
Flemington VIC 3031
Phone: 03 9372 6383
Everyday 11:30am – 3pm
Mon – Thu 5pm – 10pm
Fri – Sat 5pm – 10:30pm
Sunday 5pm – 10pm