Sumalee Cafe & Restaurant
So we tried Sumalee in Bentleigh based on two of us flying off to Japan the week after and trying to find a place in between Prahran and Glen Waverley. With ratings like Sumalee’s, we had high expectations and were rather amused by the fact that there is a Thai place that serves breakfast (actually I think most of the positive reviews especially on urbanspoon relate to their breakfast)! We went for dinner on this occasion. The waitresses were very attentive – almost getting to overly so because they didn’t seem to assign one table to each other, rather they all floated about and we were asked at least three times how our meal was going by the end of it.
Food wise, visually the meals were fantastic and rather photogenic. We ordered pad thai which came enclosed in a net of fried egg and was our favourite.
Out of the two curries we had, I think I enjoyed the red duck one more than the vegetarian green curry we ordered but this might be biased by the presence of meat/duck. It went well with the rice we ordered though we found the roti rather confusing – it was served in a small frypan and was rather buttery and different to the roti we’ve had in the past.
We also ordered their green papaya salad – refreshing and a nice balance between sweet and sour. Rather oddly served with rice but since we had curry we didn’t mind at all.
While we enjoyed our meal, it wasn’t anything to rave about. The roti seemed rather westernised and the curries didn’t really pack much of a punch. It’s a shame we ended our meal with the two curries and didn’t feel like having dessert there – looking at their menu now I wouldn’t have minded trying out their pandan panna cotta! Also, it seems like this place might be more popular for their breakfast fares.
Jinda Thai Restaurant
It isn’t often I have Thai food – so this was rather odd that I went to Jinda Thai in Richmond the day after the meal at Sumalee. A friend chose this place to celebrate their birthday and we were hard pressed finding a table to accommodate all of us (admittedly we had an extra two people on top of what we had booked for). It was bustling in this rather trendy restaurant when we went on Sunday night – the waitresses were scrambling everywhere but somehow food was getting around the restaurant – it did however take a while to get anything.
I’m not a connoisseur of Thai food – I’ve never been to Thailand and I don’t go to Thai restaurants often but I enjoyed the food at Jinda Thai (more than Sumalee actually). Unfortunately taking photos of food wasn’t a priority on this occasion with too many of us on the table to get a good shot of each plate! The serving size of each dish was on the small side but it was fresh, tasty and spicy enough for my liking. We ordered their boat noodles with and without soup with the different noodles and it was quite nice – I can see why it is so popular.
Entrees wise (to tide our hunger over from the wait till the mains) we had chicken satay skewers and rice paper rolls – again small so we had to fight over these!
The rest – unfortunately I only have a few photos but as I said, we all enjoyed the food and the atmosphere. I just wish when we needed something (like my friend who was waiting for a seat for a while) it would come a little quicker.
To wash it all down nearly all of us got iced milk tea which comes served in a glass jar. Lovely on a warm day – could do with one right now actually.
So, now I finally know of an alternative to the many Vietnamese restaurants in Richmond – Jinda Thai!