Jinda Thai, Abbotsford

12/23/2015 , , 0 Comments

Jinda Thai is a famous Thai restaurant in the Richmond/Abbotsford area, with one of its most popular dishes being the layered crepe cake. I'd been wanting to try this place as I had heard lots of great reviews of it, and was very happy with my experience.

We went just before 12pm on a Saturday, and luckily didn't have to wait at all for a table. As we were leaving though, there were definitely people waiting around, so I'd suggest going early for either lunch or dinner, if you don't want to wait too long. The service was relatively quick, and the staff were friendly. The place appears to have been converted into a restaurant from an old warehouse or some sort of large open area, and the brick walls with the large windows on one side gave the place a rustic feel. It was a little more on the cosy side with the tables all being quite close together, but not that you'd feel uncomfortable. The atmosphere was very lively, and you could tell that it was popular place for large gatherings.

There was a lunch specials menu as well as the main menu where you could choose dishes from, and we went with a soft shell crab salad ($13.90), a massaman beef curry ($10.90) and a tom yum soup ($16.90). We also got the signature ice milk tea ($3), and of course, the crepe cake in the green tea flavour ($8.50). The ice milk tea was quite sweet by itself but cool and refreshing, and together with the rest of the meal was really enjoyable, especially in contrast to the spicier dishes.

The soft shell crab came with a green papaya salad, and was probably my favourite dish here at Jinda Thai. The papaya and carrot were really refreshing and crunchy, contrasting nicely with the extremely soft and sweet crab that was covered in a thin, crispy batter. The papaya had a slightly tangy flavour from the dressing, which was also a little spicy with the chilli in it. The whole lightness of the dish made for a great start to the meal, and the portion was just right to start the meal but not make you start to feel full.

The masaman beef curry was served with brown rice, peanuts, potato and carrot. The peanuts and cashews made for a crunchy texture which went well with the potato and carrot. The beef was a little on the dry and tough side, but wasn't too bad with the other elements. Overall it was a flavoursome dish, and the use of brown rice gave more texture that is different to jasmine rice, with a bit more elasticity - not to say that it was more chewy, but it wasn't as soft as jasmine rice - which was enjoyable as I don't often have brown rice.

The tom yum is a spicy and sour soup with lemongrass and lime leaf, and we chose to have it with chicken. There were really good flavours of both spicy and sour - one didn't overpower the other which was really good, though the chicken was a bit tough. There was a strong basil flavour in the soup that was enjoyable, and the dish actually came on an elevated dish so our table wouldn't feel too crowded.

Given the hype of the green tea crepe cake, I was a little underwhelmed with the dish. It felt overpriced given the portion we got, and the layers felt quite thick in contrast to the green tea sauce. However, there was good green tea flavour, and together with the red bean and vanilla ice cream did still make for a good end to our experience.

I'd definitely want to try some of the other dishes here at Jinda Thai as there so much to choose from, and they have a good range of options that you might not get at your typical Thai restaurant. However, I'd probably opt out of the dessert next time.

Ambience: 8/10
Service: 7.5/10
Food: 8/10
Price: $$


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