Thai Yim

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Thai Yim used to be one of my favourite restaurants in Glen Waverley, and one of the very few close Thai restaurants close to home. Thai Yim was originally located right next to Glen Waverley railway station but due to the re-development of that area and the addition of apartments (still under construction), they have relocated to Springvale Road, next to Shira Nui. I call that address the death spot because of how quick restaurants seemed to open up and close down. It gets very little foot traffic since it’s still a walk from the main hub on Kingsway. I digress.

What I liked about Thai Yim when they were in their original location was that the food was tasty (spicy too) and the servings were generous. What happened when they moved to their larger space was that serving sizes decreased and prices went up. Although food wise I think it has mostly stayed the same. That’s why I say used to be.

We usually order a few dishes and then share around like what you’d normally do in a Chinese restaurant. We ordered the Spicy Basil and Chilli Stir Fry, Massaman Beef Curry and Tom Yum Vegetarian.

The Basil Stir Fry is quite fragrant due to the Thai basil used and it is stir fried with bamboo shoots. After trying Marion’s Green Curry that came with bamboo shoots, I can’t get enough of it. It has a pleasant spice to it, which I don’t believe is overpowering. One of my favourite stir fry’s actually.

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Their Massaman Beef Curry is also another pleasant experience. It has a sweetness to it that is appealing to my tastebuds, but has a good deal of spice. Not much sourness to complete the whole Thai flavour pallet. The nuts make this dish so much more enjoyable for that crunch. Everything works in harmony of each other. It’s no Green Curry but I like it nonetheless.

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The Vegetarian Tom Yum soup is another treat. It’s a strong clear base soup packed full of flavour with nice chilli hit. Sometimes Tom Yum soups can be either so lacking in flavour it’s like drinking water but this is certainly not the case.  Their Chicken variation is no different but this one feels much more refreshing as a vegetarian soup.

Impressions

Thai Yim certainly impresses with its dishes, it’s probably only disappointing to those that have followed them since they were next to the train station. For the price it can lean towards overpriced for what your receive, your consolation is that the food would at least come out decent (I hope).

Thai Yim on Urbanspoon

Thai Yim

249 Springvale Rd
Glen Waverley VIC 3150

Loi Loi (Take-away)

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Loi Loi has become one of my favourite Chinese-Vietnamese eateries on Victoria Street. They serve a wide variety of rice, fried noodle, noodle soup dishes and main meals for dinner even with a mix of Asian inspired dishes that probably isn’t authentic but still offerings something different.

During lunch time, if you eat in or take away as I did this time, they provide complementary sweet corn soup which is a nice starter or finisher to your meal. Service tends to be pretty snappy too even during peak time, but of course, if the food isn’t good why bother? Luckily, the food in general does make you want to go back again.

I ordered the Thai Fried Noodles, and it uses the bee hoon noodles stir fried in a sweet, spicy and salty flavour, coating the noodles just gently. The flavour is a departure to what I usually eat, but nonetheless it is a satisfying dish. With the fish balls, prawns as your main protein, it complements the noodles well. The fried dried onions as a garnish definitely add both texture and a toasty flavour to the dish. You also get the pleasant surprise of chopped peanuts which again just come together so beautifully. I really can’t fault the dish, Loi Loi’s dishes are generous in size, but maybe just one criticism is that its a bit oily. If it tasted this good as a take-away dish, I can’t imagine how much better it would have been fresh from the wok.

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As you would, when you go to a Vietnamese restaurant is to order their Crispy Chicken on Rice. As this was a take-away dish, the chicken wasn’t as crispy, sadly. The chicken was also a tad dry,  but with the sweet chilli sauce, it makes a perfect combination. I usually prefer the Crispy Chicken and Tomato Rice but I don’t think Loi Loi has that as an option. This dish doesn’t meet the high standards of some of the Springvale restaurants but I think it’s a decent offering. Probably much better if it was served hot and crispy.

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As mentioned before, you get a nice Sweet Corn Soup with your meal if you order for lunch. It doesn’t look as appealing here, but it’s tasty and lives up to its name. You probably can find this in many Chinese Food Court eateries, and it’s pretty much the same everywhere. I don’t think you can make a bad Sweet Corn Soup. All in all, nothing too flashy but it’s lovely of Loi Loi to serve this to customers free of charge.

Impressions

Loi Loi doesn’t stray too far away from its Chinese-Vietnamese roots, but still has a few other South-East Asian dishes for added variety. Food is generally above average, and depending on the dish, can be fantastic. Really, if you’re in Richmond, wanting a good meal, Loi Loi is the place to go.

Loi Loi on Urbanspoon

Loi Loi

364 Victoria St
Richmond VIC 3121

Pad Thai

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There is just something about Thai food that I love. I think it’s probably how well balanced their food seems to be. It has this perfect blend of sweet, sour, salt and spice. Pad Thai is a rice noodles stir fry that incorporates the many commonly used Thai ingredients such as tamarind paste, fish sauce and chilli along with a mix of eggs, preserved turnip, nuts, tofu and shrimp.

I’ve used the SBS Food’s Pad Thai Recipe and made slight changes to my preferences.

Pad Thai

Ingredients

Sauce
100g tamarind in block form
300ml warm water
200g palm sugar
50g caster sugar
150ml Thai seasoning sauce

Other ingredients 
Large green prawns, heads and shells removed (allow 2-3 per person)
10g dried shrimp
¼ red onion, sliced
40g hard tofu, sliced
40g preserved turnip
2 eggs
200g rice noodles, soaked in warm water for 30 minutes
Garlic chives
Bean sprouts
Fried shallots
Roasted peanuts, chopped
Dried chilli
Lime wedges

Preparation

1. Soak the tamarind in warm water, kneading with your fingers to separate the pulp from the seeds. Squeeze out liquid, strain and pour into a frying pan or wok. Add palm sugar, caster sugar and seasoning sauce. Bring to the boil and boil until it has reduced and is syrupy.

2. Fry prawns until they curl and change colour. Add dried shrimp, red onion, tofu and preserved turnip. Push contents of pan to one side and add egg, breaking up just a little as it cooks.

3. Add drained noodles, 2 tablespoon of water, the tamarind sauce, garlic chives and a few bean sprouts, fried shallots, chopped peanuts and chilli.

4. Pile into a serving bowl and garnish with more fried shallots, bean sprouts, a wedge of lime, garlic chives and crushed peanuts.

Note:
The amount of sauce added to the Pad Thai can be adjusted according to how strong a flavour you like. Usually this quantity of sauce is fine for 4 people. Any unused sauce can be kept in a clean jar in the refrigerator.

Impressions:
I quite liked this recipe, it’s quite easy to make actually, and I actually used a lot of the sauce because we used the whole packet of rice noodles (Much larger than 200g). I have a slight dislike of all things coriander so I’ve neglected to add it here, but I can see how it can make this dish a bit more refreshing with coriander added to it.
I think I also may have added too much dried shrimp so the Pad Thai ended up having a strong shrimp taste, but it still tasted nice and light. It tasted similar to what I’ve eaten at Thai restaurants but I can’t really tell whether or not it’s truly authentic or not but it tastes great so that’s all that matters to me!

 

Marion’s Kitchen Thai Green Curry

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Masterchef’s Marion has her own selection of Thai meals you can cook up easily.

The one I attempted to cook was her Thai Green Curry. What I liked about what’s in the box, is how much is packed in!

1 x Marion’s Kitchen Thai Green Curry pack, includes:

  • Green Curry Paste
  • Coconut Milk
  • Dried Thai Herbs & Chilli
  • Fish Sauce
  • Bamboo Shoots

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You basically just need your choice of protein and whatever vegetables you like! I’ve added chicken, eggplant and long beans. I also love that it comes with delicious bamboo shoots which are one of my favourite things to add to a Thai Green Curry, and to any stir fry. It’s just that good.

Method (from Marion’s Kitchen, and on the box)

1. Heat oil over medium heat and fry the Green Curry Paste for about a minute

2. Now’s the time to pour in the creamy Coconut Milk and 1 cup of water.  Tip – if you want to make your curry less spicy, you can add an extra ½ cup water here.

3. Then add  the packet of Dried Herbs & Chilli (leave the chilli out if you want a mild curry or chop it up if you want a spicier curry).  Now add the fish sauce and wait for the curry to start simmering again.

4. Open up those tasty Bamboo Shoots, drain away the liquid and add the shoots into the curry.  Now add your chicken (substitute your protein) and vegetables and simmer for about 2 minutes or until the chicken is just cooked through.  Serve with steamed rice.
IMG_5840I’ve got to say it tasted pretty darn good, not too creamy, just enough spice and packed full of flavour. Although their pack is kinda on the pricier side compared to those Malaysian/Singaporean Prima packs.

It has it’s own coconut milk, herbs and bamboo shoots (which are quite expensive all things considering) so it still is value for money.

I would definitely use this if I wanted to cook up a quick and easy Thai Green Curry, and it basically has everything you need!

 

 

KL Bunga Raya

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KL Bunga Raya is located on Errol Street, North Melbourne, close to the North Melbourne Town Hall. When we went there on a Sunday afternoon, it was very quiet. I’m not too sure if that was a one off or if it’s always like that but I’m guessing it just has very low foot traffic around there.

By it’s name you may be able to guess that it’s a Malaysian eatery, serving all your favourite and commonly known Malaysian dishes such as Char Kway Teow,  Curry Laksa and Nasi Lemak. Plus a couple of interesting dishes like the Thai influenced Pineapple Fried Rice. There are actually a few Thai styled dishes to choose from but mostly they do serve the typical Malaysian food.

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I tried Pineapple Fried Rice in Malaysia from a Thai restaurant and it was surprisingly good. It was actually served inside a pineapple! So I ordered the Pineapple Fried Rice here to see if it could match or better the one I ate in Malaysia but unfortunately it lacked a bit of taste and seasoning. That’s not to say it was bad, but  the pineapple had little flavour and the rice was more wet than I’m used to for Fried Rice. So let’s just say it was interesting and leave it at that.

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Char Kway Teow
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I tried a bit of the chicken here and it was quite tasty. Packed full of flavour. I can’t recall what the dish was called to be honest.

My verdict would be to give it a try. The food may or may not be to your liking but you wouldn’t know unless you taste it for yourself!

KL Bunga Raya on Urbanspoon

KL Bunga Raya
34 Errol Street
North Melbourne VIC 3051