I’ve been craving phad thai all week so I decided that I would try that Thai place on Swanston St. Always popular with the students, Ghin Khao has been around for quite a while yet it’s a place that I’ve walked past numerous times without giving much thought. Given that it seems to be popular though, we figured that it must do an alright phad thai and so we ventured into the two-storey restaurant at around 2:30pm yesterday. The term “ghin khao” is the Thai equivalent of the Cantonese “sik fan” and with an extensive menu that has a decent selection of snacks, soups, salads, noodles, curries, rice and desserts you would definitely be doing some serious sik fan-ing. There are even several decently-priced banquet options for those who are particularly hungry which I would normally go for but I didn’t want to eat too much for the time being.
Our water cups. I couldn’t decide whether I liked them or not. On one hand, kudos for the Ghin Khao crew for trying to prettify things. On the other hand, they were flimsy as and could not hold much water. Plus, they looked like those cheapo bangles that you can get from Diva.
My surprisingly awesome phad thai goong ($13.90). I say surprisingly, because I thought my food was going to be average at best. After all, this was Swanston St and secondly, I wasn’t sure it was an authentic Thai place. Anyway, it was a lovely combination of rice noodles stir fried with a handful of prawns, tofu, dried shrimp and peanuts, all brought together by a wonderful fish sauce and tamarind sauce. I was also glad that it was a refreshingly light version rather than the heavy version that we’re so accustomed to seeing in Thai restaurants around Melbourne. Plus, the noodles still retained its chewiness throughout the meal and never went soggy at all which is a bonus for me too. Apart from the fact that the noodles were thinner than what I’m used to and apart from the fact that I got a wedge of lemon instead of a lime, I’d say that this was a pretty darn good phad thai.
Adam’s not-so-awesome-but-still-yummy-nevertheless massaman beef curry ($11.90). It was, like mine, quite small but definitely not lacking in flavour. The curry itself was an aromatic mixture of the usual suspects, coconut milk, potatoes, cinnamon, fish sauce, tamarind, to name just a few ingredients. It was sweeter than other versions which didn’t really bother Adam at all but I probably would not have been happy if I had that one dish to myself as it would have been overkill (yeah, I don’t have much of a sweet tooth).
Good service, yummy food but the portions erred towards the skinny side for the price we paid. We’d still come back if we’re feeling like Thai food and couldn’t find anywhere else to go though.