One late evening just before Christmas I was wondering around Victoria Street by myself looking for dinner. I ended up being distracted by some friends coincidentally there and so by the time I tried to eat dinner it was already 9pm. I sought out Jinda Thai (it was closed for the holidays), Arisoo (closed already), Seoul Soul (about to close) and walked past a few slightly open Vietnamese and Laotian places all on the verge of shutting down. Hmmm. The options were limited. I hadn't been to Jaidee Thai before but it was still serving, small enough to be cute and not mass producing food, and seemed like I could get some peace in there.
- Som Tum Thai Bpuu (papaya salad with Thai pickled crabs) $11
- Guay-Tiew Jaidee (rice noodle in beef stock with tender beef) $8.5
The food was very nice. The beef noodle soup was a bargain for the price and although not as complex in terms of spices and herbs, a comparable alternative to the pho surrounding the area. The papaya salad was medium spice - much too hot for me and I reaffirmed my previous dislike of crabs in the salad as being crunchy bits of shell and not palatable. Next time I would get mild or no chilli at all in the dishes.
A few weeks later I found myself having dinner there again this time in a more controlled time fashion. For the second time over the holiday period I tried Jinda Thai only to realise they were (still) closed. The decision came between my old favourite ISpicy 2 (although not having eaten there since 2011) and Jaidee. My dining companion hadn't tried Jaidee before and so it was set.
- Crying Tiger (chargrilled marinated beef with pepper & garlic sauce) $14.9 - a bit of a letdown with reasonably tender beef but not much flavour. The sauce was fine but nothing that special to me;
- Pua Toa Fu Makhru (stirfried beancurd, eggplant, garlic, chilli, basil) $13.9
- Steamed Barramundi (with garlic & chilli in spicy lemon sauce) $26.9 - I usually get whole fried fish at Thai restaurants (since I don't like deepfrying at home) but opted for a healthier version this time. It was a nicely cooked fish, not dry and with good sauce to complement the coconut rice.
Milk tea was a fluorescent bright drink quite sweet but not sickeningly so.
Overall I prefer the meal dishes at Jinda Thai or ISpicy 2 and would opt for their next time. However I'd definitely go back for the cheap beef noodle soup.