It’s a strange occurrence and quite frightening to think that I’ve had 2 near death situations in my lifetime although both of which were unknown to me until after. The first time was when I was around 10 in a city in Northern China. A close family friend was kidnapped and held for ransom, I was staying at his house at the time. He was a clever man and somehow left enough clues for the police to find him unharmed. The two kidnappers admitted that the original plan was to kidnap the children, me being one and his son being the other. It was very cold up north and all the rivers were frozen so they had planned to get the ransom money then cut a hole in the ice and throw us in. However, as the kidnapped family friend came home earlier than expected, their plan changed and so I luckily escaped harm.
The second time was in Bangkok during a family holiday. At the time Thailand was having a period of political instability and the day after we left Bangkok for Pattaya, a busy shopping centre we were at the previous night was bombed. Again I escaped harm.
Being in such a dangerous situation in Thailand didn’t stop me from loving Thai food. In fact, it was the opposite. Every time someone suggests having dinner at a Thai restaurant, I secretly say ‘YES’ in my mind. My latest Thai meal was at Ghin Khao Thai Restaurant on Swanston St in the city. The most interesting thing I found about this restaurant was the drinking glasses. They had pointy ends at the bottom which make them sit at an angle. However, even though they look dangerous, it’s actually quite hard to make them topple over.
We went as a group of 9 people and ordered dishes to share. The first dish I tasted was the red curry with duck ($17.90). It was quite a saucy and tasty dish which I enjoyed and had vibrant colours to match. As there were so many people and this dish was on the other end of the table, I only managed to eat one spoonful of it which was a shame.
The chicken larb (Thai chicken salad – $11.90) was placed right in front of me so I probably ate the most of this dish. It was a very refreshing and minty dish, enhanced by the faint flavours of the chicken mince and fragrant coriander. There wasn’t much mince so was quite a healthy and not very substantial dish.
We ordered two papaya salad dishes. One of them was the soft shell crab ($15.90). I really liked this dish. The raw papaya and crab were both subtly sweet and crunchy but in totally different ways. This was probably my favourite dish of the night.
The other papaya salad dish we ordered was with chicken ($13.90). Like the soft shell crab, there weren’t enough pieces to go around but I managed to taste a little bit. The chicken was well cooked although a lttle bit dry. I didn’t like this dish as much as the soft shell crab.
Next was pad thai with prawns ($13.90). It contained prawns, bean shoots, tofu, egg. spring onions and rice noodles. Again this was on the other side of the table I didn’t manage to eat very much of this dish, although the small mouthful that I did taste was quite nice although a little bit bland. A bit more chilli or coriander might have helped to bring out the flavours.
I didn’t touch the satay beef ($14.90) at all. I was too busy with the dishes in front of me that by the time I realised, the satay beef was almost finished. It didn’t bother me too much though as I had so many other things to choose from. lets just skip this one shall we? 😛
People realised there was not enough food by the end of the meal so decided to order an extra dish called ancient fish ($27.90). It was a deep-fried whole fish topped with peanuts, coriander and a few other ingredients. I was one of the first to dig in and unlucky for me, I took a piece from the top. As I found out, the fish was quite bland although nice and crunchy. Then I realised that all the sauce was at the bottom of the dish! The sauce was a little sour, sweet and chilli, the perfect combination for a Thai dish.
We also ordered 6 rice to share – 5 in the beginning and 1 added later. They charged us 12 rices in total which was rectified when we alerted them.
I did enjoy the meal, although I found most of their dishes a little on the bland and unspectacular side. I would take people there just to show them the cool glasses though, but if you do visit, you might want to keep any kids (or childish adults like me) from playing with them too much. 😛
Question time: Have you ever been in a near death situation before?
Ghin Khao Thai Restaurant
Phone: (03) 9663 3345
242 Swanston St, Melbourne CBD