I find as I’ve gotten older the days of venturing to the city for brunch or Saturday night cocktails becomes less and less common as sheer convenience begins to reign supreme. That and the majority of my friends and acquaintances have now settled farther away from ideal city fringes. Considering this is the new norm for Gen-Yer’s there’s been a shift in Melbourne‘s cafe culture with random gems popping up in the most unlikely of places. Places such as lacklustre high street malls from our childhood, now being converted to chic contemporary eateries. Even odd residential corners and pockets that once would have been considered business suicide are proving otherwise. Take Left Field for example who to this day have a continuous stream of customers spilling out onto those residential streets.
While Jing Jing is located in a (somewhat) newer development in The Village in Dandenong, its position is another example of the new norm in cafe and restaurants. What was once home and typical of lifeless cafes and fast food eateries, food courts and sites accompanying supermarket chains are anything but drab. They’re promptly filling up with innovative and polished spaces. In what I like to call, an ode to our generation trying to make our mark in the world.
Jing Jing restaurant seemingly specialises in authentic Thai cuisine and is matched with an equally decadent interior, combining a fusion of modern design with Oriental favourites, making this is a refreshing find. It is a space that personifies serenity with a side of good, hearty food. Much like the country itself where one happens to immediately associate and conjure pristine beaches and lush greenery. It is a peacefully cozy nook with many interior quirks from darkened wooden features to iconic galvanised iron and mismatched pendant lighting. Their vibrant, personalised wallpaper and illustrations are also a delight to the senses.
On the menu you’ll find many of your typical Thai favourites, like Tom Yum and Pad Thai. There’s even an vast array of Vegan and Vegetarian selections too, which is always a welcome relief for someone who doesn’t overly favour meat. And while portion sizes are on the smaller side compared to many traditional Thai haunts, this “negative” is completely overshadowed by the freshness and tastiness of the food itself. Presentation is also rather memorable and charming, considering stir-fry’s and curry’s are rarely becoming on the plate in terms of creative design. I’d say it’s those gracefully quaint floral plates that wonderfully transport you back to your childhood or home. Back to memories of your grandmother or a satisfying home cooked meal by mum.
125 Princes Hwy