Ghin Khao is the second of my Soup Noodle posts, this time recommended by Billy of food blog Half-Eaten.
Obviously I have been up and down Swanston Street a million times, and do you know I have never even noticed Ghin Khao. Mysterious actually, given that the frontage is plastered with laminated pictures of Thai dishes and at lunch time the narrow two-storey restaurant is busy rotating a stream of office workers and students.
The menu is almost comically large, both in size and content, but on Billy’s recommendation I went straight for the Chang Mai noodle ($10.90) while C had the Tom Yum with prawns ($11.90) with noodles (extra $0.80).
Both noodle dishes were presented in beaten metal saucepans, an interesting touch.
C felt her dish was a bit small – for $13 you’d expect more than a handful of noodles and I think she’s right. The broth was flavoursome though and ingredients fresh.
My noodles, one of Ghin Khao’s signature dishes, were very interesting, as I hadn’t expected a nest of fried noodles as well as soft noodles in the coconut-based soup. So in reverse, I actually felt like I had a lot of noodles, but only a few scant pieces of chicken. The broth was quite nice but I think it’s too creamy to eat on its own once the noodles are gone.
Other reviews on Urbanspoon have indicated that the service at Ghin Khao leaves a lot to be desired. Well, we had perfunctory, functional service as you’d expect for a get-up-and-go Asian joint, and didn’t feel particularly well-served or ill-served.
Overall, C and I agreed that based on what we ordered, what was available on the menu and what we saw other people eating, Ghin Khao gets a HOT. We were sufficiently encouraged by our lunch to return, but would avoid the noodles in future given the cheaper, larger noodle options on offer nearby (such as Ramen Ya and The Grand BBQ).
- Ghin Khao, 242 Swanston St, Melbourne +61 3 9663 3345