Birthdays, Boats and Botanic Gardens
Last Friday we celebrated my Mother in Law’s birthday. We started out by visiting a small Thai restaurant in Richmond before proceeding to the Melbourne Royal Botanical Gardens.
Firstly – the restaurant…
Located in a small cul-de-sac, this is one of these restaurants which is discovered and shared via word-of-mouth rather than being looked up in the Yellow Pages. Helen and Tina had been to the restaurant before and spoke very highly of it so now it was my turn. The variety and taste of the dishes didn’t disappoint. Additionally the lighting in the restaurant gave me a chance to take some portrait photographs of Ashley, Cecilia and the ladies which are the subject of another album.
So I’d better share the name of the restaurant. It is called Jinda Thai and is in Ferguson Street in Richmond. Interestingly that corner block seems to be home to a number of Thai related businesses mainly covering catering.
Without turning this into a food review I did feel that some of the use of spices resulted in the sweet-and-sour flavours coming across a little too strong at the expense of the underlying meats and vegetables.
Having said that I have the same opinion of the award-winning Hanuman restaurant in Darwin which would suggest that it is my palette rather than any excessive use of spices and flavouring. Of course there is my ongoing grumble with a number of restaurants that the spiciness doesn’t quite reach the levels that I enjoy. Although these are available as condiments is nice to have the chili flavours cooked in with the dish rather than added as an afterthought.
There is another place though in the city called Crazy Wings which provides extremely hot chicken wings. Some of the Melbourne High students have been known to go there just eat the wings as part of a dare.
To finish up I do recommend both Jinda Thai and Hanuman restaurants if you like Thai food.
We departed the restaurant and for those who know Melbourne… to make a turn right across traffic into Victoria Street and then left into Hoddle Street as we proceeded to the botanic gardens was potentially going to be a challenge given the traffic… but we were blessed with a safe gap in the traffic which saw us heading towards the Yarra River and a parking space very close to the entrance of the botanic gardens which led us to the cafe on the edge of the lake.
For those who haven’t visited the botanic gardens they are spectacular at any time of the year and when you add in the wonderful weather we had on the day the experience is lifted to a new level again.
In addition to strolling along the many paths within the gardens there is also an opportunity to hire a punt which is really an English version of a gondola.
Considering that we made our way to the botanic Gardens along Punt Road it seemed almost fitting that we should take a punt for a tour of the ornamental lake within the gardens. I opted to walk the shoreline taking photographs of the group as they made their way around the lake in both an artistic and tranquil fashion.
Although you may notice that in many of the pictures where Joe is in the boat he appears to be covering his face with the mobile phone-he’s actually filming.
I would recommend this experience to anyone coming to the botanic Gardens.
What did amaze me was the number of mainland Chinese tour groups who came through the gardens. During our time in the gardens which was probably about two hours we would have seen easily 20 groups of tourists following their guide around the gardens. I could see from the looks on their faces and their conversations that they were really enjoying the experience of the gardens as we were.
After the boat tour we retired to the cafe for afternoon tea. I honestly think the botanic Gardens would benefit from having some healthy competition through another catering concession.
So another wonderful day with family. Happy birthday Mum.