Ying Thai, now Serving in Indonesia

Prior to writing this post, I thought Ying Thai was just another Thai restaurant, which has just recently opened in one of the busiest culinary hotspot of North Jakarta, Pantai Indah Kapuk (PIK). Little did I know, that there was an unpleasant rumour spreading about the Ying Thai @PIK...
Ying Thai Indonesia at Pantai Indah Kapuk
According to some friends of mine, Ying Thai Indonesia uses the exact same logo and practically a 'copy' of the ones in Melbourne. So I googled 'Ying Thai' and found the Australian site. There was an official notice on the landing page that publicly denies the Indonesian franchise. I found the notice not very convincing, due to some grammatical errors and the unrestricted use of negativities. I mean, if the claim were legitimate, shouldn't they be more concerned about how much they'd like to demand from the supposedly 'impostor', rather than scaring the customers about the 'bad', 'unoriginal' or 'poor quality' food?

If you are such a nosy curious cat, here's the link for your own deliberation. What do you think?

While my guts may or may not be accurate regarding who's right or who's fake (I'm only human...), I'd actually got the chance to ask about this matter, directly to one of the owners of the Indonesian restaurant. Apparently, this is a classic case of business partnership gone sour, where the other party felt unhappy (for some reason) and left to open an exact version of the restaurant in another country, which is Indonesia. So, now the 'original' feels cheated and feeling alarmed, they put an official notice to disclaim any sort of relation.

Oh well, I'm not really going too deep into this feud, as I'm a foodie, not a gossip reporter, Ha! So to me, all that matters is what the place has to offer (food, ambiance, service, etc).

Ying Thai @PIK usually starts filling up around 6 to 7 PM, so I suggest you to come early or RSVP prior to coming. The restaurant itself currently occupies the entire ground floor of the multi storey building. I guess more tables & chairs will be added on the second floor, or perhaps the owners have another plan for it, I'm not sure. It feels quite modern, with a portrait of a Thai king hung on one of the walls inside. The venue could pass as a cafe, if we didn't see the menu.
Ying Thai Indonesia at Pantai Indah Kapuk
Ying Thai Indonesia at Pantai Indah Kapuk
Ying Thai Indonesia at Pantai Indah Kapuk
https://www.google.co.id/maps/place/Ying+thai/@-6.1111077,106.7389833,17z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m2!3m1!1s0x2e6a1d3c761cedcf:0x16ffc14d74c8abd4?hl=en

Talking about the Menu, it covers a broad range of classic Thai cuisine starting from Entree, Salad, Curry, Fried dishes, Soup, Noodle Soup, Stir Fried dishes, Rice and Stir Fried Noodles, with a total of 65 dishes. As for Dessert & Beverages, they are currently quite basic. As a sweet tooth, I'm not very happy with the current dessert selection, but I'm positive that more will be added soon.

This is what an average meal for two might look like:

Som Tum - green papaya salad a la Thailand.
Tod Mun - Thai fish cake, served with sweet and sour chili.
Gai Hor Bai Toey - Pandan Leave Chicken. This one is my favourite of everything that I tried then.
Som Tum - green papaya salad a la Thailand
Som Tum - green papaya salad a la Thailand IDR 32,000
Left: Tod Mun - Thai fish cake | Right: Som Tum
Left: Tod Mun - Thai fish cake IDR 29,000 | Kao Plao - plain rice IDR 8,000 / bowl
Right: Som Tum
Gai Hor Bai Toey - Pandan Leave Chicken
Gai Hor Bai Toey - Pandan Leave Chicken IDR 39,000 (4 pcs)
Tom Yum Ta Lay - seafood tom yum soup with mushrooms. Inside the tom yum soup are some prawns, squid, clams, and lots of mushrooms (see them floating at the surface?). The soup gravitates toward sweet end of flavours, and it was really spicy. If you're not into spicy food, request for the mildest level of chili. The small portion is good enough to share among 2 or 3 persons.

Pla Lard Prik - fried snapper with hot Thai Chili. My Mum gave it a 'nod' which is a major compliment, as she is such a picky eater when it comes to dining outside. The fish was fresh and well fried, although the chili was a tad too much for us to handle (good news for chili lovers!). Best to eat this with the warm plain rice!
Tom Yum Ta Lay - seafood tom yum soup with mushrooms
Tom Yum Ta Lay - seafood tom yum soup with mushrooms IDR 49,000 (small) IDR 68,000 (large)
Tom Yum Ta Lay - seafood tom yum soup with mushrooms
Pla Lard Prik - fried snapper with hot Thai Chili
Pla Lard Prik - fried snapper with hot Thai Chili IDR 69,000 (fillet / portion)  OR IDR 148,000 / fish
Left: Ta Ko Sa Khu - steamed tapioca pudding with corn | Right: Thai Iced Tea and Thai Iced White Coffee
Left: Ta Ko Sa Khu - steamed tapioca pudding with corn IDR 16,000 (4 pcs)
Right: Thai Iced Tea IDR 25,000 | Thai Iced White Coffee IDR 25,000
About sometime after running in Jakarta, Ying Thai came up with a few non-Thai menus: Gyutandon and Pork Knuckle! Curious right? I was skeptical about it at first, like how well can they do it? Plus I'm not a huge fan of tongue, so it would take a lot more to impress me. But oh, my prejudice was all gone after the first bites!

Ying Thai PIK (www.culinarybonanza.com)
Absolutely recommended: Ying Thai's Gyutandon Rice Bowl. It's the perfect tenderness of gyutan, with the right level of umami & spicy. It claims to be the closest version to Menya's famous gyutandon, although I have yet proven that claim for myself. I didn't remember the price, but I remember I was impressed by the price for the quality & quantity they served.
Ying Thai PIK (www.culinarybonanza.com)
Pork Knuckle - this is truly delightful! I didn't understand how they manage to make such thick slab of knuckle so tender and juicy and yet uber crispy outside. I enjoyed the meat plain as much as with the fish sauce. Highly recommended!
Ying Thai is definitely more affordable than other Thai restaurants found in the shopping malls. As for quality of service and taste wise, they are on par, for much less money. So, does it matter if Ying Thai Indonesia is an unofficial copy of the one in Melbourne? I really couldn't care less and despite the warning about the 'poor quality' or 'bad unoriginal taste', I did not fall sick after eating here and the restaurant is still packed with eager customers anyway.

Open Hours:
11 AM - 11 PM (daily)

Ying Thai Indonesia
Ruko Crown Golf Blok B No. 8 - 9
Pantai Indah Kapuk
Ph: +6221 29525756
Click here to open in Maps

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