There’s definitely a trend going on here...
‘Shopping centre cuisine’ used to mean either KFC or movie popcorn, but more and more top chefs are starting the realize the potential of all those hungry mouths in once place. We’ve seen it with Abacus All Day at Eastland, and now we’ve got Miss Ping’s popping up in Westfield Doncaster.
Miss Ping’s is the latest neon Thai adventure from Thailander owner Winnie Chiang (you would have seen these guys on Little Collins St in the CBD). The concept is pretty similar to Thailander really—take traditional Thai dishes, then crank the wok up to 11.
The signature dish here is the Som Tam—Thailand’s famous green papaya salad. In Thailand these things can be lethally spicy, but Winnie is slinging six Som Tam variants here, none of which will send you screaming for a gallon of milk. Just pick your protein—prawns, chicken satay, or something like the Som Tam Issan (a Northeastern variant made with pickled crab, peanuts and pork crackling).
The menu is adventurous and expansive, travelling up and down the country and covering pretty much everything: sour Tom Yum noodle soup, Massaman beef curry (packed with your 5-a-day serve of potatoes) or betel leaf entrees topped with crispy prawns, chilli and salted caramelised peanuts (these are dangerously good).
You’ll need something to quench that fire (probably three-quarters of the menu features some kind of chilli). We recommend some of the Thai iced-teas—refreshing mouth coolers like lychee, peach and Thai Milk Tea, all heavy on the ice. You can also get pina coladas (topped with coconut ice cream) and something called Phuket Paradise (sounds like a club we know...) That’s blended coconut juice mixed with your choice of fresh fruit.
Perhaps the most surprising thing about Miss Ping’s is the view. You usually have to visit Sky High Mt Dandenong for this kind of 'everything-the-light-touches' panorama. We’re talking floor to ceiling windows in the dining room, facing west, with views all the way to the distant CBD. A solid date night choice if you’re heading to a movie at the nearby Village Cinema.
Image credit: Miss Ping's