I came across Cumin Thai Restaurant accidentally while trying to find a place for dinner with friends. Living in different directions of the city, I had to find a suburban restaurant in the middle of eastern Melbourne. I found this little Thai place the net. The website wasn't too detailed, which can be off putting in this hi-tech world, but having to choose from either this or another place 10kms away, I was willing to take the chance (or be blamed for it for the rest of the night).
The restaurant is hidden among a line of shops in suburban Kooyong. You'd almost certainly miss it if you were casually driving around the area. Funnily enough, the locals love the place, and I'm sure they aim to keep it their little secret. You should however book in advance, as it can get quite busy.
Cumin Thai is neatly decorated, with Thai art and monuments placed throughout the restaurant, so not to overwhelm the senses. It has a warm feeling to it, but the decor isn't so much different to any other Thai restaurant. Ok, so I think I'm probably loosing you here, but here's the deal. This place has delicious Thai food. Yes. Delicious.
It has a great choice for vegetarians as well, with the staff actually knowing the ingredients in the dishes, which I applaud (Yes, it's quite frustrating when the staff are as unaware as you to what the dish consists of, especially if you're as picky as me - no fish sauce please).
For starters, the girls loved the Pandan Chicken, whereas I stuck to the safe spring rolls, which weren't too bad, but nothing spectacular either. However, for the main dishes, I highly recommend the green curry and the stir frys, especially the Pad Kaprao. The food is really filling, and flavorsome, from the steaming jasmine rice to the different exotic curries blended with spices and coconut milk, this place has it covered.
We also noticed a practice here that I wish more restaurants would start to follow. Instead of serving a big bowl of rice at each table, the waitresses came around and gave you as much as you needed, so not to waste. I'm always wary of how 'fresh' the rice at these places are, and hoping it hasn't been R&R'ed either (recycled and reheated).
Overall, this place is crisp and not overdone in appearance. The food is delicious, especially the stir frys. The staff are always on the ball and the price is not inflated.