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lost and found

Jup Jang Thai cafe/restaurant/whatever, Burke Rd Camberwell.

Melbourne certainly isn't short of Thai restaurants. There's a couple in every suburb, at least wherever I've lived. And while the suburban restaurants mightn't go for all the glamour of their CBD-based counterparts, there's a certain feeling of security in going back to the old familiar haunt, where everybody knows your name (or at least, your face).

Back in 1995, I moved out of home to a flat in Hawthorn. Just around the corner, on Burwood Rd, was a local Thai restaurant called Jup Jang that I came to know and love, for its simple tasty dishes, the music I could almost set my watch by, the array of wall decorations, and the coconut ice cream for dessert.

I moved house, to nearby Kew, in 1996, and we'd still come back for dinner there most weeks. Once I moved away to the Caulfield area, it took a fair bit of effort to come all the way up to Hawthorn for Thai food, so my attendance slipped, apart from the odd pilgrimage or two when I felt I just had to come back, or to bring a new girlfriend there to eat at one of my favourite old restaurants, or whatever. The last time I tried this, with Mavis, it'd all changed. Different staff, different name, but same location. I was a little disappointed, and hadn't made the connection with the Jup Jang Thai cafe I'd seen a suburb or two away in Camberwell (I thought "oh, it must just be a popular name for a Thai restaurant or something").

I was rather surprised then, to turn up to Jup Jang in Camberwell last night for a friend's "welcome home from 2 years of working in the UK" dinner to find that it was the same place I'd known, loved and lost. She still remembered how much I liked the coconut ice cream. You can't buy these experiences...

* 16:45 * food and drink