Casual eateries serving Thai street food are springing up all over the island
If you’ve ever been to Bangkok and back, chances are, you’d miss your food hunts at Victory Monument, Chinatown or Sukhumvit 38 and the miles of tasty, inexpensive food you can find down those streets. Fret not. With more Thai street food eateries popping up in Singapore—and not just at Golden Mile Complex—there’s no dearth of good and affordable options to choose from. Here are some you can keep at the top of your list.
Opened in January, this café-style Thai eatery at Tan Quee Lan Street specialises in pork-based dishes. Some popular choices are Thai-style wanton mee ($7.90), made fragrant with the addition of fresh pork lard which they cook daily; braised pork knuckle noodle with gravy ($7.90) featuring tender slow-cooked pork topped with an egg; and tom yum noodle ($7.90). Tom yum is typically served as a soup, but it takes the form of a housemade sauce here, served with noodles and condiments like minced pork, long beans and crispy wanton skin.
Kin Moo has just one beef dish, a yellow curry beef brisket with rice or noodles ($9.50) that is packed with flavour after two hours of slow cooking. Chef Thanyaphad, who hails from South Thailand, introduces new dishes from time to time. One example is rice in soup, comprising pork radish broth and homemade meatballs topped with an egg and a pinch of preserved vegetables. This dish, similar to Teochew porridge, is a nod to the culinary influence of Teochew migrants in Thailand.
#01-02, 2 Tan Quee Lan Street; Tel: 6908 1896.
Started in 2008, Nakhon Kitchen is owned by Singaporean Benedict Ong. He had lived in Thailand for six years and wanted to bring the delicious flavours he enjoyed there to diners here. Almost a decade later, Nakhon has seven casual restaurant outlets located in the heartlands across the island: at Hougang, Bedok North, Ang Mo Kio, Pasir Panjang, Marine Parade, Holland Village and Yishun.
The restaurants offer a full range of dishes showcasing Central Thai, Northern Thai and Northeast Thai flavours. Some ingredients, such as blue ginger, are directly imported from Thailand for their unique aroma and flavour. Signature dishes on the menu include homemade Thai prawn cake ($12 for four pieces) made up of prawn, chilli paste, spring onion and fish sauce; stir-fried minced pork with hot basil leaves ($6) and crispy grouper topped with Thai chilli sauce ($22).
#01-341, 212 Hougang Street 21; Tel: 6286 8785
Newly minted in March this year, this Thai eatery is nestled below an HDB block at Toa Payoh. Accommodating 50 to 60 persons indoors and outdoors, the bright, airy diner is simply decked out in black, grey, white and wood.
Seafood items such as steamed seabass with Thai lime sauce ($19) and deep-fried seabass with homemade Thai chilli sauce ($19) are hot sellers. Singaporean owner Ang Wee Ling and her team of Thai chefs source their fish from a local kelong or fish farm, saying the stock they get is typically larger and 200g heavier than the typical sea bass. Another dish to try is claypot tang hoon with prawns ($10), steeped in a blend of oyster sauce, hua diao wine and various Thai herbs, and topped with five fresh, juicy prawns. Or go for the fried stuffed chicken wings with minced meat ($6.80 for three pieces), a crisp snack filled with juicy chunks of minced meat and crunchy water chestnut.
#01-130 Block 47, Lorong 6 Toa Payoh; Tel: 6266 4747.
Kuay teow ruea, or Thai boat noodles is the highlight here. It is so named because it was traditionally sold by vendors plying the canals of Bangkok on boats. To avoid spillage, boat noodles typically came in small portions. The dish comprises rice noodles, vegetables, pork or beef and is traditionally thickened with cow’s or pig’s blood. As pig’s blood is prohibited in Singapore, Gu Thai uses a combination of Thai herbs and fresh herbs instead to enrich the broth.
Have your boat noodles with pork or beef ($1.90 for small, $7.50 for large) or order their braised beef tendon noodle ($8.50). Gu Thai has branches at Pomo Mall, United Square, My Village@Serangoon and an upcoming one at Yishun’s North Point, decked out in a floating market concept.
#01-04 Pomo Mall, 1 Selegie Road; Tel: 3113 2003.
Opened last year in a little nook on the third floor of Far East Plaza, this hole-in-the-wall dishes up flavour-packed dishes below $10. Some of the must-tries here are drunken noodle pork ($7.90), a quick-and-easy kuay teow dish stir-fried with minced pork and cubed long beans; a flavourful pad Thai ($9.90) rich with wok-hei, and Thai stewed chicken soup noodle ($7.90) comprising stewed chicken wings and rice noodles in a light broth.
#03-89 Far East Plaza, Scotts Road; Tel: 6734 1946.
This was first published in Wine & Dine’s October 2017 – The Seafood Issue, Trending – ‘Sabai Supply’.