Sawadee-licious

Sawadee-licious

Thai cuisine that's all about extreme flavours!
Xing Wei Chua
Xing Wei Chua

Aroy-Dee Thai Kitchen is one of the places that we consistently go for lunches during the days where we work from the office — and for a good reason as well. Despite being a spot that one would probably expect to pay close to $10 or even above $10 for their meal, the set lunch deals here are particularly attractive for office folks like us — the set lunch deal isn’t particularly a “set” per se considering there are no drinks paired with the items, and that drinks come at an additional charge, but its pretty affordable at $5.90 before GST.

There are only a few items I would order here — the Pad Thai and Thai Basil Minced Pork Rice being the two others which I would personally consider having, but the Thai Green Curry Chicken is usually the item that most of us would order here. It’s flavourful; absolutely creamy yet slightly saltish with just a light hint of spiciness — the green curry being something which I would endlessly drench my rice in whenever I order this, despite how it probably comes laden with MSG (you can never be sure). Otherwise, it does come with a good portion of chicken chunks, while the long beans help give a crunch; the Thai basil gives off an alluring aroma that gives a good break between spoonfuls of rice drenched in the green curry.

Calling this the best Thai cuisine around the area would be a bit of a stretch, but Aroy-Dee Thai Kitchen’s set lunch is absolutely value-for-money — something that is pocket-friendly enough to be considered as a lunch option on any given week.

Visited the recently opened Super Thai by Soi Aroy — the Thai establishment located at Upper Aljunied Road near the Joo Seng neighbourhood is opened by the same folks behind Soi Aroy; one of my favourite Thai establishments best known for their Creamy Tom Yum Noodles and Thai-style Mee Pok which has outlets at both Sim Lim Square and Singapore Management University.

Serving up Thai cuisine communal-style, expect the usual selection of vegetables, poultry/meat, fish and noodle/rice options apart from curries and Tom Yum, as well as desserts. The Crispy Omelette with Crab Meat is one of the stand-out dishes that they have here (the other dishes we had were also equally good). The literal fried egg is not only airy and fluffy, but we found it to be immensely crispy even after being left at the table for a while — also not being in any way greasy as well. Add the crab meat atop, and it adds a distinct note of crustacean sweetness to the omelette; pretty fresh. Those who the dish to be a little dry can choose to have the egg with the Thai sweet chili sauce served on the side; not only adds moisture to dish, but also a hint of sweetness and spiciness to the omelette. Otherwise, enjoy the crispy omelette like how the folks at Thai Jing Jing had recommended me years ago; order a Clear Tom Yum Soup, add dip the omelette in for a dash of tanginess and spiciness.

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Made plans initially for another place within Dempsey but the failure of making a reservation and the impending downpour that occured saw me making an unplanned visit to this spot in Dempsey Hill which seems to be pretty buzzy, but rarely heard of on social media.

Noticed most of the other diners here are enjoying the brunch-y stuff, but I actually really was craving for some eggplant curry after having talked about eggplants in a conversation pretty recently. Being described on the menu as “Grilled Australian Eggplant, Kenyan Beans, Coconut Milk served with French Baguette (contains shrimp paste)”, this was the curry that I absolutely was craving for — thick and rich curry that was absolutely creamy from the coconut milk; a sweet, savoury and nutty mix of flavours that is absolutely luscious, without being overly spicy — would fit those with a moderate level of tolerance of spiciness very well. Loved how the eggplants were soft, while there are other elements such as the Kenya Beans and some onions that provides some crunch; the toast on the side being particularly apt for mopping up all that delicious curry with.

Must say that my mood was pretty much on a low point when I have reached here — doesn’t help that my shoes were waterlogged and having cross through parts which were “ponding”. But it’s also times like these that make me truly appreciative of having a warm serving of curry served on a pan, with a hot Piccolo by the side — certainly left the place in higher spirits than when I walked in!

Was being tipped off about this other Thai Kway Chap at Blk 75 Lorong 5 Toa Payoh Hawker Centre the other day when I had posted about Hanuman Thai Kway Chap; apparently Soi 555 Thai Kway Chap is also relatively new stall which had sprouted up slightly before the Circuit Breaker and serves only Thai Kway Chap in two different sizes (i.e. no sides)

Opted for the large bowl; both the small and large bowls come pretty much with the same condiments — roasted pork, boiled pork, pork balls and pig skin and an array of innards, though the large variant comes with more of each condiment in a bigger bowl of Kway Chap. The variant here reminds me of the Thai Kway Chap served at Yaowarat Thai Kway Chap at Kovan/Holland Village more than the one that I have had recently at Hanuman Thai Kway Chap — the broth significantly more on the peppery side; adding the Thai chili flakes will provide the broth with an extra kick of spiciness that burns the tongue even for those who have higher tolerance of spiciness, but oh-so-shiok. Coming with the rolled rice noodles typical of Thai Kway Chap, it’s easy to have and pretty fun to slurp on with the slippery rice noodles sometimes trapping the broth for more flavour. The variety of condiments were pretty decent overall; the deep-fried pork belly still maintaining its crispness while the other elements did not carry a porky stench and were pretty well-cleaned — the pig skin being almost jelly-like while the pork balls gave a bouncy bite amidst all the other meaty elements in the entire bowl. Dip the meaty elements into the accompanying chili dip available on the side at the stall for a spicy tang almost akin to that of the chili usually served with our local oyster omelette; absolutely on-point that cuts through all of that meatiness.

Pretty difficult for me to comment on the authenticity of the variant here considering I have never had the actual version from Thailand before, but Soi 555 Thai Kway Chap does make for a good alternative for Yaowarat Thai Kway Chap especially for those living around the area considering how they are pretty much comparable to one another.

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Been looking for a Thai Kway Chap that can match up to that or Yaowarat Thai Kway Chap’s rendition — came across Hanuman Thai Kway Chap which is opened by the same folks behind Hanuman Thai Cuisine.

While the portion here would possibly work better with smaller appetites, what I really enjoyed here was the broth that the Thai Kway Chap came with. My impression of Yaowarat Thai Kway Chap’s rendition is somewhat clean, but more on the peppery side which gives a fiery kick once the chili flakes are added; the rendition here is still peppery, but a little more balanced with a hint of light sweetness likely to have come from fish sauce that runs at the back of the tongue. As with other Thai Kway Chap out there, the rice noodles are rolled for easy eating; also traps a little bit of that broth for a better flavour as one slurps the rice noodles. A pity that the Thai Kway Chap was missing of my favourite Thai Fish Sausage — the item being unavailable as Thailand’s borders have yet to reopen for exports. That being said, I liked how they had replaced the Thai Fish Sausage with more Deep Fried Thai Pork Belly slices and Thai Boiled Pork Belly — a thoughtful touch especially for those whom usually dislike innards like me; the former was a good balance of lean and fatty meat with a crispy exterior and all savoury, while the latter was surprisingly free from any undesirable porky stench and was exceptionally succulent.

Must say that this was something that I pretty much liked; wouldn’t mind going for the plain Kway Chap to share the sides when I revisit and hopefully the Thai Fish Sausage would be available by then. A place worth making the trip for!

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Yet another one of those coffeeshop stalls that had opened during the Circuit Breaker, Pratunam Famous Thai Chicken & Pork Leg Rice is a new stall located at 27A Coffee Shop along Lorong 27A Geylang that serves up mainly Thai Chicken Rice and Pork Leg Rice.

The Combo is the one to get if you are looking to have the best of both worlds — coming with White Chicken, Pork Leg, Shallots, Braised Egg and Crispy Pork Lard, it is actually pretty generously-sized for its price at $8.90; a good portion of meat that blankets the bed of rice beneath; great to share especially for smaller eaters. Liked how the both meats are deboned for the convenience of the patrons; the meats are both done equally well — the White Chicken while coming in almost a shredded form, remains to be chunky for meaty bite; tender and succulent with enough juices locked within so it’s nowhere dry. The Pork Leg comes drenched with a thick braised sauce that gives a savoury note; the texture of the meat was close to that of the White Chicken — pretty commendable especially considering it’s pork, while the skin comes slightly gelatinous and gives a contrast of texture, while the flavours are not in anyway gamey and the meatiness works well with the savouriness of the braised sauce that further elevated the dish. Beneath, the rice is pretty similar to that of our local chicken rice; one that seems to be cooked with chicken stock and bears an aromatic whiff that pairs well with the zippy chili sauce that comes with quite a kick. The inclusion of preserved vegetables helped to add a tangy crunch that cuts through the meatiness, while the coriander provides a refreshing note that goes especially well with the chili and rice. Crispy Pork Lard was fried pretty well; sufficiently crisp without feeling as though there is still grease trapped inside, nor did it carry any stench of overused oil. The braised egg was probably the only element that felt more pedestrian in the bowl — still something that is good to have for those who must have their braised egg at every given opportunity.

Perhaps a little pricey for the ‘hood, but something refreshing indeed for a change!

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From Ying Thai, which co-shares a space with Thong Aik Coffee which had also recently opened its doors just slightly before the Circuit Breaker at Blk 78 Indus Road.

While only Ying Thai’s offerings are available during dinner service with only a pretty limited variety of individually portioned dishes available, we left Ying Thai more impressed than our initial expectations before walking in.

The Basil Minced Pork with Rice may be a fairly standard Thai dish to most but the execution here makes it a winner — amidst that all familiar flavours of stir-fried minced pork in fish sauce that provides the popular Thai dish with its savoury note, there is a slight pepper-ish hint that binds the sauce together with the spiciness provided with the chili. That punch of spiciness, along with the pepper-ish notes gives the dish a punch even at “normal” spiciness level (there is also a Extra Spicy option that sounds exceptionally shiok), while the basil lends its signature aroma to provide the dish with its distinct flavour. Liked how the various ingredients are also seemingly well-portioned here to give enough bite and crunch for a variety of textures — absolutely delightful with the sauce going oh-so-well with the rice and providing it with ample flavour.

Noticed how everyone who did takeaways during our meal there have ordered their Tom Yum Soup with Rice (available in chicken and seafood) — probably something to try out the next time I end up here. A new kid on the block that’s definitely worth looking out for!

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Heard about Kra Pow Thai Street Food’s latest outlet at Chinatown Point; the very same Kra Pow that is known for their Drunkard Noodles at Far East Plaza indeed. The new outlet not only boasts a bigger seating area, but also seems to offer a slightly bigger menu from what I remembered from my last visit to their Far East Plaza outlet in a while.

Glad to say that the Drunkard Noodles (Pork) was as impressive as used to be — slurpy, flat rice noodles that comes lightly savoury; incredibly peppery and also carried a distinct smokiness. Always liked how the Drunkard Noodles (Pork) here comes with bits of beans and minced pork laced with the noodles, providing a meaty bite and a good crunch in between — no doubt satisfying both in terms of flavour and texture. Pretty glad that there is another great dining option in this area!

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From Rung Reuxng Thai Food; a newly-opened food court stall at Broadway Coffeeshop Sim Lim Square. Must say that this rendition of the classic Thai dish really left quite an impression — a generous portion of rice matched with just enough meat to go around; the stir-fried basil minced pork not only being savoury from the fish sauce, but also carried a medley of flavours such as that of the basil and the Chili for a spicy kick to tickle the taste buds. A pretty well-balanced mix of flavours overall, which makes this rendition a pretty palatable one — something which I would consider having again when I am here (which is pretty often anyway, I would say!).

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Checked out the new Kor Kai at myVillage @ Serangoon Gardens, opened by the same folks behind Unyongkordai at South Bridge Road and taking over the former premises of GuThai Noodle Bar within the mall.

Being one of the items that intrigued us when we skimmed through the menu, patrons can choose to pair it up with a Thai Papaya Salad, or just with white rice. Really liked how the chicken was carrying a light and crisp skin on the exterior, while the meat is just so juicy and succulent with a savoury note. The skin comes with peppercorns for a slight tinge of spiciness; being more for flavour rather than for the heat, the spiciness is pretty mild and should be acceptable to those who have lower tolerance to spiciness. The accompanying chili on the side was also splendid; almost akin to those commercially-produced crispy chili (老干妈) yet with a sauce that carries a savoury note that also had the consistency of Thai chili sauce. Pretty amazing, and something which I would most certainly have again.

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Had always wanted to try Soi Thai Kitchen for a while having heard good stuff about their other outlets at Serangoon Gardens and Jurong West — just had to give it a go having come across the outlet at JCube. Really like the Drunken Noodles here; unlike the variant served at Kra Pow which comes with wok hei and all spicy and peppery, the one served at Soi Thai Kitchen comes with slurpy kway Teow cooked in a sweet sauce that comes with a refreshing hint of lemongrass (?). Included with the noodles are some greens and baby corn for some crunch, some chunks of chicken for a meaty bite, and chili for an extra kick of spiciness — a pretty delicious affair that comes with a multitude of flavours; something which carries a great contrast of flavours which we would certainly be back for more again when the craving hits.

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From Jok Jok Mor; a new Thai establishment that replaced Jewel Cafe + Bar at Rangoon Road which specialises in Thai-style claypot porridge.

Going for the Mak Kum, all porridge choices on the menu are also available in the form of Mama Noodles; a great choice for those who prefer noodles over grains. Described as the porridge with a "distinctive zingy and refreshing porridge broth", the broth oh the Mak Kum actually includes tamarind juice as an ingredient to provide its lightly tangy flavour amidst the savoury note it carries by its own. The porridge comes default with elements such as pork ribs, minced pork, crab stick and egg; the minced pork providing a meaty bite and a contrast in the textural aspect of the dish, while the pork ribs add to that meatiness by providing a chunkier bite that is pretty tender with a chew. The egg, despite lacking a molten yolk, was still largely soft and a welcomed addition to the porridge, while the pork lard could have been better if it was more crisp; a little too soft and limp for my liking. Adding the chili flakes on the side is a must; helps to give it that fiery kick of spiciness that antes up the zingy notes of the porridge broth. Had not been to Thailand before, and certainly had not seen a similar item around but probably a good place to experience what Thai-style claypot porridge is all about.

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Up, down and everywhere around for food.

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