The Land Of Smiles

The Land Of Smiles

Although you may not be able to go to Thailand, you can still smile in sunny Singapore thanks to these eateries that serve up tantalizing Thai food.
Russell Leong
Russell Leong

I’ve had @ccthaifood Garlic Fried Pork with rice before, and while the deep fried pork belly was supremely satisfying, the grease level got out of hand halfway through. I found myself wishing that they put a side of tart mango salad to keep the fatty deep fried pork from being surfeiting, but I didn’t realise that Cool Cool Thai already had the solution on their menu.⠀

Their Fried Pork Belly Salad does cost a little more at six dollars (and an extra seventy cents for rice), but it resolves all of the grease control problems the rice version has. The same delectable, deep fried pork belly slices are now tossed in a Thai salad mix of raw red onions, shredded carrots, coriander/cilantro (DISGUSTANG), tomatoes and an unholy amount of Thai bird’s eye chilies all bound together by a sweet and mostly sour dressing.⠀

The incredibly sharp tartness of the dressing subdues the greasy tendencies of the pork belly effortlessly, and the strong sourness of the dressing gives way to the infernal, hellish heat of the chilies. These tiny Thai chilies are no joke, they are shockingly spicy and they WILL give you the sweats. Bracingly sour, slightly sweet and severely spicy? Yep, those are all the hallmarks of good Thai food.⠀

The pork belly had a charmingly crispy rind and each slice had a titillating thickness to boot. However, you don’t really have time to ponder the merits of the deep fried pork belly before you get slapped around by the stupefying spiciness. As much as this salad hurt me at both ends, I’d still order this again.⠀

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#takeawayszn isn’t over yet, and many F&B establishments are still serving up tremendous takeaway deals. @lotusthaisingapore whips up a gnarly garlic chicken set for $10.80 before GST, and it’s a fairly reasonable custom for some tantalising Thai cuisine.⠀

Besides the garlic chicken & rice, you get a clear tom yum soup on the side and a cup of the ubiquitous Thai iced milk tea. The clear tom yum soup contains nothing but a slew of shimeji mushrooms and a wedge of tomato, but it is astonishingly ambrosial. It’s salty and satisfyingly sour, pulling double duty as both the perfect palate cleanser and appetite whetter. Of course, shemeji ‘shrooms are always scrumptious, and it gets even better in a solid salty & sour soup.⠀

As for the main event, it certainly delights. The slices of deep fried chicken are seasoned very simply with salt & white pepper before it’s dredged in flour & deep fried with an abundance of garlic. As the name implies, it’s all about the awesomely aromatic fried garlic and the succulent chicken that’s perfumed with the aforementioned garlic. It’s so gloriously garlicky that it would probably outright kill any vampires skulking in the shadows.⠀

For $10.80, you could do a lot worse than getting some titillating Thai garlic chicken for lunch. Get some. Then get more. With Lotus Thai’s garlic chicken, you’re a winner.

Ten bucks before tax & service charge for this piquant plate of fried rice with honest to god crabmeat in there? Shoot son, get me more! @khaohomsg has an ample array of fried rice, and this one commands the highest premium of them all. Yup, they’re in the eight to ten dollar range. That’s some sick value right there.⠀

The fabulously fluffy fried rice is splendidly salted, with the wonders of wok hei amplifying the stellar seasoning of the egg & spring onion speckled rice. As for the crabmeat, they were delectably fresh and cooked competently. It relies more on the strongly seasoned fried rice for flavouring, and that’s perfectly alright.⠀

Not gonna lie to you folks, the #burpplebeyond selection at @khaohomsg is pretty limited. You can pick from the salads, stir fries & rice/noodle section, but any and all seafood is completely off the table. A little bit of a bummer, given that Khao Hom seems to be a seafood specialist.⠀

Fortunately, you can get the Kao Ka Moo ($9++) with Burpple Beyond. Despite having ‘Moo’ in the name, there’s no bovine here, and is actually the Thai version of braised pork knuckles. It’s done decently, with tender, moist meat that’s satisfyingly salty & herbaceous from the braising. The skin is fantastically fatty & wobbly, with collagen in copious supply just under the skin.⠀

As for the other dish, it’s a simple stir fried mixed vegetable dish ($10++). A variety of veggies are stir fried over infernal heat with what tastes like oyster sauce till perfection, and in this case, simplicity sufficiently satisfies.⠀

Thank you for having us, @burpple & @khaohomsg!

Khao Hom by Rung Mama (@khaohomsg) has recently set up shop in Djitsun Mall, a short stroll away from AMK Hub. I’ve been hearing lots of my fellow Burpplers screaming “whoa mama” over the first concept, Dee Tongue Thai by the same mama, so I was moderately hyped to try some Thai.⠀

Their Tom Yum Talay ($12++) was terrifically titillating and I finally began to grasp the endless extolments of Rung Mama and her delectable goodies. It’s unflinchingly, authentically Thai with its feisty fieriness & sharp sourness, and it will take some getting used to unless you’re an unrepentant Siam-o-phile.⠀

Within the bowl of splendidly spicy, sour & salty soup resides a mushroom medley alongside a seafood salmagundi. Portly prawns (that are fortunately mostly deshelled), springy squid and some sliced fish are the denizens of this tantalising tom yum soup. They are amply numerous to the point where you could just get a bowl of rice with a bowl of this tom yum soup, and you’d be golden.⠀

Rung Mama? More like Whoa Mama. Thanks for hosting us, @burpple& @khaohomsg!

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Note to self: if I ever dine at @izyfook again, bring a full lighting crew. The lighting in there is perfect for a little romantic dinner & a little PDA hanky panky for couples, but it’s a bleeding nightmare for my iPhone that’s at least three generations behind to shoot in. Anyway, my photo is awful, but Izy Fook’s Iberico Red Curry ($38++) is absolutely awesome.⠀

Even though it was a cut of pork shoulder that was used, the meat was marvellously marbled with fat and it showed in the ludicrous juiciness of said pork. It was scandalously soft & was close to melting in my mouth, and each chew brought me within touching distance of carnivore nirvana.⠀

The redolent red curry pays homage to its Thai origins with a hearty whiff of lemongrass perfumed all throughout the creamy curry, and is satisfyingly spicy to match. The curry is utterly umami, with the creamy concoction being perfectly balanced between spicy, salty & sweet. Also, it’s a chunky one, and the curry’s mouthfeel is heavy, creamy, luscious & delightfully velvety. The eggplant & potatoes within the curry add sweetness & starchiness to the already sublime curry, but I kind of regret not ordering a bowl of plain rice to mop up all of that highly coveted curry.⠀

But really, the main element that makes this dish worth the eye watering asking price of forty bucks is the ponderous portion of perfectly cooked pork shoulder. It’s so fantastically fatty & flavourful that I couldn’t get enough of it despite its respectable size. This dish sure as hell ain’t Izy on the wallet, but finally, some good Fookin food.⠀

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Alright, I’m drunk, I’m on Burpple and I’m trying to write a somewhat coherent review, so this is gonna be a fast game.

Right! So, Soi Thai has grilled pork neck available on its menu as a ‘signature’ item. I can tell you right now even through my alcohol impaired buzz that the grilled pork neck truly deserves that ‘signature’ tag affixed to it.

If you’ve never had the good fortune of savoring Thai style grilled pork neck, boy you are in for a treat. Think the lean qualities of a pork loin combined with the gluttonously gratifying fatty qualities of a cut of pork belly, and grilled to charcoal charred, delicious perfection, and you’re there. Sure, it’s might just be a little too oily for the more health conscious, finicky diners out there, but I swear on God it’s obscenely juicy and stupendously delicious. It’s a little like eating a very pleasant gelatin blob, but there’s that majestical meatiness at the end to stir your loins. Plus, did I mention just how deliriously delicious it is due to all that tantalizing Thai seasoning, and that shamefully inadequate chili sauce dip back there?

Lemme tell y’all right now, this plate of porcine is well worth sticking your neck out for.

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$8 for a quartet of deep fried prawn cakes is decent value, and the value is boosted even further with just how sumptuous these prawn cakes are.

These large, plump prawn cakes are coated with a beautiful batter and deep fried to a gentle golden brown. The prawn filling within is moist, bouncy and downright delicious with a nice mix of spices and seasonings in the mix.

The only real gripe I had about these phat prawn cakes is that there isn’t enough of that sweet, tangy chili on the side to smother these prawn cakes in. Other than that, these prawn cakes were super seductive prawn stars.

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No, it ain’t Shady, but Thai Jing Jing is back just like the Backstreet Boys. So my favorite Thai food joint has finally resurfaced after abruptly pulling a David Copperfield years ago, and it’s about damn time.

The deep fried garlic pork tastes exactly the way I remembered it, which is a truly wonderful thing. The fabulous flavors are still present and accounted for, and it might just even be even more gloriously garlicky than before.

But now that it pimp slaps my wallet for $8 instead of $5 for the exact same portion, it’s not really worth it anymore unfortunately.

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Going to a Thai eatery without ordering tom yum is like going to a beerhouse and ordering a soda instead of beer, so I certainly couldn't leave without ordering one bowl of Rocky Fish's off the menu seafood tom yum, priced very affordably at $6.

It was more fish and prawn tom yum than seafood due to Squidward's conspicuous absence from the soup, but it was still super satisfying. The flavor is quintessential Thai cuisine, with the trademark, stinging sourness putting your saliva glands into overdrive and heightening your sense of taste. It also possesses the prerequisite level of spicy heat that was enough to cause beads of sweat to form on my forehead. In short, the soup was simply splendid, and I slurped it up with gusto.

The pair of prawns lurking in the soup were plump and pleasantly fresh, while the entire school of sliced fish cohabiting with the prawns and the soft enoki mushrooms, were tender and felicitously fresh. Better yet, the fish managed to absorb some of that stellar, spicy sapidity into itself.

For a half dozen dollar coins, you too can sweat it out and enjoy a taste of Thailand that's full of fishy goodness.

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Taking over from where the Filipino lechon stall left off in the same coffeeshop as Ponggol Nasi Lemak along Upper Serangoon Road, Rocky Fish is a brand spanking new Thai stall with a tiny menu that's focused on fish, chicken and pork.

Their BBQ Meat Platter ($12), touted on the menu as a trio of tender barbecued pork, chicken and pork rib served with tamarind sauce on the side, certainly lives up to its boasting. The slices of chicken and pork on the board are juicy, tender and chock full of smoky, savory meaty goodness. But what really steals the show is that lone solitary pork rib right at the back. It's the juiciest and most tender of the trio, as the inherent fattiness of the rib keeps the meat moist and juicy during the barbecue. As the meat is cooked on the bone, the flavor is even heavier and the amount of flavor present in every bite is simply stellar. All the meat is then topped with crushed nuts for an extra crunch and an extra element of nuttiness to complement the savory meatiness. The mildly spicy and tantalizingly tangy tamarind sauce gives every piece of meat an extra edge and it just lifts and enhances the already fabulous flavor profile.

When I return for seconds, I'm going to demand an entire rack of that mouthwatering pork rib. There's no need to place bets, I can guarantee that I can't stop at one.

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Ah Loy Thai has been well known for dishing out Thai classics at a bargain. And they certainly continue to carry on with their legacy even after an upgrade to their new joint at Tan Quee Lan with tasty Thai treats.

Their gratifying glass noodles were loaded with fantastic flavor, and they didn't skimp on the plump seafood either. The pandan leaf wrapped chicken was satisfactorily tender and juicy, while the lightly seasoned poultry within came with an insistently pleasant scent of pandan thanks to the aforementioned leaves wrapping the chicken.

The chunks of garlic pork were a little tough, but they made up for that shortcoming with their deliciousness, and they were oddly enough, best enjoyed with the slightly spicy fried basil leaves with minced pork.

However, the real star of the show was the platter of lemon fish which set us back only $10.50! Succulent, fresh fish mingled with the spicy, zesty and sweet lemon broth that's like your standard lemon chicken sauce but way better. The lemon broth really had us hooked, and we were sipping it as if it was a soup (which it could very well be).

All these Thai dishes were undeniably tasty, and the grand total for this simple yet satisfying meal was $10 per pax.

#burpplebestbugis

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Alcohol may not be good for my body, but my body is good for alcohol.

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