Tasty Thai

Tasty Thai

Some of these remind of me of Thailand.
Siming T
Siming T

Mookata had rooted itself in the heartlands, particularly in coffee shops where spacious outdoor seating is available. With an easy portable stove and cast iron plate setup, what would make one Mookata better than the others would be based on either competitive pricing or tasty flavours.

Originally opened Bedok Central and now with an additional branch in Tampines, Jiak Mookata served up their a la carte plates of dishes from S$1.90 onwards. The flavours were on point one could get a really hearty meal at under S$30.00. Personally, I liked their Prawn Paste and their Garlic Sliced Pork, especially since the former had large chunks of prawns mixed in.

Though the dine-in restrictions had also put a toll on these coffee shop stalls, they also could provide a delivery service with all equipment included. Diners could still enjoy Mookata at home, and pack them up for the restaurant’s collection after the meal, at no additional costs. With the rainy season coming soon, this could be a good option to have a good time with friends and family over some tasty collagen soup and grilled marinated meats.

We all knew how textured and tasteless Thai durians can be, but with a touch of local and regional produces, the MSW Durian Sticky Rice (S$13.00) was a lot tastier, thanks to the richness and creaminess of the durian puree.

The sticky rice was probably cooked with natural butterfly pea flower dye to give the yellow flesh a contrast in colour, but the drizzle of coconut milk and the sesame seeds also gave the texture and taste a little uplift. As always, one would always ask why the cup was so small when the dessert was such a hit.

Better known as “Khao Phad Talay” in the native language, the Superior Seafood Fried Rice (S$18.00) was quite a tasty dish as it contained crab meat, prawns and conpoy, before garnished with some pork floss and coated with lots of crispy rice. Adding the latter created texture and bursting fragrance when chewed.

Portion-wise, this dish can be finished by one person if there were no other dishes to share on the dining table, but since I could apply Burpple Beyond offers here, it would be nice to also get a second Rice / Noodles dish just to try different foods within the same meal.

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A delightful bowl of rice noodles that came with beef slices, beef balls and a very tasty clear beef broth. I was almost fooled to believe that the Signature Australian Beef Boat Noodle (S$7.90) was actually Pho, but I thought maybe there was a bit more greens in the latter. And then I realised that the resemblance was only made possible because of a “No Chilli” option that I had selected from the ordering kiosk.

Beverages were also available at a fifty-cent discount when purchased together with the main.

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Perhaps appealing more to the lunch crowd in the vicinity, the dinner service on a weekday seemed to be quieter than I would expect. But I knew of Jai Thai as a restaurant serving authentic Thai food at affordable prices, so no surprise to how I would walk down Purvis Street to have this.

And so their Tom Yum Soup (S$8.00 for Small portion) had sufficient sour and spicy flavours to go with the relatively decent portion of seafood, including prawn, dory and squid, coupled with an assortment of mushrooms. Honestly, just one of this with a bowl of brown rice would be a satisfying dinner for me, only that I would subconsciously compare this with that from their Clover Avenue outlet...

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Better known as Seafood Otah in Coconut (S$18.90), I could not resist ordering this dish for the richness in coconut flavours. However, unlike what we were more familiar with, the Otah here would be more watery, but still spiced up and fabulous nonetheless.

Within the bowl of molten goodness, you would have two prawns, some squid and two slices of fish swimming. While some might not be too certain if this was worth the money, I would say that occasional indulgence was nothing to be ashamed of. After all, the food was good, as depicted from the steady stream of customers on a midweek dinner service.

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Literally all the good stuff in one pot of Tom Yum soup base, this S$108.80 medium hot pot impressed me with the wide range of premium seafood such as lobsters, clams, scallops, prawns, soft shell crabs, fish and more. The broth smelled very enticing, but yet quite forgiving in the level if spiciness to cater to people like me who were less tolerant to burning hotness.

Those who want something less explored by others could also try their Fish broth in place of the Tom Yum base, but I would really suggest going for that little more kick whenever possible.

The medium portion could easily feed 3 to 6 pax, so if a smaller size was desired, the small size would cost S$88.80.

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The restaurant was featured on a Channel 8 variety show for being an affordable Thai restaurant with a wide range of food. One of the dishes I ordered during my visit was the Boneless Stuff Chicken Wing (S$9.80), and I was really pleased with it. The wings were basically very thinly coated with batter and fried till very crispy. The stuffings at the mid-wing section was made of pork, mushrooms and carrots, which somewhat tasted really firm like there was a meatball glued into the wing.

Don’t forget to dip the wing into their Thai sweet chilli sauce for that extra oomph. Somehow, I think I can finish all of this by myself!

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I admit I am a sucker for Mango Sticky Rice whenever I come across one. No doubt I had tried this one too at Thai’d Me Up. The mango is quite sweet, the glutinous rice comes in a very manageable portion size, and the taste was, well, authentic (not too sure if anywhere else serves Mango Sticky Rice with deviated taste profile).

However, instead of sprinkling the crispy rice grains on the famous Thai dessert, the one I had came with white sesame seeds, and that changed the satisfaction level a bit. Although the sesame seeds still gives out a nice fragrance as I chewed, there seemed to be a slight mismatch of the sweetness against the fragrance. Factoring in the fact that their Mango Sticky Rice was sold at S$7.90, I might go for something else in the dessert menu if I were to revisit the next time.

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The Beef Kway Teow (S$13.90) was known to be Thai’d Me Up’s house special. Unlike the usual Kway Teow that has more “wok hei” than this one here, what I had was flat rice noodles that were still springy (i.e. not dry from the heat) that was mildly sweet, fried together with veggies, egg and tender sliced beef.

The strength of flavours was considered mild, but that did not equate to disappointment. In fact, the portion was seemingly good for one diner, with that little space in the stomach set aside for desserts. And while Thai’d Me Up offers privileges from the Entertainer app, I thought the overall satisfaction did not justify for the low Saturday lunch crowd.

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When Golden Mile Complex houses so many Mookata shops, this one is probably the most appealing to me. At a nett price of S$29.90 per pax, the charges cover everything at unlimited portions, including their mozzarella and nacho cheese dip, meats, seafood, frozen foods, vegetables, rice, noodles, drinks and ice cream. It is just so comprehensive and basically one is not allowed to say that they leave this place feeling less than bloated.

I felt that some of the marinated meats are really tasty, and the bland foods are just meant to be dipped into the cheese or satay sauce dips. However the satay sauce was really not fantastic, so I did not pay much attention to it.

If there is really a downside to dining here, I can only say that this downside applies to all Mookata restaurants over here: be prepared to feel grimy and smell oily.

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One of the renowned Thai restaurants for their variety and affordable dishes, Nakhon Kitchen serves pretty authentic Thai food that draws returning customers back for more.

I personally liked the clear-based Tom Yam Soup (S$6.00) for the oomph in the level of spicyness, balanced so well with the sourness of it. And if the spices gets a little too overpowering, vegetable dishes such as the Stir-Fried Kai Lan with Mushroom (S$6.00) makes wonders in neutralising the burning tongue.

For those who prefers to stay on the safe side, I believe the Pandan Leaves Chicken (S$6.00 for 4 pieces) will be highly recommended as the fragrance of the pandan leaves seems to have infused into the chicken chunks quite thoroughly.

In general, as long as the seafood dishes are not ordered, one can have a very good meal for under S$20.00.

First world problem: What to eat for the next meal?

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