Thai-red Of Not Knowing Any Thai Spots?

Thai-red Of Not Knowing Any Thai Spots?

After the K-wave pushed out all the fledging Thai restaurants, you may be wondering where you can head to for your next tom yum fix. Don’t worry, I gotchu fam!
Mystickal / Melly W
Mystickal / Melly W

[ Updated Review: Go for Chi-Thai Food; Avoid if you want authentic Thai ] Been a r e a l l y long while since I was at Royal Thai Boat Noodles! The last time I was here it was with my fam, and after a so-so a la carte meal, decided we preferred going to our usual Thai haunts instead.

Since I covered this place in detail before (on my Insta), this is just a quick update on their fare.

Believe it or not, despite having visited multiple times ages back, I’ve never had their boat noodles! I recalled multiple people telling me it was one of their signatures — unsurprisingly given how the place is named after that dish — so I guess that’s my dinner!

A certain someone initially wanted something off their SG-Thai fusion menu, but since that entire selection was unavailable (yes, all of it), he got their grilled chicken (gai yang) + sticky rice instead. To share, the table had multiple orders of moo ping (basically pork satay tenderised with coconut milk), and because a certain someone and I barely had food all day, we also got stuffed wings and prawn cakes.

Initial experience was a little frustrating because the servers could not ID which of the boat noodles were beef and which were pork (you do n o t want to mix those up, welp). That eventually got fixed (without any apology or explanation) but also meant that my bowl was lukewarm and the oil was congealed up top. So what was initially a pretty mediocre bowl became even less palatable.

The portion size was fair for the boat noodles, and the amount of beef was proportionate to the noodles. However, the flavour profile left a lot to be desired: If you love lard regardless of cuisine, you’ll dig this. Even accounting for the length of time my noodles sat, there’s no way my soup could taste solely like lard and nothing else! (Nope, not even the slightest hint of the usual spices like lemongrass.) Incredibly disappointing.

The gai yang fared slightly better, with the chicken well-grilled and smoky on the outside, but quite scratchy and dry otherwise. As for the rice — very obviously Thai variety, yay — it arrived in a very cute bamboo container! But beyond that, it had a strange texture (think a cracker that’s been left out for a tad too long without any of the sweet, moist interior), which didn’t lend well to pairing with the protein.

As for the sides, the spring rolls (not pictured) hands down stole the limelight. Every single offered resounding crunches and had balanced flavours all around. The wings were pretty good too — nicely seasoned and tender with a taut exterior, but alas, was too small to really hold any decent filling. The mooping was quite meh as well — while tender, the cuts were quite fatty and oily. Finally, the item I was looking forward to the most, the prawn cakes (not pictured), were sadly mediocre: Despite their size, cutting them open revealed more flour than prawns, a far cry from the swollen, juicy ones they used to serve.

If I thought I was disappointed back then, man imagine my despair at the current quality here. As for how they do a constant busy crowd, don’t ask me — the lack of competition and the presence of drinks probably helps. I’d have less to gripe about if they just called themselves a generic Thai spot and served food like this. However, if you want to call yourself a “royal” Thai restaurant while leveraging on Thai-Chinese flavours, you can’t blame me for being upset at the mismatch in expectations! (Also any Thai spot without a portrait of the King aka the patron saint of Thai kitchens present is a huge red flag to me, yikes.)

[@meltingflavours on Insta] I ramble about food. A lot. 📝Long posts | ❌🧀🍷🥛 ⛔️Do not repost⛔️

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