Sunday, 31 August 2014

Singapore Food Adventures: Thai Food

Ah, to fall in love all over again!

The first time I had Thai food was at a local restaurant about 12 years back. At that time Thai food had not gained popularity in my little corner of Mumbai (Thane). So they served only two dishes, the quintessential Red Thai Curry and Green Thai Curry. I fell in love with the creamy and coconuty spiciness of the curries with the first fiery spoonful. And the love affair never stopped.

Now that I've been to Singapore with a better understanding of Thai food and more adventurous tastebuds, I've fallen in love all over again with this cuisine. These are the dishes in Thai cuisine that have made my tastebuds sing Hallelujah! 


Stir Fried Greens

Stir Fried Greens

There is one thing all of us agreed on, Thai cuisine really knows how to treat vegetables. This dish used only oil, slowly browned garlic and salt as spices. However, the main taste in the dish was the fresh, original flavour of the greens themselves. It may seem simple but it will require quite some experience to get the balance just right! 

Thai Pineapple Fried Rice
Thai Pineapple Fried Rice

This is fried rice taken to another level. Thai sticky rice is stir fried with vegetables, egg (optional), fried cashews, hint of turmeric and diced fresh pineapple. The pineapple adds a delicate fresh sweetness to this dish that is enhanced by the slight pungency of the turmeric. The vegetables and fried cashews add a crunchy texture to the rice that sticks to your teeth. And when it comes to your table served in a pineapple boat, you can't stop smiling at it!

Pad Thai

Pad Thai

Pad Thai is a popular street food. It is believed to be introduced to Thailand by Vietnamese traders. Soaked rice noodles are stir fried with bean sprouts, cut up tofu, eggs (optional), vegetables and local sauces. It has the traditional Thai taste profile with a balance of sweet, sour, pungent and salty. 


Thai Dessert: Black Glutinous Rice with Thai Mango in Vanilla Sauce

Black Glutinous Rice with Thai Mango in Vanilla Sauce

Believe it or not, the black sticky rice is black in colour naturally. There are no food colours added to it. I had seen this dessert on a food show and was intrigued by how popular a dessert made of black rice was. Now I completely understand the why! The sticky sweet rice simply melts in your mouth. Have it with the mango and vanilla sauce and there is a burst of different kinds of sweet flavours in your mouth. 


Lemongrass Juice
Lemongrass Juice

If you think lemon juice is great, you're going to flip over lemongrass juice. That's what happened to me. It has the citrusy flavour of lemons and lemongrass without the sour taste of lemons. This drink hits the right notes for me. 

Where to Eat Thai Food in Singapore?

For the Mains I found the most authentic and pocket friendly Thai food at small restaurants in the Thai quarters near Nicoll Highway. I would recommend at least one visit there. Food courts in malls or outside specialising in South East Asian cuisine also serve good Thai food. For more pricier options, Bali Thai is a great place. 

For Desserts: Honeymoon Desserts located at Bugis junction has a wide range of Thai desserts.