By Min Yan
For all the claims that we make about being the culinary epicentre of Asia, it isn't all that easy to find Thai food in Singapore that's not of the manufactured, over-commercialised or Thai Express variety.
Good, authentic Thai food that isn't served in some sleazy corner of Orchard Towers has eluded us thus far. That is, until we unearthed these four locales that have excited our tongues more than a bowl of tom yum goong ever could.
If you would rather your Thai food be more high-end than street fare, Kha, designed by award-winning designer Hecker Guthrie, satisfies your gastronomic cravings.
Far from being an upmarket eatery that butchers the authenticity of a cuisine in the name of creativity, Kha gives Thai food a modern spin, whilst retaining all the goodness that we all know and love about Thai fare.
The yam tang, poached chicken and pomegranate salad with cucumber, herbs, greens and cashews is an unusual take on the ubiquitous Thai salad, crunchy and refreshing thanks to the use of pomegranate seeds and toasted cashews. A variety of exotic cocktails are also available.
The things that we endure for good food! In the case of First Thai, the highly popular Thai restaurant tucked away at the end of Purvis Street, its less than hospitable service and unappealing interiors may be overlooked once the food hits the table. Patience is rewarded here in the form of some of the most well-executed Thai cuisine you can find in Singapore.
The tom yum goong is a prime example: the dish comes in a seemingly innocuous, clear broth that quickly sheds its innocent appearance once you taste the wickedly hot and tangy soup. The chefs here are also generous with the seafood in the tom yum goong; the soup is practically a meal of its own. Delicious.
It's all about the fun, friends, good Thai food and beer at the charmingly boisterous Tawandang Microbrewery, which opened its second branch (after its Dempsey outlet) at Suntec City, taking the place of the snooty Balaclava.
Although home to some of the best German beer in the city (they were awarded Best Thai German bar and restaurant in the world by Time Magazine — who knew there was more than one?), the Thai food at Tawandang holds its own against the drink list. The food is unpretentious, hearty and served with a good dose of Thai hospitality.
The live band, which plays covers of pop tunes and the occasional (for some reason) Cantonese song, is surprisingly entertaining.
Yhingthai Palace Restaurant
Yhingthai's seemingly Chinese-influenced decor is a bit disconcerting upon arrival, but the comfortably furnished eatery, which sits in an unobtrusive corner of Purvis Street, holds the honour of being one of the best Thai food restaurants in Singapore.
Like Kha, Yhingthai adopts the modern take on authentic Thai cuisine, creating surprising dishes like the fried papaya salad, delightfully tangy and spicy, as well as the robust fish maw soup.
Don't forget to save room for dessert. The traditional mango with sticky rice is sublime here.
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Finally, indulge in specially prepared pre-theatre menus at the Marina Bay Sands restaurants