Yhingthai Palace @ Purvis Street
My family members and I love Thai food for its interesting marriage of spiciness, hint of sweetness and tanginess that whets the appetite. Our favourite Thai restaurant in Singapore is Yhingthai Palace.
Khao Tang Nah Tang @ S$10 (small)
Crispy Rice Crackers with Minced Chicken & Prawn Dip
One of my favourite Thai appetizers is Khao Tang Nah Tang. It's like a Thai version of Guacamole and Chips. The dip is fragrant with the sweetness of minced chicken and minced prawn cooked in a mildly spiced and slightly sweet-tasting coconut cream-based sauce.
I first tried this appetizer when I was on a business trip in Bangkok many years back. My Thai business associates had taken me to a local joint as they were determined to make me sweat (not from the heat of the weather, but from the heat of the chili). I had told them that I love spicy food and that I wanted to eat like the Thais do. My criteria: Not for farang (farang is the Thai word for foreigners). They were kind in ordering some milder dishes in case I couldn't handle the spiciness but I must have shocked them with the amount of chili that I ate during that meal as I added bird's eye chili (prik kii noo) to many of the dishes.
Here is a picture of a piece of rice cracker that I have slathered with the minced chicken and prawn dip. If you like chips & dips, this is a MUST-TRY!
Yam Woon Sen @ S$15 (small) & S$30 (large)
Thai Tang Hoon Salad (also known as glass noodles salad)
The portion that you see in this picture is a "small" serving of Tang Hoon Salad. We usually order a small portion first to pace ourselves and will order a second plate if we have room for more food. My family and I love the refreshingly tart flavour of the dressing in which the tang hoon (mung bean vermicelli) and seafood were tossed. The firm texture of the fresh prawns and squid added a nice crunch to the springy strands of tang hoon. We always seem to find room for a second serving of this dish as (1) the serving size isn't very big and (2) the tangy flavour stimulates our appetite for more. This is a MUST-TRY!
Tom Yam Talay @ S$6 per bowl
Seafood Tom Yam Soup
There are many variations of Tom Yam Soup as the recipe differs from region to region. We love the Tom Yam Soup here because the clear broth is delicately seasoned with the aromatic flavours of Lemongrass, Kaffir Lime (also known as Mottled Lime/Limau Purut) Leaves, Galangal (also known as Blue Ginger/Lengkuas in Malay & Kha in Thai) and Chili Padi. Coupled with the sweetness of seafood and chicken, this is a clear, piquant broth that warms both palate and tummy. The herbs used in this dish help with fighting the flu bug so, unless you can't take spicy food, this might just be the Asian version of "Chicken Soup for the Flu-Ridden".
Do not be fooled by the innocent-looking clear broth. It is spicier than some of the reddish-coloured versions that we often get at other Thai restaurants. I prefer clear Tom Yam Soup as the red ones indicate that nam prik prao, a sweetish-tasting Thai chili paste, was added. The most popular brand, Mae Pranom, is often used in many establishments for various dishes.
Tom Kha Gai @ S$6 per bowl
Coconut Milk Soup with Chicken & Galangal
This is similar to Tom Yam soup except that the flavour of galangal is stronger in this dish compared to the stronger flavour of lemon grass and kaffir lime in Tom Yam. The addition of coconut milk reduces the spice factor though it adds a fragrant and slightly richer dimension to the soup. It is often made with chicken (gai) or seafood (talay). This soup is recommended for those who have never had Tom Yam soup in their lives and are too "chicken" (no pun intended) to try it.
Kra Phoh Pla Nam @ S$8 per bowl
Fish Maw Soup
The Fish Maw Soup here is excellent. The thick soup has a rich flavour that is quite close to that of a good bowl of Thai-style shark's fin soup. I'm not a huge fan of fish maw (fish gas bladder) but those who like fish maw seem to enjoy the chunks that dot the soup. At S$8 for a rice bowl-sized serving, this is a pretty good deal especially the soup is not watered down and is enhanced by the addition of dried scallops. One can enjoy a flavour that is close to that of shark's fin soup without hurting any sharks in the process.
Peek Kai Sord Sai @ S$3 per piece
Deboned Chicken Wing Stuffed with Mushrooms & Asparagus
Even if you're watching your fat intake (unless health reasons forbid you from having deep-fried food), this is one dish worth busting your diet for! The chicken wings had been stuffed with juicy bits of well-seasoned chunks of mushroom, chicken and asparagus, fried to golden brown perfection with a crisp exterior and succulent flesh. Do take care when eating this dish as the chicken wings are served piping hot with an even hotter stuffing that could burn your tongue.
In spite of the dangers posed by the hot stuffing, this is definitely a MUST-TRY!
Thord Mun Pla @ S$2.50 per piece
Deep-Fried Spiced Fish Cakes
Moving onto another fried dish, the Thord Mun Pla here is delicious. The colour of the fish cakes is due to the red curry paste that was used to season the dish and the strips that you see embedded in the cakes are actually slivers of kaffir lime leaves. The fish cake has a crisp exterior with a juicy and springy interior.
The accompanying dip is a slightly sweet-tasting sauce but I prefer to eat my fishcakes on its own or with sliced chili padi.
Hor Mok Talay @ S$14 (platter of 7 pieces)
Steamed Spiced Seafood Mousse
I generally love to eat otah (spiced fish/seafood paste), so I would usually order Hor Mok (Thai otah) at any Thai restaurant that I come across. I like the Hor Mok Talay served here partly because of the flavour and partly because of the presentation. They are served on a earthernware platter with grooves for the otah to sit in and individually covered with conical shaped covers that resemble the cover on a Moroccan Tajine.
I love the little covers as they help to keep the Hor Mok moist and warm. What I love about Thai-style otahs is their soft, mousse-like consistency and the touches of coconut cream to add fragrance and creaminess. This is a MUST-TRY!
Gaeng Keow Wan Gai @ S$15 (small)
Thai Green Chicken Curry
I didn't like this dish as (1) I'm generally not a huge fan of the sweet-tasting green curry and (2) the chicken pieces were overcooked. I loved the Thai aubergines (orb-like vegetables that look like green tomatoes) but I prefer spicier curries (like a Massaman Beef Curry) on any given day.
Phad Krik Khing @ S$20 (medium)
Thai Long Beans in Spicy Sauce
This dish must have been cooked in red curry paste albeit a drier version. I didn't enjoy this dish as the sauce was not spicy enough for me and had a sweet flavour which I didn't like. Its my personal preference for main courses to have savoury sauces instead of sweet-tasting ones.
Khao Pad Nam Liap @ S$20 (medium)
Thai Fried Olive Rice
We love the Fried Olive Rice here because the individual rice grains are firm and fragrant. The dish is served with condiments on the side comprising sliced chili padi, sliced shallots, small chunks of kaffir lime, deep-fried dried shrimps, bits of toasted cashew nuts and strips of marinated chicken. Mixing all the condiments into the fried rice is definitely recommended. The condiments add nuggets of flavour that are spicy, sweet, tangy, nutty and savoury. This makes the rice such a pleasure to eat because unless you analyse every spoonful, you're in for a tasty surprise with each mouthful.
The flavour of the black olives is subtle and blends well with the other flavours. This is definitely a MUST-TRY!
Phad Khad Na @ S$12 (small)
Thai Baby Kailan stir-fried with Oyster Sauce
This is such a simple vegetable dish yet it was very pleasurable because the kailan (Chinese Kale) is firm and adequately flavoured. I enjoyed eating the vegetables with my fried olive rice.
Hot Lemongrass Tea @ S$3.50 per cup
I washed down my meal with a cup of refreshing hot lemongrass infusion that had been slightly sweetened. Given that we're usually too stuffed to have any desserts, this provided a sweet ending to many of my meals here.
This was the view from my table on my last visit. The quaint conservation shophouses and lush plants provided for a most relaxing view.
36 Purvis Street,
#01-04 Talib Centre,
Tel: +65 6337-1161 / 6337-9429
Operating Hours:Daily: 11.30am - 2pm & 6pm - 10pm