- Rated No. 1 Thai Restaurant in Singapore, better than One-Michelin star Nahm in London

posted Dec 28, 2009, 7:22 PM by Joseph, Wuu Jiann Wu   [ updated Dec 30, 2009, 8:07 AM ]

Singapore - Mai Thai at Jalan Merah Saga

Finally, I found my No. 1 Thai spot in Singapore! After going to a plethora of minor disappointments, from high-end (and VERY high-priced spots) like Jim Thompson and Soht & Baay, to budget/low-priced options like Sabaidee @ Tiong Bharu, Diandin Leluk @ Golden Mile Complex, and a variety of mid-priced (sometimes trendy spots) like Bangkok Jam @ Great World City or A-Roy @ Siglap, here's one new Thai spot which combined good food, clean/modern/hip decor and reasonable prices!

Mai Thai at Jalan Merah Saga (Chip Bee Gardens opposite Holland Village0 took over the premises vacated by Sistina Pizzeria. We ordered:

- one platter each of tod mun pla (with chopped cucumber-vinegar-chilli dip) and tod mun goong (with sweet chilli sauce-sesame seeds dip) - great attention to detail;
- gaeng keaw wan (with chicken & ma kheau phuong/baby eggplants). The curry sauce was of the correct liquidity, unlike the overly-thick, creamy Singaporeanized version we got elsewhere. It's almost exactly the same as any gaeng keaw wan we'd have in Bangkok, although the nam pla was toned down to suit local tastes. Curry was also not spicy, perhaps because Jalan Merah Saga/Holland Village's clientele have a large Western/Caucasian expat component who couldn't tolerate the chilli levels which Thais & Singaporeans are more used to;
- larb moo - absolutely delicious, I couldn't get enough of it. Again, here - lesser nam pla than at Bangkok streetside versions, and hardly any prik khee noo;
- crispy seabass with mango was served hot & very crisp;
- Gaeng Mussamun Neau. OMG, this dish was heavenly - beef shin was melt-in-your-mouth tender. It was Michelin-star quality cooking!!! It was even better than One-Michelin star Nahm in London's rendition of Gaeng Mussamun!!!
- Pad Thai - very authentic, but not bring-the-house-down quality. The only "average" dish we had last night.
- Hor mok pla: coconut-rich, deliciously-spiced, super-fresh seafoods used. Again, not quite spicy enough for us or my Bangkok-Thai guests. But it's not overly-salty like the ones I'd had in Bangkok.

All in all, definitely my favorite Thai spot in Singapore (and Malaysia) for the moment. And S$140 for 6 persons - that's outrageously cheap for dinner in Singapore these days!!

One-Michelin star Paneang Nuea (Gaeng Mussamun Neau)