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Saturday, March 14, 2015

[Food Review] Wang Thai Kitchen

We were introduced and invited to a food tasting at Wang Thai Kitchen. Having only being a fan of another local eatery that serves Thai food for the longest time, I was only too happy to discover this wonderful little gem in the heart of Toa Payoh.

A wall of fame for Ivan, whose restaurant was discovered by the mainstream media.

Wang Thai Kitchen is a no-frills decor, 'family feel' casual restaurant. The owner and solo-chef of Wang Thai Kitchen, Ivan Then, serves up pretty delicious dishes when we went to lunch at his restaurant. 

During a casual chat we had with Ivan after serving us lunch, we learned that he had invested himself to up a notch in Thai culinary skills, in the land of smiles itself. I was all the more impressed with the variety of dishes he manages alone in his kitchen! When we asked him why he was taking on the role of a lone chef instead of hiring one to assist, he ascertained that it was the only way he could ensure that the flavors of his dishes are consistent everyday. I give him two thumbs up for his dedication!
Nothing could beat a nice Thai iced tea, especially on a hot day. This is commonly served in Thai restaurants and is certainly addictive! Although it was a tad sweet for me in the beginning, it complimented very well with the dishes, when I sipped it in between the food tasting.

If you're familiar with Thai mango salad, it doesn't come with crispy fish skin. We were pleasantly surprised that it was served this way and it truly was a match made in heaven. The mango was fresh and crunchy, just the way it should be. There was enough of the sour and it was pretty spicy for me. Definitely whetted our appetite! If I may say this the local way, got kick!

This has to be my favorite dish of the lot! I love tang hoon (or better known as glass vermicelli) very much because of it's light, silky smooth texture. The blend of chilli, lime and fish sauce always come together very well - which is very apparent in this dish. It wasn't at all salty so it will be a delightful clean dish to have in our meal (though I secretly wish there was more fish sauce!).

This pot of classic clear-broth tomyam soup easily serves up to about 5-6 portions. We enjoyed the generous serving of seafood in the pot and what I particularly paid attention to was the partial de-shelling of the prawns, which made it so easy to consume without using bare hands. It was distinctively hot, sour and spicy. It's all you could ever want in a tomyam soup.

Ivan mixes his own fresh curry paste for this dish, everyday. This is something you have to taste for yourself to know how aromatic it really is. The tender pieces of bite-sized chicken chunks were just right and I absolutely love the baby eggplant (brinjal) that combined very well with the curry.

I simply couldn't get enough of this stir-fried kway chap (flat rice noodles) dish. The familiarity of this dish looks very apparent - like pad thai. However, unlike the usual rice noodles used, this broad and silky kway chap used here makes a different springy texture altogether. The wok hei (smoky flavor from the wok) was lightly achieved, enough to make this a great tasting dish!

$2.00 per piece
The fish cake was really huge and makes a tasty treat, even without the other dishes. It's unlike the ones that I've seen or eaten. So it's really great value for money. These are also made from scratch by Ivan. Perhaps because of it's size, it has to be made denser hence a little bit rubbery for my personal liking. 

$2.00 per piece
Ivan shared with us that the pandan chicken is first marinated and steamed before being deep fried. No wonder it has achieved the wonderful juicy texture when we took our first bite! The flavor is quite natural with a hint of pandan taste. Definitely a choice dish for pandan chicken lovers.

It was quite interesting to note the base flavor of this fried rice - green curry. Though I personally felt it wasn't at all overbearing. Nonetheless, I loved the use of basil in the rice and that it came with a nice portion of bite sized tasty fried chicken. A meal on it's own and the portion is good to share with two persons.

I wished I had a bigger appetite to wipe out the steamed fish. I love the sour and spicy stock with the generous stuffing of tomatoes, coriander and fresh mushrooms in the fish. If I had to choose just a dish to go with white rice, just this steam fish would do because it encompasses all there is you need for a good Thai meal. And so healthy to boot!

We were surprised to be served deep fried pork knuckles as the last dish and by then, we were already in a food coma! It was interestingly served on a bed of deep fried mee pok (flat yellow noodles) noodles. The meat was tender and paired well with the chilli dip that came with it. The skin was a tad less crispy then I expected. But we all agreed it is a refreshing dish to serve at a Thai restaurant.

When we were served this dessert, we couldn't wait to dive into it. I mean, literally! What's there not to love about coconut ice cream, topped with red rubies and mango caviar? This is the first time I've tasted the mango caviar and I cannot but love it so much. The coconut ice cream was lightly flavored, it almost tasted like vanilla at certain points. Very smooth and also went well with the crunchy red rubies. Absolutely divine!

Overall Food Experience : 8.5/10

There's no denying that the food quality served in Ivan's restaurant is absolutely fresh and doesn't come laden with MSG. The prices are very friendly to the pocket and servings are very generous too.

Though there's nothing to shout about the ambience, I personally like such simple setting that would make a leisurely meal with family and friends. There's certainly no air about the restaurant - down to earth and sincere service. Almost like home. What's more, Ivan doesn't compromise on the food that's being served. Another big plus would be his beautiful food presentation that makes every dish so inviting.

I would definitely go back again and savor every dish that I have fallen in love with.

Wang Thai Restaurant
Address: 92 Lorong 4 Toa Payoh, Singapore 310092
Phone:6358 2938
Lunch (daily) : 11.30am - 2.30pm
Dinner (daily) : 5.30pm - 9.30pm
 The food tasting session was kindly organized by Steven (not in picture), together with (from L to R) Sharon, Chef Ivan, Diana, myself and Tony.

Till the next post, have a wonderful day!

Disclaimer : The Accidental Mom Blogger was invited for a food tasting session at the said restaurant. The opinions written in this blog post are purely my own. No monetary compensation was given.

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