Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Aroy Thai, Singapore

with family

Aroy Thai restaurant is a firm favourite of the family and friends for years. The restaurant is bright, cheerful, and very cozy and comfortable. Run by an Thai family, so I guess its as authentic as it can be. I also find the taste of the food to be similar to those I have sampled in Bangkok.

The owner's son took our orders on June 28, he recommended the Lemongrass salad.

The Thais love their salads, and they love lemongrass...so the combination, though a bit unusual to me, sounds perfectly logical. In the streets of Bangkok, vendors sell all varieties of som tam, a kind of papaya salad which seems to be a staple, especially amongst the ladies in Thailand. The sour, sweet, crunchy and spicy hot salad is appealing to the tastebuds on several planes at the same time.

The lemongrass salad presented by Aroy (btw, Aroy in Thai vernacular means delicious!) was exactly that. Thinly sliced Thai lemongrass (which is stronger in fragrance than local lemongrass), onions are tossed with tiny grilled crispy prawns, dried chilli, fresh chilli and cashews and topped with a sour, sweet, spicy, hot sauce. Eaten with a pocket made by folding a leaf of lettuce, the explosion of tastes, and refreshing flavour of lemongrass prevails.

We also ordered a typical Thai snack favourite - tod man kung

This was a cutlet of prawns (kung in Thai...fish cutlets are also available, known as tod man pla), breaded and fried. The cutlet was powerpacked with fresh prawn flavour, and the crispy breaded exterior provided a crunchy texture. Eaten with a special sweet, sour, spicy ketchup like sauce, it goes well with the steamed jasmine rice.

The vegetable was stir fried morning glory

Morning glory, as kangkong is known as in Thailand is a common vegetable in Thai cuisine. But to do the simple dish right, with just fish sauce (nam pla in Thai) is true testament to a chef's abilities (like a perfect plate of pasta aglio olio is testament to an Italian chef's skills). Simply fried, and topped with deep fried onions and crispy pork lard, the young kangkong is delicious.

My favourite mild curry is the green curry with chicken (gaeng keow waan kai)

The Thais differentiate their curries by color...hence green, yellow and red. The green curry is made with green curry powder, and is a sweet, rich tasting curry. The Aroy version is very rich with coconut milk, sweet, and mildly spicy. The tender bits of chicken and Thai kafir lime leafs provide extra punch to the gravy. Small baby aubergines adorn the curry. I would rate this one of the better green curries in Singapore...the others who are also equal to the task are served by Thangying and Patara, both venerable establishments.

And dessert was durian with sticky rice (khao neow durian)

The sweet, creamy, rich flesh of Thai Monthoong durian is steamed with Thai glutinous rice, and a thick coconut milk sauce covering. A favourite of my late father, who would call this by the Peranakan name - Durian Pengat with choobee; it is one of my favourites as well. The durian complements very well with the rice and the coconut milk. Nice.

Aroy is a staple of the Thai cuisine scene in Singapore. For me, they represent excellent Thai food, great environment. And a reasonable price. Shiok.

Aroy Thai Restaurant
109 North Bridge Road
#04-06 Funan Digitalife Mall
Tel: 6338 3880
Mon-Sun: 11.30am-2.45pm, 6pm-10pm
(Saturdays whole day, 930pm last order)

NB: thanks to Wen who pointed out in his comments that I forget to include address.
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