Thursday, March 28, 2013

Tawandang: German Thai food in a micro brewery

The Thais are an assimilative culture. This extends from their acceptance to all kinds of people...farang and locals mix with ease, and the assimilation of farang food into their own. Two prominent ones I often see as fusion food is German Thai and Italian Thai.

Today's feature is on one such fusion...German with Thai...with great German beer, sausages, schweinhaxe and great spicy Thai food.

Tawandang has two fairly large outlets, both with a micro brewery within...one in Dempsey where I visited, and another in Suntec City. The atmosphere was relaxed, afterall this is a beer place, where people come to chill out. That afternoon, my makan gang and I didn't try the beer, I needed to keep sober for a photoshoot later. The menu was rather complete, with divers temptations for the palate. We started with the Thai omelette.

Nicely done, but not quite as thick and fluffy as those we easily get in Bangkok.

A plate of prawn cakes was promptly ordered

Interesting...this was not the usual tod man kung we find in Thailand, but a variant of the Californian style crab cakes...done with prawns...curious combination, methot. But it tasted very good. The breaded crust was light, not greasy and very crisp, and the insides were moist, nice and tasty.

Phad Thai...a traditional favourite...any attempt to fusion this dish will often end in disaster...luckily, the chef stuck to tradition

Classical Phad Thai...using the correct, dried Thai kway teow. Classical ingredients. Very nice. Authentic.

On to the German...schweinhaxe

This is a large portion...an entire leg...the haxe...deep fried till crisp. Not very greasy, the meaty parts were a bit overcooked...dry...but the tendons were wonderful. As was the skin. Goes fantastic with the Thai chilli paste with lime. Rival perhaps Siang Hee, though not quite, as Siang Hee's meaty parts are tender.

Their morning glory...kangkong had special place in their menu...amongst the boasts of only using fresh meat and seafood, of only using kampong chicken, was this interesting claim that the morning glory was not only fresh, but 1kg of morning glory only made 1.5 portions...only the stems were used...the waitress tried to explain how it was done, but I didn't get most of it...

Very young shoots were used. Cooked lightly, with fish sauce and powerful chilli padi. The stems were very crunchy, very light tasting. I liked it quite a lot.

We also tried the tanghoon with king prawns

Quite good. The tanghoon was moist with the braising liquid. The prawns reasonably fresh. Often times, in a dish like this, the tang hoon is dried up...in Bangkok, the best restaurants line the base of the claypot or aluminium pot with a layer of pork lard...as the pot is heated, the lard melts, infused upwards, and prevents the tanghoon from being scalded. Tawandang did not use the lard, but the noodles remain soft, and moist. I suspect it was cooked elsewhere and only served in the claypot...as also evidenced by the lack of soot at the bottom of the pot.

We also had some grilled chicken

We see chicken (and eggs) being grilled in the streets of Bangkok all over...this is a restauran-ized version. Boneless, beautifully grilled...crisp skin, juicy, tender meat. Beautiful with the Thai sambal sauce or with Prik Nam Pla.

Desserts were next...mango sticky rice

Too bad they did not have my favourite durian sticky rice...only mango. But it did the trick. The mango was sweet, but with a undertone of sour. The sticky rice was perfect. Al dente, aromatic as only Thai rice can be. Nice.

Some red ruby...traditional favourite was also ordered...I found it to be regular...a bit pedestrian. And some magnificent tapioca

I love a good tapioca. This was very good. No veins. Just tender, tapioca gently boiled in syrup, with a dash of thick coconut milk.

Overall, very good meal. Everything tasted good. Service was friendly. Price was a bit on the high side, but considering the amount of food we had, I guess not out of reason. The meal above cost just a hair shy of S$250.

I will revisit, and to try their beer as well as more food.

Tawandang Micro Brewery
26, #01-01
Dempsey Road
6476 6742
Open: Daily 11.30pm to 1.00am (Closed for lunch on Monday)
www.tawandang.com

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