About Spicy Thai, Thai Cafe

Very often, you dine at restaurants claiming to uphold “authenticity” and being true to the cuisine they specialized in. The question is are we able to gauge the degree of authenticity? While I am an avid follower of Thai cuisine, know a fair bit of Thai culture, have some Thai friends, visited Thailand umpteen times, speaks a bit of street Thai, I have to be honest, I still can’t fully grasp the complexity and nuances of Thai cuisine. 

I remember vividly my Thai guide confided to me during a visit to the Tha Ka Floating Village in Samut Songkhram province….”Look at that the Pad Thai hawker, she controlled the fire with such skill, the perfect browning at the edge and slightly crisp egg envelope for the Pad Thai. Many Thais know how to cook a Pad Thai, but not many know how to get right…” 

But one thing I can attest is that my taste bud is sharp as a chef’s knife. I am able to detect subtle hints of spices and ingredients. And at Spicy Thai – Thai Cafe recently, I was “transported’ back to Thailand. But authenticity needs another important “ingredient”, which I strongly feel is, passion.

It is this passion, which I sensed when talking with Mr. Ron Poh, the managing partner of Spicy Thai – Thai Cafe, that the cafe is able to maintain a steady flow of loyal supporters. It is said that “Power is nothing without Control”…might I add, “Authenticity is bland without Passion”.
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Mr. Ron Poh, managing partner of Spicy Thai-Thai Cafe.

His firm grasp of the intricacies of Thai cuisine, his intimate knowledge of the land and it’s culture leaves me breathless and humbled. But it  also left me hungry for the gorgeous dishes coming my way…..

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The lovely drinks like the Thai iced milk tea and calamansi were a wonderful way to prepare your palate. But there is really no need for any appetizers.. any of the dishes at Spicy Thai will whet your taste buds…fast.  Especially great in our humid weather too.

The Food

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Condiments…vital accompaniment to any Thai dishes…to enhance the already flavourful dishes

b2ap3_thumbnail_IMG_0010_Snapseed_20131106-132247_1.jpg The minced spiced pork balls…fragrantly deep-fried and succulent.

I would gladly polish off the whole plate. But as there were more dishes coming, I had to control myself. The chef skilfully deep fried the meat balls to just the perfect crisp on the outside while not compacting the meat balls too densely.

 

b2ap3_thumbnail_IMG_0001_Snapseed_20131106-133109_1.jpgCatfish with special curry sauce…a unique dish not available anywhere else in Singapore. 

Mr. Poh actually assigned an exclusive catfish breeder in Malaysia and have them delivered here alive, so that diners can enjoyed the freshness. He will not entertain the thought of using frozen catfish…no can do. Although I am not a “fish-person” , I simply adored the non-fishy smell and smooth clean texture of the fish… awesome! Do be cautious of fish-bones from the stomach area.

b2ap3_thumbnail_IMG_0012_Snapseed_20131106-133609_1.jpg Som Tham – Green papaya salad made with unripe papaya.

As authentic as it gets from Thailand. A must-eat item for any Thai cuisine lovers…the crunchy texture of the roasted peanuts, the succulent prawn, the tangy unripe papaya,..all contributed to a delicious cacophony of flavours as you chew.

b2ap3_thumbnail_IMG_0017_Snapseed_20131106-134119_1.jpgBBQ Pork Neck…one of Spicy Thai’s signature dish. Sort of like an “unconventional” char siew. Slightly more tender and succulent, with the marinate just right. Perfect with icy cold beer !

b2ap3_thumbnail_IMG_0023_Snapseed.jpgDeep fried kangkong ! definitely a must-eat ! Sort of crispy kangkong in tempura-inspired style. You can’t stop dipping the awesome veg in the special accompanying spicy sauce. Another great dish to go with beer. I salute the chef’s creativity in coming with this “game-changer” dish…

b2ap3_thumbnail_IMG_0025_Snapseed_20131106-140605_1.jpgHommok – Otak in coconut husk. You can’t usually find Thai otak done this way. It’s actually egg and fish cooked with coconut milk in a coconut husk. Creamy, full-bodied, intriguingly well balanced spices … very nice dish. Two thumbs up ! 

b2ap3_thumbnail_IMG_0042_Snapseed_20131106-141244_1.jpgDiscover the treasures within ! Kept salivating as I was writing this review… :-9″”””””

b2ap3_thumbnail_IMG_0037_Snapseed_20131106-141156_1.jpg Coconut Tom Yum ! An interesting version of the ever popular dish. Served bubbling hot with all the with the claypot holding the thick tom yum stock, made rich with the coconut milk and juicy fresh seafood within. Not too spicy and definitely another dish with the “wow!” factor.

b2ap3_thumbnail_IMG_0040_Snapseed_20131106-142350_1.jpgLet the coconut tom yum cool down slightly…then enjoy the delicious rich soup..if this isn’t great, I don’t know what is.

b2ap3_thumbnail_IMG_0048_Snapseed.jpg I did not have the extra stomach needed to order dessert like the ever popular mango with sticky rice or the red ruby, which are favourite desserts of choice. I will definitely make another trip down just to savour their Mookata, sort of “dry/wet” steamboat as in the pic you see above.

The staff will place a piece of pork fat on the top, and the hot charcoal heat within will “melt” the fat, releasing the “sinful” oil and cook the meat below. Suitable for a family or dining group of four. A “communal” feast indeed. And of course, Jim Jum ( a claypot styled hot pot) is another magnet.

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Tucked somewhere amongst the HDB clusters and inside a parking lot in Aljunied is an unassuming coffeeshop called Spicy Thai-Thai Cafe that serves great authentic Thai food at affordable prices and I’ve gone back twice already because the food is so delicious. This building is next to the Geylang East Swimming Complex, close to Paya Lebar Road and the PIE. – See more at: http://blog.moonberry.com/spicy-thai-thai-cafe/#sthash.YLVdW4Bs.dpuf

Spicy Thai – Thai Cafe is located next to the Geylang East Swimming Complex, close to Paya Lebar Road and the PIE. With both indoor (non-aircon) and outdoor dining space, it’s large when compared with most HDB based eateries. Beer lovers will love the place as it’s available for sales.  Mr. Poh preferred to have the entire place by himself so that he can better ensure quality dining experience. And also a well-kept clean toilet for his guests (kudos for his honest commitment to excellent service). And you can dine without worries about mode of payment as cash, NETS or credit cards are accepted.

Spicy Thai – Thai Cafe Address

Blk 115 Aljunied Avenue 2
#01-35 Singapore 380115

Tel: +65 67478558
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SpicyThaiThaiCafe
Nearest MRT: Aljunied (EW Line)

Opening Hours:
Daily: 11am – 12am

Directions:

  • Alight at Aljunied MRT station. Take Exit B.
  • Turn right and walk to Geylang East Ave 1.
  • On Geylang East Ave 1, turn left and continue to the end of the road.
  • Cross the road and continue on Aljunied Crescent.
  • Walk down Aljunied Crescent and turn right onto Aljunied Ave 2.
  • Walk to block 115. Journey time about 15 minutes.

Disclaimer : This is a non-solicited nor a paid review. The meal was given a treat at the eatery by his friend for his birthday.