Nung Len – Mackenzie Road, Little India [Permanently Closed]

When the atmosphere of Thailand gets transported to Singapore with a hipster vibe, you get Nung Len, a Thai eatery in Little India. A white tuk-tuk parked outside the restaurant along with wooden benches, auto rickshaw wall art, non air-conditioned space (which you don’t mind on a rainy evening) and Singha beers immediately remind you of Bangkok. Helmed by a Le Cordon Bleu chef, the hints of Western and Thai fanfare that form this fusion menu are quite evident.

Nung Len wall art

Nung Len wall art


Tuk Tuk

Tuk Tuk @Nung Len

The Orders
For the vegetarians, there are limited options on the menu. Since they did not have a menu online, I called them and asked for their veg-specific items while making a reservation. They have some starter and rice options but they were kind enough to accommodate my Green Curry request since I had inquired about it in advance. With Thai cuisine being vegetarian friendly on the whole, I really wish Nung Len adds vegetarian curry options on their menu.

What better way to start a Thai meal than to order ‘Fried Spring Rolls’ for a crunchy and crispy experience. Brimming with vegetables and lot of flavor, these spring rolls made an excellent appetizer.

Fried spring rolls

Fried spring rolls at $6


The Thai signature dish presents itself on the menu in the form of ‘Pineapple Fried Rice’. It was loaded with Thai flavors, pineapple and some Asian vegetables to make it a wholesome offering. The taste was quite decent and it helped that the rice grains were separate.
Pineapple fried rice

Pineapple fried rice at $15


After tasting so many ‘Veg Green Curries’ across Singapore, I have to say this was different. It was not loaded with veggies, and I could only notice eggplant in the gravy which was topped off with huge pieces of grilled tofu. So I had a mixed reaction since I am a fan of veggies in Thai curries. The curry was also thinner than usual and it seemed to have no body. Having said that, the taste was mild but flavorful.
Veg Green Curry

Veg Green Curry at $15


They have a variety of sweet dishes – from the standard Thai ones to cakes and ice cream. We ordered the ‘Mango Sticky Rice’ with a lot of hope and it lived up to the expectation. It was presented beautifully and the blue rice made it visually more appealing. Though this dessert also depends highly on the mango season, I would say it is highly recommended.
Mango Sticky rice

Mango Sticky rice at $6


Another interesting item on their menu was the ‘Mango Lassi Ice cream’. It looked delicious and had a great fragrance. Unfortunately, the taste didn’t live up to expectations. It’s good, but not great.
Ice cream

Mango Lassi Ice cream at $3


Though I am normally not a fan of cheesecake, the ‘Nutella Cheesecake’ looked tempting. It’s a well balanced dessert with the richness and sweetness of the Nutella coming through every spoonful. The toppings add a pleasant contrast to the smoothness of the cheesecake.
Cake

Nutella Cheesecake at $7


Since it was a humid evening, we ordered the ‘Thai Pink Milk’. This drink turned out to be absolutely fantastic. Cold and refreshing with the right notes of sweetness – this drink had it all. Recommended.
drink

Thai Pink Milk


On the whole, there was a wait for at least 30 mins for our orders to appear. I feel this can be improved. There can be more vegetarian options on the menu since what they had to offer did have traditional flavours. The desserts are worth trying. If you are in the area and in a mood for eating Thai, then Nung Len is just a stone’s throw away from Little India MRT.

In a Nutshell Deelightful Rating
Cuisine Type: Thai ★★★
Nearest MRT: Little India
Address: 33 Mackenzie Road, Singapore 228686
Timings: Mon-Sat: 10.30am – 10.30pm
Website: https://www.facebook.com/nunglensg/
Advertisements

Nara Thai – ION Orchard

When you think of Bangkok, you think of Thai street food. When you transport those dishes to an upscale setting, you get Nara Thai. Situated in the plush and busy ION Orchard mall , the queue that lines up outside this restaurant during dinner time is mind-boggling. As I stood in the queue, I could see the restaurant was quite popular among expats and visiting tourists. Being awarded by TripAdvisor has worked to their advantage in their ability to garner tourist crowds. With a classy and contemporary setting, the atmosphere in this chic restaurant will instantly put you at ease. Nevertheless, what caught my attention was that they have a separate vegetarian menu (like Bali Thai) on display at the restaurant. I wish they had shared that information on their website as well.

The Orders
Served straight from the wok, the ‘Fried Spring Rolls’ crackled when you bit into them. The crunchy bites led to the revelation of a tasty filling. The starter was so good that the plate was empty in no time.

Fried spring rolls

Fried spring rolls at $9


Another famous Thai salad is the ‘Green Mango Salad’ that is a must try if you like the kick of spices. The salad at Nara Thai was milder with a manageable spice level, hence you might be a tad disappointed. The salt from the roasted cashews definitely helped in cutting through the tangy mango.
Green Mango salad

Green Mango salad at $10


For the mains, we went for the ‘Vegetable Hor Fun’ which came in a substantial portion. The broth was highly spicy and the chillies added more heat with every bite. This dish is not for the faint-hearted but if you enjoy spicy food, go for it!
Hor Fun

Hor Fun at $14


After having had ‘Thai Green Curry’ at a lot of places by now, the dish just looked decent. According to a friend, the dish had a slight sweet note to it. It had a decent amount of vegetables in the dish but the portion size could have been larger. For pure vegetarians, please note that the paste does contain fish sauce. Hence this dish is not part of their vegetarian menu.
Thai green curry

Thai green curry at $14


For the drinks, we ordered the ‘Thai Milk Iced Tea’ and Mango Smoothie which were very good. Refreshing and flavorful, they acted as fitting beverages to the meal.
Thai Iced tea and Mango Smoothie

Thai Iced tea and Mango Smoothie


Apart from this I also tried the ‘Veg Fried Rice’ which was decent. They also have the ‘Blue Jasmine Rice’ which was no different from white rice as such except that it has a certain flavour – and is blue in colour. Try it just for the ‘different’ element or if you are curious 🙂 For their convenient location and for their variety of offerings in Thai cuisine, Nara Thai is worth a visit.

In a Nutshell Deelightful Rating
Cuisine Type: Thai ★★★
Nearest MRT: Orchard
Address: 2 Orchard Turn, ION Orchard #B3-21, Singapore 238801
Timings: Mon-Sun: 11.30am – 10pm
Website: http://narathai.com.sg/

Haha Thai – Ngee Ann City [Permanently Closed]

It’s nice to visit a restaurant who’s name spells laughter. When we visited Haha Thai at Ngee Ann City in Orchard, what struck me first was the (well-lit) ambiance. The industrial finish gave a hipster vibe to the trendy mall setting. The place is spacious and good for large groups. We love Thai food, so the ‘Love Thai’ bold font signage worked for us.

Haha thai decor

Haha thai decor


The moment I saw their menu page listing their mains, I wanted to know if the traditional Thai curries were available. They were ready to customize and make them vegetarian instantly. They said the food would take 20 mins to prepare it as they would cook it separately. I was happy with their understanding about food choices.
Haha Thai mains menu

Haha Thai mains menu

The Orders
For the salad, we ordered the ‘Thai Mango Salad’ to get the Thai spice kick. The mango was quite tangy but the salad was not very spicy. This was not one of the best mango salads that we have tasted. Since it’s a seasonal fruit, I would prefer not to be too critical about it.

Thai mango salad

Thai mango salad at $8.8


On the other hand, their ‘Fried Spring Rolls’ were quite good. They were crispy and a delectable mouthful of vegetables that made us wish for a larger portion. The chilli dip on the side was also well balanced.

Veg spring roll

Fried spring roll at $4.8 (3pcs)


For the mains, we ordered the ‘Veg Green Curry’ and the colour of the curry appealed to us instantly. There was a distinct Thai aroma emanating from it and it was delicious. It was creamy and filled with vegetables and tofu. Go for it and enjoy your meal.

Veg green curry

Veg green curry at $9.8


We also ordered the ‘Veg Red Curry’. Loaded with potatoes, mushrooms, and tofu, this dish offered a more hearty take on the traditional Thai curry. Spice wise, there was no difference between the green and red versions. On the whole, the green curry had a slight edge in taste over the red.

Veg red curry

Veg red curry at $12.8


We have heard a lot about their ‘Red Velvet Cake’ which we plan to try next time. Yes, by that I mean we will be visiting this place again! For their happy service staff, for their decent prices in an upscale setting and for the love of Thai food, pay them a visit.

In a Nutshell Deelightful Rating
Cuisine Type: Thai ★★★1/2
Nearest MRT: Orchard
Address: 391 Orchard Road, Ngee Ann City #05-29, Singapore 238873
Timings: Mon-Thu: 11.30am – 10pm ; Fri-Sun: 11am – 10pm
Website: https://www.facebook.com/HahaThaiRestaurant

Quinoa with Veggies Broth – Thai Style

Quinoa is a quick and flavorful way to get a whole lot of protein into your diet. If you take care to rinse it thoroughly and cook it well, it hardly takes 20 mins from start to finish (and fluffed!). Then, if you load it with a bunch of veggies, you are good-to-go with a healthy meal that is not boring. If you stay in SE Asia, you are naturally exposed to Thai cuisine and you get Thai ingredients easily. So, I decided to load the quinoa with veggies and flavour it with a Thai-style broth. I have been seeing bean sprouts extensively in the round markets in Singapore and I am glad I got to work with them in this recipe. The vegetables add the colour to the dish making it visually appealing. Trust me when I say this – if you try this recipe, you are going to love it! 🙂

Recipe Details :
Serves: 2 pax
Time: 40 mins
Difficulty: Easy

Ingredients :

  • 3/4 cup quinoa
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 2 Kaffir lime leaves
  • 1 tsp galangal
  • 30 strands of beansprouts
  • 1 cup vegetable stock
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut in long strips
  • 2 carrots, peeled and cut in long pieces
  • 1 medium sized broccoli, cut into florets
  • 2 green / red chilli, finely chopped
  • 8 french beans, cut into long pieces
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp Soy sauce (optional)
  • 2 tsp oil

Quinoa with veggies broth

Quinoa with veggies broth – Thai style


Method:

  • Rinse the quinoa at least for 4-5 times and then cook nicely till they fluff up – this should approximately take 20 mins.
  • In a mixer, add the kaffir lime leaves, galangal, chillis and blend it till fine.
  • In a pan, take 1 tsp oil and add the finely chopped onion. Saute it till light golden brown.
  • Now add the blended galangal, chilli, and lime leaves to the onions and mix well. Saute this for around 4 mins.
  • After this, add the coconut milk, vegetable stock, soy sauce and salt and mix well. Let come to a low boil and then simmer on low flame. Switch off after 7-10 mins.
  • Simultaneously take a separate pan, add 1 tsp of oil and saute / stir fry the cut veggies. Use only half of the bean sprouts at this stage. This should take around 7-8 mins.
  • Veggies saute

    Veggies saute

  • Now the important thing is to assemble the broth bowls. Layer the quinoa at the bottom and place the stir-fried veggies on the top.
  • Layering of quinoa with veggies

    Layering of quinoa with veggies

  • Finally add in the broth so that all the veggies soak in the aromatic Thai flavours. And then top it off with the remaining beansprouts as garnish. Eat this dish when it is hot.

Tips:

  • Use a little water while grinding the galangal, chilli, and lime leaves
  • You may need to strain the galangal, chilli, and lime leaves paste if the galangal is old and fibrous.
  • Do not overcook the veggies. They need to have some crunch.
  • Reduce the salt added if you are planning to use soy sauce.

Thai Festival 2015 at Orchard Road

Thailand is well known for great tourist spots and happy locals. As part of good diplomatic relations with Singapore, the food and fanfare of Thailand has come to life at Orchard Road in the form of a food festival. Thai Festival 2015 runs from 3rd Sept – 6th Sept. There are food and accessory stalls along with ongoing cultural displays of Thai traditions. It is an interesting peek into the pleasant ‘Sawadee Kha’ nation.

The Orders
To begin with, they have put up some free sampling stalls modeled after the famous floating markets of Thailand. It is fascinating to watch the desserts being made in the traditional vessels. We first tried the ‘Kanom Krok’ which are the Thai Coconut Rice Cakes steamed in a Appe kind of pan. The taste is a nice blend of savoury and sweet and definitely worth trying.

Kanom Krak

Kanom Krak


The most unique thing that I tried was the ‘Roti sai mai’ which consists of a green crepe made from pandan leaves filled with cotton candy made with spun sugar. I must say this was delicious. This was also one of the free sampling stalls.

Roti sai mai

Roti sai mai


If you are a vegetarian and looking to have a proper meal like lunch or dinner at these food stalls, then you will be disappointed. The only thing I managed to find was the ‘Mango Papaya Salad’ on the first day made in the authentic Thai way. The chilli padi and peanuts get mixed with the papaya and are whisked in a wooden bowl shaped like a big mortar and pestle. This is one helluva spicy salad!

Mango and papaya salad

Mango and papaya salad at $5


It also depends on what time of the day you are going since most of the food items had gotten over quite soon on the first day. There are a lot of food product stalls selling fried onions, fruits, dried mango, candied orange peels, and more. They offer samples as well. I bought the Green Curry, Red Curry and Tom Yum Paste bottles as they looked quite good. Sharing some of my food shopping here – Brown Rice Crackers, Candied Banana Chips and Taro Chips. The Mini Coconut Crepes also looked interesting though I am yet to taste them.
Thai food items

Thai food items (3 for $10)


There were some handbags displayed by ‘Thai Association Singapore’ for ladies to get their shopping fix. There are also other stalls selling different kinds of accessories and clothes. The spa zone has massage options and photo booths.

Thai association

Thai association Singapore


On the whole, if you would like to be transported to the street markets in Thailand with variety of food items like organic brown rice, honey with ginger, and lemongrass drinks – do visit the Thai Festival 2015.

In a Nutshell Deelightful Rating
Cuisine Type: Food festival- Thai cuisine variaitions ★★★1/2
Nearest MRT: Orchard
Address: Royal Thai Embassy, Orchard Road, Outside Exit E Orchard MRT
Timings: 10 am – 9 pm (3rd Sept – 6th Sept)
Website: https://www.facebook.com/RoyalThaiEmbassySingapore

Cha Thai – Telok Ayer

As you step out of Telok Ayer MRT, you can see a prominent takeaway counter serving Thai Iced Milk Tea. Next to is the entrance of Cha Thai restaurant which has recently opened – and is all set to woo you with its opening promotions and Thai cuisine. The restaurant has neat decor and is well-lit. Though their menu does not have too many vegetarian options, they were ready to customize it according to our eating preferences which was good.

Cha thai restaurant

Cha thai restaurant


As a vegetarian, I like Thai food because of the abundance of vegetables and fruits in the dishes. So I ordered one of my favourite dishes which is the ‘Thai Green Curry’. Since it is not explicitly mentioned on the menu, you can ask for the vegetarian version which is then made separately by the chef. They are also nice enough to balance the tofu to vegetables ratio as per your preference. The green curry had thick coconut cream and was quite tasty and had sufficient veggies in it. The Thai jasmine rice has to be ordered separately.

Veg Thai green curry

Veg Thai green curry at $18


Next we ordered their ‘Baked Pineapple Rice’ which had immense visual appeal because of its presentation. Their rice is spiced with the curry, then baked and mixed with pineapples and roasted cashews. The rice was delicious and warm and can pair well with the green curry.

Baked pineapple rice

Baked pineapple rice at $18


For the drinks, we ordered the ‘Butterfly Iced Pea Tea’ just because of its unusual name. The colour was a beautiful purple and the taste was a combination of sour and sweet. Nevertheless, it was refreshing.

Butterfly iced pea tea

Butterfly iced pea tea at $4


Since their kitchen was closing early before the long weekend, their dessert items were not available. They served us complimentary chilled ‘Jasmine Jelly with Fruit Cocktail’. Not much to write about the dessert as it was not that good.

Mango dessert

Jasmine jelly with fruits


Since they are situated in the prime CBD area, their prices are quite high for Thai food offerings. If you work in the area, they have some combo lunch sets. On the whole, for delicious Thai food and friendly service, Cha Thai is worth a visit.

In a Nutshell Deelightful Rating
Cuisine Type: Thai ★★★
Nearest MRT: Telok Ayer
Address: 80 Telok Ayer Street Singapore 048466
Timings: Mon-Sun: 11am – 10pm ; Express Takeaway: 8am – 6pm
Website: https://www.facebook.com/chathaisg

Kala Thai Coconut Ice Cream – ECP Kiosk

When in Singapore, it’s easy to go for a stroll by the beach. A gentle breeze, catching the sunset and strolling hand-in-hand along the beach quite literally spells ‘love is in the air’. Just ahead of Valentine’s Day, I thought of sharing my experience of an ice cream stall that I chanced upon at ECP. And I am glad I did! Opened in ECP (next to Cheers / Burger King) was an illuminated kiosk that was labeled Kala Thai Coconut Ice cream. It had banners stuck on it which indicated that it sold fresh coconut ice cream and bottled coconut juices. We decided to stop by and grab a scoop of this natural ice cream.

The Orders
There was only one thing to order – the coconut ice cream. We informed the kiosk owner that we wanted one cup of ice cream. Little did we know that it would be served in a smooth coconut shell that looked so pretty. The owner asked us to choose our toppings. At this point, I was intrigued as I really did not expect customized offerings at a kiosk. This ice cream came with unique offerings – corn, peanuts, water chestnuts, and some sort of plum seeds. To top all of that was a delicious dollop of Gula Melaka (jaggery juice). I was apprehensive about all these flavours together but then when I took the first bite, I realized it was totally delicious! Such smooth coconut ice cream with no compromise on freshness is a rare find. The ice cream was not overly sweet, and had great bite from the toppings. The fresh coconut on the sides of the cup was so tender that it could be scraped off with a plastic spoon.

Kala Thai coconut ice cream

Kala Thai coconut ice cream at $4


During the discussion with the owner, we got to know that it is seasonal. This time they will be here till April. The owner was very friendly and shared how the ice cream is freshly imported from Thailand. Its also easy to keep updated via their FB page where they announce when they put up a kiosk with intermittent gaps in between. So do give them a try this season. Take a lovely walk along the beach, watch the sun set and have your heart’s content of this uniquely exotic Thai dessert because some things are priceless 🙂 Keep smiling and love your loved ones!
Coconut icecream

Coconut icecream

In a Nutshell Deelightful Rating
Cuisine Type: Desserts/ Ice cream ★★★★
Nearest MRT: Bedok / Tanah Merah / Better reachable by bus
Address: Kiosk, Next to Cheers/Burger King, Car Park C3, East Coast Park, Singapore 449894
Timings: Tue-Fri: 11am – 5pm ; Sat-Sun: 11am – 8pm
Website: https://www.facebook.com/kala.icecream