The Claypot Lala Beehoon ($18) justified a visit on its own, with the succulent fresh clams, chillies and moist beehoon that soaked up the peppery broth. The addictive, vibrant flavors immediately sparked an enthusiastic response across the table that borders on mania.
The Fried Lad Na, thai style deep fried hor fun, paled in comparison as the stock was slightly diluted and lacked much aromatic character. Nonetheless, the chef's deft hand in seafood is also evident in the Basil Mussels ($15), submerged in a funky, umami-laden broth enhanced with aromatic cilantro and Thai Chilli.
More delicate tongues can rest eat with the BBQ Pork Collar, slices of beautifully burnished meat with a distinctive caramelized aroma. The Chicken Wings $6 for 4pcs were slicked in a delectably sticky and sweet coating but the meat was too dry.
Some of the cuisine here reminded me of comfort home-cooked dishes that go superbly with a bowl of rice. The Dill Pat Omelette ($8) is a well executed puffy "chye poh neng" that comes without the radish but a special legume called cha om (or English Cattle) that is grown in Thailand. For a unique twist, try the Water Fry egg, a pool of tasty and tender scrambled eggs studded with occasion chopped chillis, spring onions and served with Thai Style Crispy Sun dried fish ($12), which disguised sneakily as the brown conch-like decoration at the corner. Other tasty gear on offer includes the fish cakes and prawn cakes ($2 each)
The real treat here is THE FISH. To ensure that the spicy, complex lemon broth stays piping hot till you even finish your desserts, the owner goes the extra mile to serve the Thai Walking Cat Fish ($28) on charcoal , an authentic way of maintaining the heat and quality. With fresh meat of melting texture, this dish kills two birds with one stone as one can skip the Tom Yam Soup and slurp down the hellaciously hot soup to the very last drop.
Something a little more extravagant would be the Red Emperor Fish Snapper (seasonal price) that is steamed and sprinkled with garlic, chilli's and slices of lime. This second fish of the night is as much an achievement as the previous catfish, or perhaps even better as the flavours are sharp and seasoning is bang on.
Other desserts include Thai Red Ruby ($3.50) Lemon Grass Jelly with Aloe Vera Cubes and Calamansi ($2.50)The desserts were those usual suspects that one would rattle off from a typical Thai menu but they were above pedestrian quality. My favourite was the Tapioca in Coconut Milk ($3.50) . These starchy roots were as soft as sweet potatoes and the warm temperature of coconut milk heightened the natural sweetness--a welcome change from the usual cold, stodgy version. The Sticky Glutinous Rice with Mango ($6) took me by surprise too, with the rice yielded a perfect texture.
Given such an extensive menu of more than 50 items, I am really impressed that the chef can manage to maintain such a stellar quality across most of the dishes here. Though I did not manage to try my favourite Tom Yum Soup or Papaya Salad this time round, I was very satisfied with the robustness of the herbs and spices here. With a constantly changing menu and very reasonable prices, this is definitely another great place for Thai food
Spicy Thai Thai Cafe
Blk 115 Aljunied Ave 2 #01-35