When I first asked if they wanted to be interviewed for my programme on radio, the lady boss of First Thai said “We don’t need Interview.” The phone hung up in the manner of seconds, and it took me a while to recover from that. Wah, so proud I thought?
It is not hard to imagine why. The little coffee-shop-like restaurant is perpetually packed. They don’t need any more publicity from me! Opening hours are short. Reservations cannot be taken. It is closed on alternate Mondays. There are always queues in the evenings and weekends. So you better be there early!
The last time I was there 6 plus in the evening, I met Xiao Ming (from Radio1003) helping to serve (and he was the one who strongly recommended me First Thai). But sorry no special privileges, and my friends still needed to wait about 50 minutes for a table. Some dishes were sold out, some dishes didn’t come.
If you ask around for recommendations of authentic Thai food, First Thai would probably be one of the first places to be mentioned. The décor is very ‘Thai’ – lime green painted walls, lined with plastic pink orange flowers, Chinese paintings with random framed photos of Thai royalties and celebrities (Dd I see a young Keanu Reeves photo somewhere?).
My favourite thing in First Thai is not really any of the food, but a green (!) Bandung which is suitably milky. I always find the pink versions a little too sweet and artificial, and I know I am contradicting myself because green is not any less artificial. Strange I have never seen this during my numerous trips to Thailand.
The mango salad was rather refreshing, and I liked that it came with crunchy peanut and onion silvers.
Xiao Ming also said that the Tom Yum Gong was a MUST TRY with its big fresh prawns. Expect a bowl full of a variety of ingredients and spices. While the stock seems rather clear, the Tom Yum is really potentially potently spicy. Sweating is guaranteed and do get ready your tissues.
Some may find that some of the Thai food in the malls feels rather refined and adapted to local taste buds. If you wish to have a selection Thai cuisines that tastes more home-cooked and street-like, this is it. Of course, the service is also rather… er… street-like?
First Thai, 23 Purvis Street Tel:+65 6339 3123
Opening Hours: Daily 12–3pm (2.15pm last order), 6–10pm (9.15pm last order); (Sometimes Closed on Mondays)