“What? No air-con?” My heart dropped a beat. After walking 15 minutes from Aljunied MRT in search of authentic Thai food, covered in sniggering sweat, I found myself at a Blk 115 coffeeshop at with tables outside having Thai barbecue steamboat Mookata.
Can you imagine Mookata without aircon?
We all immediately ordered some Thai Iced Tea and Lemongrass drink, initially expecting a ‘café’ and landed up with a non-air-conditioned foodcourt/coffeeshop where every stall is owned by Spicy Thai-Thai Café. If you are familiar with Spicy Thai-Thai zhi char at Jalan Besar, yes, same owner.
A friend highly recommended this place to me, “It’s steamboat, BBQ, ala carte all under one roof!”, “Their prawn cakes are super delicious… so plump and juicy and so cheap! Only $2 per piece!”, “His Red Ruby Dessert is own-made from scratch.” Same friend ah.
Our table was recommended a rattle of dishes, Steamed Catfish (instead of the usual seabass), BBQ Pork Neck, Thai Mango Salad with Salted Egg, Green Curry Stir Fry Spaghetti, BBQ Chicken Wings, and Special Aloe Vera Lemongrass Jelly dessert.
And the boring us ordered Stir Fried Phad Thai ($6), Green Curry with Chicken ($8), Stir Fried Kang Kong with Chilli ($8), Nam Tok Moo Grilled Pork Salad ($12) and Tom Yum Seafood Soup Clear ($14). We wanted to be… conventional.
We all decided that the Thai Iced Tea would be the make-or-break. Woohoo, this tasted almost like those in Bangkok, except that it could do with more milk (we went to spot-check on the brand of evaporated milk at the counter and it was the ‘right’ brand). Spicy Thai-Thai Café uses tea leaves imported from Thailand and then add their freshly home-made pandan syrup.
The Tom-Yum Soup is served in a traditional steamboat style, using charcoal to retain keep the broth simmering hot consistently instead of the commercialized way of using wax. I must say I was impressed. Hot – checked. Sour – checked. Spicy – definitely. Tom Yum Soup, pass.
We all loved the Phad Thai, double the price of Thailand’s, but almost the same taste. Perhaps it was cooked in a zhi char style, you could sense the slight wok-hei in the noodles. It was evenly fried, slightly sweet, and best of all, served with crunchy beansprouts on the side – just the way I like it.
Though we were divided on the Green Curry – some say the gravy is too thin and sweet, while the rest insist this is the way it should be, but all agreed it is still better than so many restaurants claiming they serve authentic Thai cuisine.
We wondered why the owner would buy an entire coffeeshop selling entirely Thai food. “How to earn money like that?” I suspect that they are catching the Mookata wave, and their price-point at $35 which can be shared between two to four persons make it really affordable for the family.
Spicy Thai – Thai Café is one the recent Thai eatery openings better than Singapore’s average and can make it. The question is – would Singaporeans travel all the way to Aljunied to eat spicy Thai food in sweat? Well, why not?
Spicy Thai – Thai Café
Blk 115 Aljunied Ave. 2, #01-35 Singapore 380115 (Aljunied MRT), Tel: +65 6747 8558
Opening Hours: 11am – 12am Daily