Thai food has generally gained popularity among Singapore locals, thanks to the proximity of the Land Of Smiles. We all have our favourites from Tom Yum Goong, Pad Thai, Green Curry, Som Tum (Papaya Salad), to Mango Sticky Rice. (Also read: 6 Best Thai Wonton Noodles In Singapore)
I won’t say that all the Thai eateries in Singapore are authentic-tasting, as most of the flavours would be tamed down to suit the local palates.
However, if you are longing for some distinctive tastes of HOT, sweet and sour flavors, you won’t be too disappointed with the offering at some of the Thai eateries in Singapore.
The best part is most do not burn a hole in your wallet. Here are some of the best “inexpensive” Thai eateries in Singapore. (Note that it is not ranked in order, and the list will be expanded in time to come.)
Sawadee Thai Cuisine (Bugis)
9 Tan Quee Lan St, Singapore 188098
Tel: +65 6238 6833
Opening Hours: 11am – 2:30pm, 6pm – 10:30pm (Mon – Sun)
The food bursting with robust flavors is prepared with authentic and fresh ingredients that come all the way from Thailand.
While the price is generally higher than the average Thai eatery in Singapore, I find that it is a suitable place to have group dinners due to the space, breath of offerings, and location – short walk from Bugis MRT station.
There are great options to choose from their extensive Thai menu. Sawadee allows you to opt for hot and mild flavors. The option is a lifesaver if you can’t handle spice.
For recommendations, the Tom Yum soup was fulfilling packed with unique spices and scrumptious prawns. They have some Thai dishes seldom found in other restaurants locally, such as the ‘Mieng Kham’ Betel Leaf Wrap ($12, $18), a traditional street food and rather labour intensive in preparation.
Sawadee’s Thai Style Otah ($15) is a must-have, interestingly cooked and presented in a traditional clay plate named “Khanom Krok”. The otah contains bites of solid fish mousse (and not just flour) with hints of coconut milk, herbs and fish sauce. Sawadee Thai Cuisine (Bugis)
Soi 47 Thai Food – Toa Payoh
Blk 47 Lorong 6 Toa Payoh #01-130, Singapore 310047
Tel: +65 62664747
Opening Hours: 12:00pm – 2:30pm, 5:30pm – 10:00pm (Mon – Sun), Closed Tues
Reservation Online – Soi 47
Soi 47 Thai Food – King George’s Ave
111 King George’s Avenue, Singapore 208559
Tel: +65 6255 4747
Opening Hours: 12pm – 2:30pm, 5:30pm – 10pm (Wed – Mon), Closed Tues
Soi 47 is a fairly new eatery but it has made its name thanks to its intensely flavored food and a cozy decor that reminds one of Bangkok.
In Toa Payoh, it is often referred to as ‘a hidden gem’ for Thai cuisine.
The prices are great, approximately $20 per person, and portion size is satisfying. While there are numerous dishes, the Stuffed Chicken Wing, Steamed Seabass, Tom Yam Soup with prawns and mango salads are some of their specialties.
If you come with your family or a group of friends, then ordering a fish is a must, since it is only $19.00! $19.00 for a whole Steamed Fish is so hard to find in expensive-Singapore.
You can have the fish steamed with Thai Lime Sauce or Soy Sauce, or deep fried and drizzled with special Thai chilli sauce. Soi 47 (Toa Payoh)
Joe’s Kitchen (Bukit Merah Lane)
Blk 125 Bukit Merah Lane 1 #01-182, Singapore 150125
Tel: +65 6270 8484
Opening Hours: 11am – 3pm, 5pm – 10pm (Mon – Sun)
Joe’s Kitchen is located at Bukit Merah Lane 1, and I accidentally found it when I wanted to take a detour from Keng Eng Kee Seafood.
The food at Joe’s Kitchen is real value for money. The portion sizes are generous that two people can easily share a serving.
It is ideal for large gatherings, families with kids and friends meeting up for a casual dinner.
The flavors are more intense as compared to other more commercialised Thai eateries – which is a good thing. For instance, tom yam soup is spicier than usual, and the green Thai curry is on the heavier side.
My personal favourite was the hand-made Prawn Cake ($2.80), which was quite succulent and fresh.
Nakhon Kitchen (Holland Village and other parts of Singapore)
27A Lorong Liput Holland Village, Singapore 277738
Tel: +65 6469 6862
Opening Hours: 12pm – 2:45pm, 5:30pm – 9:45pm (Mon – Sun)
Surrounded by controversies and serving scrumptious Thai food, Nakhon Kitchen in Holland Village is a local hotspot for a quick Thai bite.
It needs little introduction, especially since most (if not all its branches) enjoy long queues.
In the past, Nakhon Kitchen has been suspended over poor hygiene measures, but that didn’t stop their customers to come back for another plateful of Thai cuisine.
The prices are reasonable – one person can should be enjoy a decent meal within $15. I found most of the dishes, from the Tom Yum, Pad Thai to the Green Curry, quite mass-friendly – not overly spicy or intense, and something local families would be able to take.
A-Roy Thai (Novena)
03-61/63, Thomson Road, Novena Square (Velocity), Singapore 307683
Tel: +65 6352 1446
Opening Hours: 11:30am–3pm, 6pm – 10pm (Mon – Sun)
A-Roy Thai Restaurant has been known to serve authentic-tasting Thai dishes, in a family-style setting, with wide selection from Lemongrass Chicken to Tom Yum Soup.
I used to visit the restaurant at Funan because it provided reliable, tasty Thai food, but found the prices slightly up north.
The menu must have contained over a hundred items, including Tom Yum Talay ($15.90, $22.90), Fish Maw Soup ($16.90, $23.90, Thai Yellow Curry ($15.90, $21.90), Pandan Chicken ($13.90, $20.90), Fried Omelette ($10.90, $15.90), Grilled Seabass ($35.90), Kway Teaw Tom Yum ($8.90), to Seafood Fried Rice ($8.90, $13.90).
I seldom order Thai Green Curry with Beef ($15.90, $21.90) in Singapore. While most Thai restaurants’ Kaeng Khiao Wan taste more or less the same, the beef slices often turned out tough or overcooked.
A-Roy Thai Restaurant Green Curry was indeed one of the best renditions in Singapore – thick, spicy with that oomph, okay a tad oily and heavy, but the beef were tender with the right bite.
Note: The crackers with spicy chilli given at the start of the meal are hard to refuse. A-Roy Thai Restaurant (Novena Square)
Ah Loy Thai (Tan Quee Lan Street)
9 Tan Quee Lan Street, #01-04, Singapore 188098
Tel: +65 8488 6528
Opening Hours: 12pm – 3pm, 4:15pm – 8:30pm (Mon – Sun)
The popular Thai eatery which used to be at Shaw Towers, opened a new branch at Tan Quee Lan Street.
It is a good thing the branch is more spacious as compared to the one at Shaw Towers. Even with ample seating capacity, the restaurant is crowded at peak hours. Keep in mind that it doesn’t accept credit cards so keep some cash handy.
The food is decent, authentic in flavor and prices are highly affordable. The owners are Thai and they will greet you like old friends. The lady mentioned that the ingredients are imported from Thailand every two weeks.
Not all the dishes are hits though, I find that it depends on “their mood”. The Thai Pandan Chicken, succulent and tender, is usually their most popular item.
Diandin Leluak Thai Restaurant (Golden Mile)
5001 Beach Road, Golden Mile Complex #01-67/68/69, Singapore 199588
Tel: +65 6293 5101
Opening Hours: Open 24 Hours
If you ever happen to crave Thai food in the middle of the night, Diandin Leluak Thai Restaurant can cater to your needs Thai-tastically.
Despite the many Thai eateries at Golden Mile Complex which is the “Little Thailand of Singapore”, they gained popularity among local diners for its affordability and wide variety of offerings.
The Catfish Salad, a popular appetizer in Thailand, was a combination of various flavors that differs from the usual Thai food.
If you are not dining in, you can also order the Luk Chup for take-away, a perfect option for a sweet tooth.
The miniature fruits are made from mung bean paste and coconut milk with a glossy finish. They are adorable to look at and delectable in taste.
Sixty6 (Short Street)
1A Short Street, #01-03, Singapore 188210
Tel: +65 9858 9790
Opening Hours: 12:00pm – 2:30pm, 6:00pm – 9:30pm (Mon – Sun)
A small family-run eatery offering a variety of top-notch Thai cuisine which is quite under-the-radar. Cheap and air-conditioned, Sixty6 lets you cool off and fills you up.
Prices are friendly, like a Pad Thai cost only $6. No GST and service charge.
The recommended dishes were Thai Fish Cakes ($10 for 5 pieces), Som Tam ($8), Yam Woon Sen ($10), Tom Yam Seafood Soup ($15), Green Curry ($14), Panang Curry ($14), Tom Yam Fried Rice ($6), Green Curry Fried Rice ($6), Pad Krapow Special ($16) and Tom Yam Noodle Soup ($6). The portion size is bound to take you by surprise.
Special mention of the Deep Fried Chicken Wings ($10 for 4), well marinated and juicy, covered with a hint of black pepper for a faint kick on every bite. Sixty6 (Short Street)
Kra Pow Thai (Far East Plaza)
Far East Plaza, 14D Scotts Road, #03-26/27 Singapore 228217
Opening Hours: 11:30am – 9:30pm (Mon – Sun)
From a small-time food stall to a decently furnished eatery, Kra Pow Thai is a must-stop if you happen to visit Far East Plaza.
Initially, the eatery only had a few street food items such as a bowl of fried rice or soup noodles. After the upgrade, they updated their menu and included a range of Thai dishes. The chef and staff are Thai and food boasts the essence of Thailand.
Try Suea Rong Hai (crying tiger) at your own risk. The brisket of beef was scrumptious but topped with intense spices.
There are two versions of Drunkard Noodles available at Kra Pow – with Pork ($7.90) or Seafood ($8.90). Fried with broad flat rice noodles (kway teow), the use of chilies and fresh holy basil give rise to its distinct spiciness.
If you don’t mind waiting in a queue, the eatery is a great place to stop by. Kra Pow Thai Restaurant (Far East Plaza)
First Thai (Purvist Street)
23 Purvis St, Singapore 188600
Tel: +65 6339 3123
Opening Hours: 11:30am – 3pm, 6pm – 10pm (Mon-Sun)
Always crowded, (used to be) highly popular, the quaint coffee-shop style eatery has generally decent Thai food.
The Gai Pad Gra Pow ($8) was a fiery combination of tender chicken and fried basil leaves. The Tom Yum Gong came with a variety of ingredients and spices.
While the stock seems rather clear, the Tom Yum was really potentially potently spicy. Get ready your tissue if you are the type who sweats.
The food is quite good, but the service needs a little work.
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