When you talk about one of the best Thai-style Wanton Noodles in Singapore, KinMoo The Thai Noodle House should certainly spring into mind.
So much so that the famous Wongnai duo has given the eatery a thumbs up and a slap on the table – an indication that it serves damn-good food.
The duo was remembered to say, “Thai restaurant in Singapore. Even the restaurant is not in Thailand.”
Well, they are not wrong about it. You see, even though Thai Wanton Noodles aka Baa Mee Moo Dang is a popular street food in Bangkok, they are usually sold in humble stalls and not restaurants per se.
KinMoo is probably one of the first in Singapore dedicated to serve up Thai noodles in a restaurant, with an open-kitchen concept.
Famous for its Thai Wanton Mee, this original brand is conceptualised by owner couple Rudolph Tan and Thai chef Thanyaphad Tanapermpassaphon. Chef used to own a a Thai restaurant called “Chicroom” in Phuket, and you can be assured that food served has a level of authenticity.
KinMoo takes the quaint Thai street food and places it in a minimalist 50-seater café-style setting.
The first shop is located at Tan Quee Lan Street (near Bugis MRT station), and its franchise outlet recently opened at North Canal Road (near Boat Quay and Raffles Place).
I went to both the main and franchise, and quality remains consistent.
Chef Thanyaphad adds her own spin to Thailand’s legendary cuisine and gives it a modern touch, creating a line-up of tasty, affordably-priced dishes.
You’ll find a lot of pork-based dishes – well, “KinMoo” means “eat pork” after all. If you’re a non-pork eater, don’t worry. There are options for you here:
BaaMee Keow Haeng Moo Dang (Thai Wanton Mee) ($8.00)
KinMoo’s famed Thai Wanton Mee is praised for its excellently springy egg noodles, specially made in Singapore according to the owners’ standard.
Thai-style wanton mees are generally dryer compared to other Asian versions, with very minimal sauce.
The noodles are tossed in special sauce and lard oil, then topped with wanton, pork charsiew (made from grilled pork collar), and further topped with (gasp!) more chunks of lard. Special mention goes to the crispy lard which are all freshly prepared from scratch back in the kitchen.
Adding that distinct Thai flavour to the mee are fresh coriander leaves and Thai garlic. So apparently, the usual garlic doesn’t have that much of a ‘fragrance’, and so Thai garlic is specially imported for that distinctive aroma.
BaaMee Haeng Tom Yum (Tom Yum Noodle Dry) ($8.00)
Here’s a dish with a twist. Tom Yum is typically served as a soup, but here it’s transformed into a sauce.
The springy egg noodles are tossed in the house-made tom yum sauce, then dressed up with various meats and veggies.
You get a mixture of minced pork, pork liver, and pork intestine, flanked with crunchy beansprouts, shredded long beans, and a boiled egg.
The crushed peanuts and deep-fried wanton skin add extra textures. Squeeze the lime for maximum goodness, and let that tangy-spiciness do the talking.
Tom Yum Goong (Tom Yum Prawn Soup) ($12.90)
When you go to a Thai restaurant, one of the iconic signifying dishes to order is the Tom Yum Goong.
Happy to say that the Tom Yum Goong ticked most of the boxes, spicy with the right amount of sourness, slightly to the creamy side with a lot of aromatics used.
You can also go for the Kuay Teow Nam Tom Yum aka Tom Yum Noodle Soup ($8.00).
Enjoy an array of ingredients – rice noodles, bean sprouts, shredded long beans, minced meat, liver, intestine, boiled egg, crushed peanuts and deep-fried wanton skin – in a soothing bowl of broth to warm you up.
Bee Hoon Nam Kon (Rice Vermicelli in Pork Soup) ($8.90)
Here’s one of the newer noodle dishes to try on your next visit, Bee Hoon Nam Kon.
A good option for those who want mild, non-spicy flavours. Yes, you’ll still have that umami taste in the thickened broth for they take their pork-theme seriously here. The broth includes that same braising sauce they use for the pork knuckles, which includes all that ‘essence’.
The bland rice noodles take on this pork flavour, enlivened further with some minced pork, intestines, and liver.
Phad Thai (Prawn) ($9.00)
Phad Thai is another classic stir-fried noodle dish made with rice noodles, prawns, and a bevy of support ingredients.
Prawns take center stage in this dish.
Typical of Thai cuisine, this dish carries layers of flavours and textures, from umami (prawns) to sour (lime) and spicy (chili powder), from crunchy (crushed peanuts & bean sprouts) to chewy (rice noodles).
Swirl and toss them all together in KinMoo’s signature Pad Thai sauce.
Khaw Kha Moo (Thai Braised Pork Knuckle with Rice) ($8.80)
This dish is a complete meal in itself, with braised pork knuckle served atop steamed white rice.
The tender sweet-savoury pork is a result of long hours of braising in an aromatic soy-based broth with star anise, cinnamon, cumin, and sugar.
The pork knuckle happens to be more on the gelatinous side – not great if you like something meaty, fantastic if you enjoy the melt-in-mouth sensation.
On the side are assorted veggies (blanched Chinese broccoli or picked mustard greens) and kai tun (Thai steamed egg). Don’t forget the spicy garlic dipping sauce to balance the flavours.
Tub Wan (Spicy Liver Salad) ($9.00)
This Isan-style salad is composed of pork liver, Thai herbs, and a spicy-sour-salty dressing.
As the largest region in Thailand, Isan uses simple methods in food prep (think salad or “tams”) and lots of lime, chili pepper, sticky rice, cilantro, mint, dried shrimp, and fresh fruits and vegetables.
A simple side dish, good to go with rice.
Larb Moo (Spicy Minced Pork Salad) ($9.00)
Larb Moo has its roots in Laos but has made it to Thailand where it is commonly served with rice.
This pork-based salad starts with the browning of minced pork, then flavouring it with lime juice and red chili powder.
Like a salad, it’s finished off with some herbs (Thai basil, mint, and cilantro) and sliced red onion.
A key ingredient is khao khua (toasted sticky rice powder) which adds a textural element and a smoky, nutty flavour.
Kor Moo Yang (BBQ Pork Neck) ($9.00)
Another Isan specialty, Kor Moo Yang (literally, “grilled pork neck”) features the predominant flavours of this North-eastern Thailand region thru its dipping sauce jaew.
Like the larb salad dressing, the jaew includes khao khua to give it that distinct aroma and taste.
The sliced barbecued pork has a light chew, nicely seasonable on the outside.
Cha Yen (Thai Iced Milk Tea) ($3.50)
This quintessential Thai beverage. Maintain the balance of flavours in your meal with a glass of strongly brewed Ceylon tea combined with evaporated milk on the side.
But if you can’t take dairy, go for their Cha Dum Yen (Thai Iced Tea) or Cha Ma Naw (Thai iced lime tea). Both are just as refreshing.
Recommended for a quick workday lunch in the Bugis or Raffles Place district, or a weekend dinner with family and friends. They also serve ice-cold beers, in case you feel like chilling after a day at work.
(On another note: The KinMoo team is looking for franchisees to join their growing family. If you are a budding restaurateur looking for a business opportunity, you can drop them an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.)
KinMoo The Thai Noodle House – Bugis
2 Tan Quee Lan Street #01-02 Singapore 188091
Tel: +65 8795 1188
Opening Hours: 11:30am – 3pm, 5:30pm – 10pm (Mon – Sun)
KinMoo The Thai Noodle House – Boat Quay
10 North Canal Road, Singapore 048823
Opening Hours: 9:30am – 3pm, 5:30pm – 9:30pm (Mon – Fri), Closed Sat, Sun
* This entry is brought to you in partnership with Kin Moo.