Nara Thai was voted as Thailand’s Best Restaurant 2013 in Thailand and before its grand opening in Singapore, there was already lots of hype on FaceBook! Talk about the power of social media. As a foodie-on-the-hunt, I went down to the restaurant, eager to find out whether the Singapore franchise lives up to the reputation of the brand. Be prepared to be down on the waiting list for dinner though!
Yum Som O [Pomelo Salad] ($13.90) – I loved how the pomelos were in huge chunky forms and most importantly, they were juicy and sweet. The dressing had a heavy taste of Thai fish sauce, hence I’d advise to mix the salad well or you’ll get mouthfuls salty fruit. The fresh and succulent prawns added a nice final touch to a refreshing salad.
Hor Mok Pla Grai [Red Curry Fish Soufflés] ($14.90) – My favourite dish of the night! Unlike the usual pan-fried fish cakes, these were not greasy and were very much like savoury soufflés, embodying a spongy and soft texture. With moisture and rich flavours trapped in the teacups, the fish cakes were topped off with sweet coconut sauce. This dish was very unique and worth a try!
Tom Yum Kung [River Prawns in Spicy Lemongrass & Lime Soup] ($19.90) – You’ll get some intense heat and probably choke if unwarned (you know now!). Don’t get me wrong though, the level of spiciness was nothing but gratifying. Even though your lips and tongue may start to swell from the heat, you simply can’t stop at a mouthful. The river prawns were huge and juicy and the amount of coconut milk was optimum! Placed above a tea candle, the soup inside was kept piping hot.
Kaeng Kiew Wan Gai [Green Curry w Chicken] ($13.90) – This was lackluster as there wasn’t enough heat and spice. The chicken meat was too tough for my liking as well.
Pla Kra Pong Nung Manao [Steamed Whole Sea Bass w Spicy Chilli Lime Sauce] ($32.90) – We were informed that this dish would take 30 minutes to be prepared and unfortunately, our order was served to the next table which came in later than us, due to the carelessness of staff. We wanted to cancel the order but was told that the fish was on its way, which turned out to be another 30-minute wait. Nonetheless, the fish was huge, fresh and tender – well worth its price in my opinion. The dressing marinated the fish well but I thought that it lacked the spicy kick; or maybe the Tom Yam Kung earlier had primed me for invincible levels of spiciness!
Young Coconut ($8) – Overpriced. Order their Thai Iced Milk Tea instead!
I-thim Nara [Nara’s Coconut Ice Cream w Assorted Thai Sweet Condiments] ($8.80) – A great dessert to end off the meal as you get free-flow of condiments added to your ice cream! If you don’t fancy them, you could just order a single-scoop of coconut ice cream and maybe leech off whoever’s ordering the set.
Nara Thai may not be the best Thai Restaurant I’ve been to but granted, it is the only authentic Thai restaurant in ION that serves decent and affordable Thai food. They offer a huge variety and many permutations of dishes that will please even the pickiest tastebuds!
Nara Thai Restaurant
B3-21, ION Orchard
2 Orchard Turn