Saturday, February 12, 2011

Ah Loy Thai, Shaw Towers

T'was Saturday and deliberating between funky ramen at Millenia Walk and the awesome Thai food at Shaw Towers, we eventually keeled and decided Thai food was a much wiser and cheaper choice. That and the heavenly Tom's Palette next to Ah Loy Thai had just undergone major renovation made the decision a given too - what better way to douse Tom Yam than with some Salted Egg ice cream?

We arrived just before 1pm, and they start cooking at 1pm and as a result we were glad to see the place near empty when we arrived. 5 minutes past 1 and there was a queue, yikes.

We decided not to order the green curry but again chose to stick to Thai staples. Was slightly disappointed with the first dish - Chicken with Basil - felt the chicken could be cooked longer and as such was still sinewy at parts. Also despite the lavish amounts of basil, some chillis and presumed soy-like sauce, it was remarkably bland and un-spicey.

Then the second dish rolled around - sambal sweet potato leaves. Granted you can't really go wrong with this, but the spiciness and saltiness was just right and it wasn't too oily. I've had far too much kang kong-like dishes that were slathered with enough oil and salt to choke a walrus, but this was just right. Yummeh!

The tom yum soup was arguably ... well not arguably, it was plain awesome - this is one of the better if not the best tom yum soup I've had locally. As you may be able to tell, this has a little coconut milk in it, so those who prefer the clear, devilishly spicy kinds would be a tad disappointed. The amazing thing about this soup though was that the amount of coconut milk was just nice to obtain a Spice / Anti-Spice equilibrium - the spiciness kicks you in the face, but shortly after, the mild milky sweetness takes it away. Not to mention the soup was loaded with lotsa fresh seafood! Pure win.

And surprisingly, one of the best renditions of calamari I've ever had across multiple cuisines - there's just something about the way Thais cook their squid. This one in particularly was butter squid and so was not overly slathered in batter ala the usual calamari, but the slight crust and the soft yet chewy squid beneath combined with the overly buttered flavour is simply so terribly sinful and irresistible. And the raw thai mango went surprisingly well!

Best part about this place (besides the location) was the price - for 4 dishes, 4 plates of rice and 3 drinks we barely paid $10 per person, with no GST and service charge. Portions of food seemed less generous but after working through 4 dishes we realized it was just right - with just enough space for ice cream at Tom's heavenly parlour.

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