Thai Village Restaurant Tasting SessionThai Village Restaurant Tasting Session
22 Scotts Road
#01-01 Goodwood Park Hotel
19 Yung Ho Road
2 Stadium Walk
#01-02 Singapore Indoor Stadium
Daily: 11:30pm - 2:30pm, 6pm - 10pm
This was an invited media review. I did not pay for the meal during the free hosted tasting session, but I did pay the standard price during subsequent visits.
Attended with representatives from Chubby Botak Koala, Fundamentally Flawed, Little Miss Bento, The Food Chapter, Hannah Chia's Food Trail, Lirongs, and The Silver Chef.
Excellent Food & Service, More Chinese Than Thai
(Ratings: On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 = Worst and 10 = Best)
Ambience & Setting: 7
Food & Beverage: 9
Value for Money: 7
Budget about SGD $100 ++ per person.
Despite its name, Thai Village Restaurant doesn't specialise in Thai cuisine, rather, they offer Chinese Teochew cuisine that has elements of Thai influence. Established in 1991, Thai Village Restaurant has since grown internationally, but their restaurant managers tell us they still get confused customers wandering in to order Tom Yum Soup or Green Curry Chicken (No, they don't have these on the menu). I can't help thinking though, that maybe a more accurate name than Thai Village Restaurant may help.
|Thai Village Restaurant Exterior|
Name aside, Thai Village Restaurant has the ambience of a fine Chinese restaurant, exuding an elegant Oriental sophistication that is modern, but not gaudy. Brightly lit, with clean lines, and comfortable modern furniture and tableware in colours of white and maroon, set within a spacious layout. Thai Village Restaurant retains the traditional Chinese seafood display, with live fish and seafood in large, clear glass tanks that provide a focal point. Decor of modern paintings / art pieces adorn the walls, while a central wine chiller commands attention at their entrance. I noticed however, that sound tends to carry within the restaurant, which means it can get noisy during busy periods.
|Thai Village Restaurant Interior|
I find staff at Thai Village Restaurant to be well trained, efficient in service, and polite. Very welcoming, they offer greetings upon entry, and provide discreet service tableside. Empty or dirty plates are quickly cleared, drinks are regularly topped up without asking, and portioning of dishes is also done quickly and fairly. While not all of them can accurately describe how a dish is prepared, they know enough to answer general questions, and will assist to check for more details. I like that the service during my visit felt personal, with staff acknowledging diners through eye contact and smiling, so unlike other places where staff seem rushed. Memorable service, makes me want to return!
|Thai Village Restaurant Private Dining Room|
The menu at Thai Village Restaurant is predominately Chinese fine dining / premium Zi Char style, with a focus on Teochew cuisine, featuring clean, light flavours. The twist is the inclusion of Thai ingredients and flavours, which makes their Thai-Teochew cuisine one of the earliest examples of fusion food in Singapore. Communal dining is encouraged, as portions are large, typically meant for at least 3 or more people. And as a fine dining restaurant using premium ingredients, prices reflect the high quality they offer, so be prepared to splurge when dining here. Budget between SGD $70 - $130 per person for a meal at Thai Village Restaurant.
|Nam Phrik Num / Northen Thai Green Chili Dipping Sauce|
We had 2 appetizers. The Braised Peanuts were very soft, with a nice savoury taste of the soy braising sauce, and I loved it! The Achar / Nonya Spicy Pickled Salad was suitably crunchy, featuring pickled cucumbers, carrots, pineapples, and a crushed peanut garnish, with the sauce being sour and slightly spicy.
|Achar / Nonya Spicy Pickled Salad|
For years, the Braised Superior Shark's Fin With Crab Meat (SGD $65 Small, $130 Large) has been the star highlight of the restaurant. Packed with a generous amount of ingredients, including fresh deshelled crab meat, shiitake mushrooms, bean sprouts, and Chinese parsley, traditionalists will be pleased with the large portion of soft shark's fin, imported from Spain. However, greater environmental and sustainable awareness in recent years have greatly impacted the sale of this dish, and it has fallen out of favour with the general public of Singapore. Fortunately, Thai Village Restaurant has a lot more to offer in terms of seafood.
|Braised Superior Shark's Fin With Crab Meat (SGD $65 Small, $130 Large)|
|Braised Superior Shark's Fin With Crab Meat|
The Teochew style Braised Duck Web (SGD $20 per serving) looks unappetizing, but tastes great! The duck is so soft, with a slightly gelatinous texture, a savoury taste from the soy braising sauce, and so fragrant! If you're able to get past the look of the dish, you'll be pleasantly surprised by how good this is! Apparently, this dish is also rich in collagen due to the duck skin, which is great for skincare.
|Braised Duck Web (SGD $20 per serving)|
|Braised Duck Web|
Loved how pretty the Deluxe Cold Dish (SGD $42 Small, $70 Large) was in presentation! Individually, I loved the crispness of the spring rolls, the unique salted egg with a potato coat, and the freshness of the salad prawns with sweet, diced strawberries. The cold poached drunken chicken had decent flavour, although I thought the texture was slightly tough, and the marinated seasoned baby octopus was rather average.
|Deluxe Cold Dish (SGD $42 Small, $70 Large)|
|Deluxe Cold Dish|
What I like about the Baked Crab With Vermicelli (SGD $36 Small, $72 Large) is how the soft mung bean vermicelli noodles has absorbed all the flavourful essence of the crab, as it's cooked in the same pot, making it very fragrant! The Sri Lanka crab itself is very fresh and meaty, and you need to really get in with your fingers and get messy with this dish!
|Baked Crab With Vermicelli (SGD $36 Small, $72 Large)|
|Baked Crab With Vermicelli|
We agreed the Baked Lobster With Cheese (SGD $14 per 100 grams) was incrediblely lovely! The lobster is so fresh, very meaty, totally juicy and succulent! The creamy, slightly buttery, delicate flesh pairs well with the melted cheese, creating an amazing fragrance. Chef Hau Ee Boon hasn't messed too much with the lobster, allowing the clean, natural taste to shine. Baked with a combination of 3 types of chees (cheddar, parmesan, and brie), this is like a Singapore version of a lobster thermidor. Feel so indulgent eating this, highly recommended!
|Baked Lobster With Cheese (SGD $14 per 100 grams)|
|Baked Lobster With Cheese|
The king oyster mushrooms in the Pan-Fried Japanese Wagyu Beef With Mushrooms (SGD $88 Small, $176 Large) are almost unrecognisable as mushrooms, looking more like roast potatoes! But they're soft, tender, and savoury from being cooked in the meat juices, and when paired with the equally soft and tender beef, the combination is excellent. The beef is the real star on this dish, tender, with a slight bouncy texture in the mouth, evidence of the authentic high quality Japanese wagyu. Well worth the price too, I understand this quality cut of beef costs more elsewhere! Highly recommended!
|Pan-Fried Japanese Wagyu Beef With Mushrooms (SGD $88 Small, $176 Large)|
|Pan-Fried Japanese Wagyu Beef With Mushrooms|
My experience with Thai style baked fish is usually a fragrant, aromatic dish, often involving ingredients such as lemongrass, garlic, and ginger. The Baked Thai Style Cod Fish (SGD $30 Small, $60 Large) here however, doesn't use lemongrass, but the fragrant, buttery cod fish is instead infused with the essence of spring onions, garlic, ginger, soy sauce, and pork belly! The result is extremely tender fish, aromatic and savoury, delightful to eat with its buttery texture. Just watch out for the small bones!
|Baked Thai Style Cod Fish (SGD $30 Small, $60 Large)|
|Baked Thai Style Cod Fish|
The Chinese Spinach With Superior Broth (SGD $12 Small, $24 Large) has fresh Chinese spinach, in a delicious, eggy broth / soup. The broth / soup itself is made with anchovies and Chinese herbs, making it light and delicate, good enough to drink on its own!
|Chinese Spinach With Superior Broth (SGD $12 Small, $24 Large)|
|Chinese Spinach With Superior Broth|
Felt the unique Abalone Rice (SGD $33 per serving) was very well executed, with luxuriously thick slices of Argentinian abalone and shiitake mushroom over fragrant white rice, doused completely with a savoury sweet thick gravy. A very filling dish, but sadly, I was so full by this point that I couldn't manage more than 2 mouthfuls.
|Abalone Rice (SGD $33 per serving)|
Kudos to the management for staying true to their Teochew roots, as evident by the delicious Yam Paste With Ginko Nuts (SGD $5 per serving, $18 Small, $36 Large), served with a dollop of mashed pumpkin, and coconut milk on the side. The texture of the yam paste is properly thick yet smooth, and not too sweet, but I thought it looked somewhat lumpy when presented. Still pretty good, I think the traditionalists will be quite happy with this!
|Yam Paste With Ginko Nuts (SGD $5 per serving, $18 Small, $36 Large)|
|Yam Paste With Ginko Nuts|
While the high prices at Thai Village Restaurant give me pause, I think they're a great place to celebrate special occasions, especially since their food tastes great and is of high quality. With their polite, discreet service, and attention to detail, it's little wonder that Thai Village Restaurant has garnered praise for its fantastic Thai-Teochew cuisine!