Here’s another stalwart that serves up gratifying food almost every time that I visit the place: Thanying Restaurant at Amara Hotel in Tanjong Pagar district of Singapore.
A restaurant specialising in authentic Royal Thai food (i.e. the food is only fit for royalties), it has been servicing the palettes of locals and tourists alike since 1998! You may laugh at its dated decor, but considering how well they maintained the place, the place shouts retro more than dated, and this formed another dimension to the gastronomic experience!
To be frank, I always go for the “mainstream” favourites, partly due to my familiarity to the restaurant and also because I found that to be a good way to gauge if the standards have been dropping.
First up, of course, is an all-time favourite, the Mango Sticky Rice! This dessert is a combination of piping hot (and fragrant on its own) glutinous rice and no-added-sugar sweet mangoes! Drizzle the rice with the thick coconut gravy (we tried scooping the gravy with the small ladle-spoon that accompanied the gravy, but ended up just pouring the bowl of contents as we could not wait to devour the sticky munchies!) and this becomes the perfect comfort food any time of the day.
Another must-have should be the Tom Yum Goong. Each personalised bowl comes with 2 big and chewy prawns (that shouts “FRESH!” in your mouth), a handful of straw mushrooms and of course, more than a dash of parsley. The last time I went, the soup was so sour that I thought they might as well serve me a bowl of acid. Unless they repent, I think everyone should avoid the soup altogether.
A surprise came in the form of Fried Egg with Crab Meat. When served, it looked like any fried egg a la Chinese style. The unique texture comes in the moist and fluffy bit in the middle blending into the airy and flaky part at the perimeter. The closest thing I could use to compare this clash of texture would be Tauhu Telor… yes, the flaky part was the signature of a Tauhu Telor!
My personal favourite would be the Pandan Chicken. When the chicken was served, the fragrance overwhelmed the table and bathed us in sweet bliss. Tearing the chicken apart reveals the tender, juicy bit of the chicken that was hidden by the charred, caramelised surface. This is a difficult dish to make, considering the chef had to gauge the caramelisation and tenderness of the chicken that was wrapped in pandan leaves. Sometimes, the chicken may turn out drier than expected, but most of the time, the chef hits the right notes on the palettes from his kitchen.
Service wise, I liked that the servers took the initiative to peel the leaves from the Pandan Chicken, or serve a portion of the Pineapple rice – a standard of service that can only be found in 5-star establishments like St Regis and Raffles Hotel. Of course, they have a price tag that goes with the high service standard and mouthwatering food.
Again, this is an old establishment that seems to be forgotten by Singaporeans, based on my observations of how empty it looked every time I was there. However, I thought this is a gem that we cannot miss out and should continue to support. Yes, the price is on the high side, but it will definitely make good memories when you choose to dine at Thanying Restaurant for special occasions like anniversaries or birthdays.
165 Tanjong Pagar Road
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