Not to be mistaken for Boat Quay’s Sukhothai Restaurant, Sukothai Kitchen here in the Ang Mo Kio neighborhood, though unassuming looking, proves to be larger than life. Located at Block 408, they are affordable, casual and very much a hidden gem. Don’t ask me whether they really do taste authentic though. I haven’t been to Thailand / been sufficiently exposed to weigh that, sorry.
Thai Iced Milk Tea ($1.50) :: Besides being itself, a thirst-quencher, there was nothing to yell about.
Tom Yum Soup (Clear) ($5 / $10) :: Spiciness is a very subjective thing. I could use a little more of that. For a gauge, I love the chokingly and sharply spicy Tom Yum Soup that Thai Express offers. Otherwise, the flavors were pretty alright. The price remains unchanged, be it with seafood, prawn, fish or chicken. Usually you would head to a Thai restaurant when you’re particularly craving for a good bowl of Tom Yum Soup, right. Though not the best, it still did its job of satisfying that craving.
I would always opt for the clear version of Tom Yum Soup. They are more often than not, the ‘original’ version of the soup. Red Tom Yum Soup happens when Thai sweet chili paste and evaporated milk are added in, and I tend to believe that it results in less kick.
Thai Prawn Cakes ($5 for 2 pieces) :: I haven’t exactly been to a whole lot of Thai restaurants, but this, by far, is the best that I’ve had. Its crust was crisp and thin, thus doing a lot more of the complementary than the hindering job of the taste of the inner prawn cake. The cakes were well-flavored and the chunks of prawn meats were evident. A must order.
Pandan Chicken ($6 for 3 pieces; $10 for 5 pieces) :: On the other hand, I’d say skip this dish albeit its sizable portion. It came across as a little too dry, and not adequately flavored. I had expected my Pandan Chicken to both smell and taste of strong pandan flavors.
Phad Thai ($5) :: While the texture and degree of moisture of the noodles were good, I did not quite enjoy the whole sweeter-than-average kind of Phad Thai.
Pineapple Fried Rice ($5) :: I very much preferred the Pineapple Rice over the Phad Thai. I like that the grains stood independently and not mushy and overly moist. The flavor was also outstanding, which goes to show that notwithstanding that it’s priced economically, the quality is still upheld and not compromised.
Baked Glass Noodles with Prawns ($16 / $22) :: Though dubbed its signature dish, I was a little disappointed with how it turned out. We were warned to take quick photos or its quality might be affected drastically. And so we did. Again, I thought the noodles were a tad’ too sweet for my liking. The texture of the baked glass noodles was great though, moist and all for sure, and I’m glad they didn’t clump together badly. Deep sea prawns (large / king prawns were used for the dish, and they were nothing but fresh, huge and springy.
Basil Minced Pork ($8 / $12) :: I was pleasantly taken aback to fall in love with this simple dish. Like its facade, it’s unobtrusive but turned out to be a screamer. There was a good mix of fatty meat and well, not so fatty ones, hence giving a spoonful of this a well-balanced bite of chewiness and meatiness. The saltiness was spot on, and the tracks of spiciness enhanced the flavors. A must order.
Deep-fried Garlic Pork ($6 / $10) :: For a garlic lover like myself, I loved the dish. I like that with every bite, a generous fragrant scent and taste of garlic would evoke. My only complain would be that the meat was a little too thinly sliced. It’d have been more indulgent if I could put in my mouth a more substantial block of meat.
Steamed Squid with Spicy Lemon Sauce ($8 / $15) :: Also available in the same sauce for a Steamed Fish, we opted for this because well, we prefer squids. I’m personally a huge fan of one. Their very Thai interpretation of a sour and spicy squid wasn’t too bad. The squid itself was steamed well, soft but still retaining the necessary chewiness of squids (that’s the whole enjoyment). It was a very straightforward dish and can easily be deconstructed to understand it. If you like squid, spiciness and sourness, it’s needless to think; just order this.
Fried Kailan with Roast Pork ($8 / $12) :: Opinions were on extreme ends of the table. Some liked it a lot, while for others like me, didn’t. I could still taste the rawness of the vegetables. The roast pork was average at best too.
Katiam Lek, also known as small garlic (size of a 10-cent coin), is a type of garlic used as a measurement to keep the menu as authentic as they can. They are used across all dishes in the restaurant, resulting in a stronger, more fragrant and sweeter taste (that explains). I admire the effort, because believe it or not, not only are they small, they are 5 times the normal price of the the ordinary garlic we use here in Singapore.
While there were hits and misses, it is inevitable taking into consideration what the Chef has to note while preparing the dishes. The eatery is located in the neighborhood, and thus target audience is more of the residents. The price tags are more than reasonable. I foresee that service wouldn’t be a problem either, since the entire shop is a square; easy to spot any hands raised. Of course then comes the flavors. They were tweaked in parts of it so as to cater to the local taste buds, in which I have no problem with. Heck, so long as it tastes good right.
As a whole, Sukhothai Kitchen is one of the most value-for-money Thai Restaurants I’ve been to. If not for the fact that I’m a Westie, it is not unlikely that I would be a frequent patron here. Further, they also have lunch promotions (Monday – Friday, 11.30am – 2.30pm), offering dishes like Pineapple Fried Rice and Basil Minced Pork Rice at only $3.90. Any day, man! One downside is that they do not sell iced water by the cup, not even for $0.30. As spoken with the owner, we were told that they are considering bringing in that. I am heartened, and hope that will come into play the soonest. Though I’m one who will not order any beverage if I find that my tap water will be charged. It’s a good avenue of revenue I know, but I do not believe in it.
We also heard that desserts will be introduced real soon! Can’t wait.
—> Note #1: All stated prices are nett. No surcharge of GST / service charge.
Special gratitude to Francis and the Sukhothai Kitchen team for the hospitality and hosting the invited tasting session.
Address: 408 Ang Mo Kio Avenue 10, #01-773
Telephone: 9366 3112
Opening Hours: 11.30am – 2.30pm, 5.30pm – 9.30pm (Mon – Fri); 12pm – 3.30pm, 4.30pm – 10.30pm (Sat – Sun)