My girlfriend suggested we have dinner at Ah Loy Thai.
The reason for her suggesting that was because we had accidentally walked into the restaurant days earlier and the restaurant was packed. The reviews on google was also good with an average score of 4.0. Pretty decent a grade by Singaporean standards.
The restaurant is located at Tan Quee Lan Street near Bugis MRT station.
No reservations are allowed after 7pm so we just headed in and got a queue number from the cashier. While we were waiting outside (there are stools provided to make the wait more bearable) and pondering over the order chit for what we shall soon partake, it dawned on me that I should check whether the restaurant accepted cards. NOPE! The restaurant does not.
Please remember to bring cash with you or else you will be running around like me finding an ATM machine.
By the time I am back from my ATM hunt, my girlfriend was already seated inside.
First Impressions of Ah Loy Thai
The restaurant space was well utilised but not overly packed. There was still some space between the tables and chairs despite the restaurant being almost at full capacity during dinner service.
The restaurant was clean and looked inviting.
From the decor, it appears that the owners are actually Thai. Another plus point since I would expect the food to be more authentic.
The restaurant is partially self service. You place your orders at the cashier and help yourself to the plates, bowls, cutlery and condiments at a side counter. The food, however, will be sent to your table when ready.
Food at Ah Loy Thai
The menu was varied. Although not wide, it offers a wide enough spread for a few visits without having to “repeat” a dish.
- Tom Yum Soup;
- Green Curry;
- Glass Noodles;
- Crispy Butter Squid; and
- Kang Kong.
The entire meal (inclusive of beverages) cost us about $47.50.
The food was great!
Normally, other restaurants only excel in one dish and you get disappointed with all the goodness of one dish being drowned out by the other sub par dishes.
This was one of the few restaurants that I found generally well balanced in terms of the quality of their dishes. Each dish was, by my standards, good. The portions are also generous. While we ordered 5 dishes, it was a tad bit too much and could have comfortably fed 3-4 persons if we dropped the Tom Yum Soup and ordered another main.
The Tom Yum Soup while spicy was not over the top. It doesn’t burn you from the start. It’s a persistent burn but without that sharp pain making it enjoyable to sip during the course of your meal.
The green curry was surprising. Although more white than green, the dish was surprisingly flavourful. It came with an uncommon combination of chicken and fish balls giving it a mixed texture. The gravy paired well with the white rice I ordered.
The glass noodles were great. It was piping hot when served and felt “fresh” from the wok. It was tasty without the chef having to overdo on a particular flavour. Sometimes chefs then to overload on the pepper such that all you taste is just that spice. Ah Loy’s glass noodles was sitting right on the fence and maintaining a balanced taste profile.
The Kang Kong was also nicely done with the stems retaining some crunch. It balanced out the meat heavy nature of the other dishes.
While all the dishes were good, the Crispy Butter Squid was, I think, the highlight of the meal. If you have ever tried butter prawn and are familiar with the butter taste, this dish has that. However what makes it even better is that the squid had been deep fried previously and the fried layer holds onto that rich butter taste. Despite being covered with the butter based gravy, the outer layer retained its crispiness. Each bite was heavenly. The butter gravy was so good that I was experimenting it with both the rice I had and also with the glass noodles: My own version of buttered rice and glass noodles. YUMMMY!
Will I return to Ah Loy Thai?
I don’t think I have a choice (My girlfriend, I think, is hooked to this restaurant).
But if I were to give my usual rating, I would say it deserves one and a half stars. It is good for its category and I think borders close to something that is worth a detour to have if you are passing by.
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