Ivan the chef owner of Wang Thai Kitchen invited me to visit his casual Thai restaurant in Toa Payoh, Singapore.
Ivan is an energetic, hands on owner-chef who personally does the cooking at Wang Thai Kitchen. The self taught chef went to Bangkok to learn about making Thai sauces which are at the heart of Thai cuisine.
Together at the tasting (left to right) were Sharon (Delishar blog), Chef Ivan, Diana (Domestic Goddess Wannabe blog), Adeline (The Accidental Mom Blogger) and myself.
We had a fun time and learnt a lot about Thai cuisine from Ivan who is very generous in sharing his knowledge.
Though located in a 1960s era public housing shop lot with bare bones decor, the restaurant is very well kept and comfortable. Wang Thai Kitchen has an extensive menu, so there is something for everyone. Pricing is reasonable.
Ivan cooks everything himself - he is so hard working! ok.... it's also because it is so hard to employ any chef in Singapore these days, let alone a skilled Thai chef. So, Ivan took up the mettle himself, even going to Bangkok to sharpen his skills. I respect Ivan for his fighting spirit and passion.
Here are just a sampling from Wang Thai's menu which Ivan let us try during the tasting session.
Thai Mango Salad with Crispy Fish Skin (SGD10).
Tang Hoon Seafood Salad (SGD10).
Tom Yum Soup (Small – SGD6 / Large – SGD12).
Green Curry Chicken (SGD6).
Thai Style Pork Knuckle (SGD28).
Green Curry Fried Rice (SGD8).
Sea Bass with Thai Lemon Grass (Small – SGD28 / Large – SGD35).
Fried Kway (of kway chap) with Seafood (Small SGD6 / Large – SGD12).
Thai Style Fish Cake (SGD2 each).
Pandan Chicken (SGD2 each).
Coconut Ice Cream with Red Rubies and Mango Caviar (SGD5).
Thai Iced Tea (SGD2.80).
Overall, the portions at Wang Thai Kitchen were quite generous and value for money. The quality of ingredients was good for the price level. The flavours were much milder than those in Thailand and made more attuned to local palates. This works well for families with children and elder folks.
Toa Payoh is Singapore's first suburban satellite town built in the 1960s. I used to live in this town till the late 1970s. Block 92, where Wang Thai Kitchen is located was one of my old haunts as a boy - playing football in the green spaces between the flats.
New paint, covered walkways and a community hall are later additions, but the rustic four storey flats are still the way I remembered them.
If you like Thai style food without the signature robust tanginess and sharp spiciness, you may enjoy the gentler flavours at Wang Thai Kitchen.
Restaurant name: Wang Thai Kitchen 旺泰小橱
Address: 92 Lorong 4 Toa Payoh, Singapore 310092
Hours: 11.30am – 2.30pm, 5.30pm – 9.30pm (Closed on Weds)
Date visited: 7 Mar 2015
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