Meet spunky Jen Fu, the youthful owner chef of Nung Len at MacKenzie Road near Little India in Singapore. Jen is a Le Cordon Bleu alumni and a huge fan of Thai cuisine - big credentials rolled into her petite frame.
Inspired by the cafes she visited in Thailand, Jen opened Nung Len in Sept 2015, her first venture. Jen described her eatery as a modern Thai cafe serving traditional Thai food and contemporary Thai-fusion dishes.
The name Nung Len is Thai for "sitting around and chill". Well, in whatever language, hanging out with friends over food and drinks is something we all like to do. So, that's what Nung Len cafe is about - an informal, casual space to hang out, enjoy Thai food together with drinks and friends.
When I was told that Nung Len is at MacKenzie Road, the address sounded familiar but I couldn't recall anything about the place. But, the moment I stepped out of Little India MRT station (just 50 metres from Nung Len), everything came back at once.
You see, my dad used to be a Singapore Traction Company (STC) bus driver. STC is the pioneer of Singapore public bus services. I used to ride in STC buses with my dad and always ended up at the STC depot at MacKenzie Road. The old STC bus depot (now occupied by secondhand car dealers) is right next to where Nung Len is today.
Then right across, there is Rex cinema, another place full of memories. It's where we saw the (now) vintage blockbuster movies like Tora! Tora! Tora!, Earthquake and more.
Let's get down to the food :-D
Thai style fried chicken wings using only the middle joint, also known as flats or wingettes. It's the joint with the best combination of tender meat, fat and skin. Simply marinated with a mild savoury marinade with subtle spices and then deep fried to a golden brown crisp outside.
Perfect beer food or starter.
Gai Nung Len - crispy strips of chicken breast painted with thick splashes of signature savoury sweet Nung Len sauce created by Jen.
The fried chicken strips were laid on a bed of fried leafy greens which were crispy with a savoury green taste.
Gaeng Kiew Waan Gai Yang - Green Curry Grilled Chicken.
I like this dish as I am a big fan of both grilled chicken and green curry. The chicken chop was grilled to a crisp outside while the flesh was still tender and juicy. The slab of chicken sits in a slurp worthy pool of mild sweet savoury spicy thick green curry.
Kway Tiew Tom Yum Boran.
Lots of strong flavours in this kway tiew tom yum.
There's fried crisps, shrimp, squid, pork patty, hard boiled egg and a mound of generic flat rice noodles half submerged in a thick savoury spicy tangy tom yum broth. Liberally dusted with chili flakes and crushed peanuts.
I love that minced pork patty which is bouncy, juicy and naturally sweet. Wet on the outside with that savoury spicy tom yum broth which gave the pork additional interesting flavours.
Flavoursome comfort dish with robust flavours. I believe it would appeal strongly to people who like "kick" in their food.
Laab Tod - Spicy Pork Ball with herbs and powdered rice.
Lots of spice and spicy flavours folded into these tender juicy hand rolled minced pork balls. They have a slight crispy feel due to the embedded toasted powdered rice and the outside which is fried to a deep brown crisp.
Seafood Tom Yum Goong in a clay pot.
Nung Len SG serves a good rendition of this savoury tangy spicy Thai classic using fresh ingredients.
Lovely Thai Milk Tea cake.
Smooth creamy sweet aromatic milk tea between bouncy sponge and drizzled with syrupy milk tea. I enjoyed this a lot.
Must order this iced Thai Milk Tea or cha yen - smooth, not overly sweet and has that refreshing tea aroma. One of the best that I have tasted in Singapore or Thailand.
Eat Thai food, of course must pair with Thai beer lah. But, Nung Len SG also serves German and other beers.
A pretty white tuk tuk - that ubiquitous, nippy runabout found all over Thailand. This is the first time I am seeing a white one. This is a genuine tuk tuk, by the way.
->> An accessible place for good Thai food at reasonable prices.
Disclosure: Please note that this is an invited tasting.
Restaurant name: Nung Len SG
Address: 33 Mackenzie Road, Singapore
GPS: 1.304948, 103.849339 / 1°18'17.8"N 103°50'57.6"E
Tel: 6238 0184 (as Nung Len is sometimes booked for private events, please call before you come)
Hours: 10:30am to 10:30pm
Date visited: 18 Apr 2016
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