Sunday, 12 June 2011
a lovely evening with tasty Thai food.
We often travel along Pasir Panjang Road and always notice a rather 'quaint' little Thai Restaurant at the end of a row of shophouses between Pepys and Yew Sian Roads. Each time we passed by we made comment that "one evening we will come back and try this restaurant"!
Last night was THE night and we were not disappointed. Three of us dined in, arriving there at 6.20pm when it was rather quiet. Though it didn't take long for the rest to arrive as it filled up very quickly and I can guarantee most of them were 'regular customers'. Regardless of how busy the restaurant was, the staff were attentive to our needs and we were served our meals quietly, efficiently and with a smile.
On their website is has:
E-Sarn Thai Cuisine, is a small family of restaurants originally set up by Achara (or Neng, as she is known to regulars). The original restaurant (E-Sarn Thai Cuisine at Sixth Avenue) had its humble beginnings as a hawker stall named "Neng's Kitchen" in Farrer Road Market.
Today, you will still find the same delicious home-style Thai food prepared by native Thai chefs, who are hand-picked and trained by Neng herself.
E-Sarn - also known as Isan or Isaan - is the Northeast region of Thailand and is famous for its culinary delicacies. The most notable characteristics of E-Sarn cuisine are the use of Khao Neow (Sticky Rice) rather than plain rice, as well as fiery chillies. Popular dishes include Som Tum (Papaya Salad), Larb (Minced Meat Salad) and Gai Yang (Grilled Chicken). These wonderful flavours have all spread to other parts of Thailand, favoured as everyday dishes the locals enjoy!
Our order started with the Appetizer Platter - a serving of fish cakes, spring rolls and soft shell crab. The fish cakes were very tasty with a hint of chilli, the spring rolls lacked 'something', though they were nice and the soft shell crab was just perfect. Crispy and dry with loads of flavour.
We ordered a bottle of wine to have with our meal and at $39.90 SGD it was "acceptable" .... still find it difficult to 'accept' the high price of imported wines due to the Singapore Tax! Though since 2008 all alcoholic beverages are taxed on the basis of their alcoholic content, whereas in the past only beer and stout were taxed on the basis of their alcoholic strength and everything else on the volume!
but back to the food ......
after the appetizer, we had the papaya salad, the basil beef and the sweet and sour pork along with servings of steamed rice.
In order of 'serving' the waiter brought out the papaya salad which sat on our table for about 8 - 10 minutes before the Appetizer Platter arrived..... I assumed that the salad would have arrived after the platter and along with the main meals. But was not to be!
The salad was not quite as I expected, very little papaya (or pawpaw), large amount of cabbage and too much 'dressing' for my liking. Though this particular dish is one of E-Sarns more popular dishes, I am surprised at its popularity as it was not as tasty as it could have been. We have had this dish many times in the past - elsewhere - and this time we were a little disappointed.
Green papaya salad, known as som tam, is popular in most areas of Thailand, and when you taste it, you'll know why. The slightly tart flavor of the green papaya combines well with the spice of red chili pepper and the saltiness of shrimp paste, fish sauce, a little lime juice, plus the sweetness of honey. But the "the sweetness" should not overpower the rest of the flavours as it did in this case. Or perhaps it was due to "too much of the sauce" as the salad was literally swimming in it.
The basil beef was delicious..... easy to make with sliced beef, green peppers, fish sauce, basil leaves and onions. But it is the combination of all in the right quantities that makes this dish - delicious - which it was. The steamed rice was perfect and came readily to our table each time it was requested.
The Sweet and Sour Pork had a nice flavour, though to my taste buds, very sweet ...... had to tip the dish slightly 'on the side' to drain the excess sweet sauce. The flavour was there, but had more of a Chinese flavour to it than what I would consider Thai ....
Overall - a lovely evening with tasty Thai food.
The above 'comments' on the meal are of my own personal taste only.
E-Sarn Thai Cuisine, a friendly neighbourhood eatery at
130 Pasir Panjang Road, Singapore 118548
Opening hours are :
Mon, Wed-Fri: 11am - 2.30pm and 5.30pm - 10pm;
Sat-Sun: 11.30am to 10pm
(Last orders at 9.30pm)
CLOSED ON TUESDAYS