Saturday, January 21, 2012

Restaurant review: Bali Thai, Singapore

As Singapore was gearing up to welcome the lunar new year, me and a friend decided to celebrate the commencement of the holidays by catching up over dinner. We decided to go to Bali Thai. This restaurant offers a range of Malay/Indonesian, Indochinese and Thai dishes. I haven't sampled much of Indonesian or Malay cuisine but I have tried a variety of Thai dishes. And who doesn't love Thai food? I love the color, vibrancy, zing and flavor of this cuisine.  Some of the best Thai dishes I have ever had was on a holiday to Phuket and whenever I go to a restaurant which serves Thai dishes, I hope to rekindle those strong food memories. I've been to Bali Thai before and although the food there is not even close to what I had in Thailand, it still is pretty good (but then again, I guess it is a bit of an unfair comparison). Also, keep in mind that the quality of your dining also depends on which branch you go to. I've heard that the Bali Thai at IMM and Novena square are the better ones.

The particular Bali Thai that we went to was located in West Mall. The interior of the restaurant is pleasing and the ambiance is cozy. The staff are friendly and greet the customers enthusiastically as they enter the restaurant. As we sat down, we were handed the menus along with some crackers with sweet chilli sauce. Not something I particularly like but it gives you something to nibble on while you are deciding what you want to order.

Crackers with sweet chilli sauce

We poured through the menu and were quite happy to discover an impressive selection of vegetarian dishes (which can be a rarity in many non-Indian restaurants). I almost always order spring rolls for starters. There is something about the simplicity of spring rolls that I just adore. These spring rolls were crispy and light making them quite yummy.

Spring rolls

The Thai mango papaya salad is something I've ordered before and enjoyed but I didn't order it this time. I would recommend it though. After that we ordered a tofu and cashewnut stir fry which in my opinion was the dish of the day. I loved the combination of fried tofu, crunchy cashews, colorful bell peppers with a hint of dry red chilli and tinge of sweetness.

Tofu and cashewnut stir-fry

After that we shared some egg fried rice with the stir-fry and plain rice with green curry.  The egg fried rice was very nice....I love the way the rice was cooked. It was simply prepared and delicious. The green curry was good but I felt it was a little watery.

Egg fried rice

Thai green curry

I downed all these dishes with fresh sweet Thai coconut water which they served in its natural form. It makes quite a pretty picture don't you think? There is something very pure and refreshing about the taste of coconut water. It reminds me of my childhood when I used to go to my grandfather's farm with my cousins and enjoy sweet and cool tender coconut water at the end of a hot day.

Coconut water

After eating all this, we were feeling quite full (as you can imagine) but then I wanted to sample a dessert. I ordered the glutinous rice with mango. I have mixed feelings about this dessert. For one, it wasn't sweet enough for me (I have an Indian palette you see!). The mangoes were indeed sweet and had a lovely fragrance with the sesame topping adding an interesting touch but the glutinous rice with the coconut cream was a bit of a miss for me. If there were more pieces of mango I could have finished the dish because that was what brought it together and made it palatable.

Glutinous rice with mango

Bali Thai is a good place to enjoy some good fusion and Thai food. It is not what I would describe as expensive but then again, it is not cheap either. This is a typical mid-range restaurant. I would recommend it for families or larger groups as you can sit together and share dishes.

 My rating for this restaurant would be a 3 out of 5. 

Note: This is not a sponsored review. The comments and opinions in this post are solely my own.

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