【Chuan Kitchen】@ Muang Thong Thani Exhibition Center, Bangkok
Generally, Singapore consists of three main races, namely Malaysian, Indian, and Chinese. Therefore, there is no genuine Singapore food but a combined one. And each menu will be claimed as belonging to specific race. However, the main dish of Singapore is those of Indian and Chinese food. Whenever I go to Singapore, I can only think of a few menus, and the must mention ones and I have to have every time while I'm there are Chicken Rice, Laksa and Bak Kut Teh.
Chuan Kitchen is a real Singaporean restaurant with the main focus on Chinese food in Singaporean style. The owner is Singaporean. The restaurant starts from the owner does not want the mom-cooking recipe to disappear after eating the mom-cooking food, which is quite similar to many other famous restaurants' origin.
So, I wouldn't miss to order my first menu... The Chicken Rice or Khao Man Kai (115 THB). It is served in a set of rice, soup, as well as as a set of ginger sauce, chili sauce and soy sauce. For the chicken, it is completely different than those of Thai style because chicken in Singaporean style will be braised in stew soup before fried with oil again. As such, the skin and the meat will be flavored into another level, so it's not as plain or as dry as Thai chicken. Here, the chicken will be served with some soup, making the meat soft and juicy with a bit of salty taste. In combination with the rice that cooked in chicken soup, it's just a good mix, especially of its pleasant smell.
Bak Kut Teh (155 THB). Here, Bak Kut Teh is similar to Thai and Malaysian style because original Singaporean style will be a clear soup with a handful of peppers. However, Singapore offers both styles depending on the restaurant. For the Chuan Kitchen, Bak Kut Teh is served in black stew soup with over 15 kinds of Chinese herbs. The taste is lighter than that of the famous Thai restaurant at Sai Song, the pork itself is tender but yet to reach its softest level where all meat can easily melt in our mouth.
Char Kway Teaw (110 THB). This menu is actually written as Kuai Taew Pad Cha at the restaurant, I think they put it wrong because it has similar sound. Char Kway Taew is a noodle fried with soy sauce and sugar, along with shrimp, cockle, eggs and bean sprouts dish which can be easily seen in almost every Chinese restaurants in Malaysia from street food to restaurant food. Here, they use regular noodles and Hokkien noddles. In addition, sausages and fish cake balls are also added.
Laksa (135 THB). This is another mixed dish of Chinese into Malaysian, Singaporean, and Indonesian style. Each country cooks it differently, some in sour taste while some cook in curry style. The most popular style in Singapore is curry style and it is considered Singaporean national cuisine. The color of the curry might be similar to that of our Tomyom soup but the taste is completely different. Laksa dish refers to noodles in coconut milk curry which is similar to our Khao Soy dish but Laksa is more sour and slight spicy with a thick flavor from coconut milk, so it tastes rather like a curry noodle. The noddle is sticky, cooks along with fish sticks, shrimp, cockle, chicken, tofu, eggs, and the most important ingredients are chili paste and Laksa leaves.
Here comes appetizer time, let's stat with Satay (85 THB). Satay here has a thicker taste than Thai Satay, very tender and smell good, it is delicious without any dressing. The taste here reminds me so much of the Satay Kajang in Malaysia. There, Satay Kajang is available everywhere, every restaurant offers similar Satay, only one menu with options of chicken, beef, lamb, rabbit, or fish. I even specifically went to eat twice. I'm personally really in love with Satay, so I have no disappointment in the taste. This restaurant gives me just the exact of that taste ;)
Salted Egg Lava Steamed Buns (2 for 45 THB). The dough is soft and full of stuffing. Personally, I prefer a bit more smell and taste of salted egg.
French Fries with Salted Egg (70 THB). I think the menu is quite interesting so I tried it. It is just like any other French fries, coming in big sticks but hotly fried with salted egg in a welly mixed manner. For the first few bits, I cannot feel the taste of salted egg because it is still hot. But eventually, I can smell and taste the salted egg, the taste is quite different than any taste I have tasted, a bit rough to the tongue but it's good. Some might worry if it is too salty? I have to say... Not at all. I think it comes in handy, good amount of salty taste, less salty than when sprinkling with salt but better in taste and feeling.
Shrimp Wonton in Sichuan Sauce - 6 pieces (100 THB). I have never had this menu before. First I thought the taste might be similar to Mapotofu (tofu in Sichuan sauce), but it's a bit different. This menu is already little bit salty from the wonton soup, so no need to dip any further sauce. And it's best to eat while it's hot, do not leave it for a long time; otherwise the wonton will not be as soft.
Steamed Prawns with Lemon (55 THB). Each basket will have 2 prawns. This is a quite authentic Thai menu. At first bite, the prawn seems to taste plain, but when we drink the soup, the taste will be just right with a hint of spicy and sour, very delicious and very Thai taste.
Deep Fried Taro - 2 pieces (45 THB). The taro is stuffed with pork or shrimp. The taro is nicely selected and the stuffing is also in good amount, not too much nor too few. The taro is crispy outside but soft inside even leaving for a long time, good taste.
For beverages, I have a pot of Hot Chrysanthemum Tea (60 THB) and Iced Rose Vanilla Earl Grey Tea (60 THB). The hot tea, you can always fill more hot water and the iced tea smells really good, the color looks as strong as black tea but the taste is not as strong. Really refreshing after drinking.
In summary, I enjoy every menu with no further dipping in any sauces because I usually like to have food in its plain style so that I can enjoy its most genuine taste. I think the overall taste is good, may be some a bit too plain but it could also because it is the Singaporean style or the restaurant preference. I think Chuan Kitchen is considered an original Singaporean taste and personally, I like it.
This restaurant is located at Muang Thong Thani Exhibition Center, coming through the front gate, going pass Sukhothai on the left, keep going straight, passing the Lake on the right, and keep going straight until you are almost out of Tiwanon road. Th restaurant will be situated at the first floor of Tong Garden building. The restaurant is spacious, airy, and cool with an open-kitchen style. The capacity of the restaurant is 80 seats.
In addition, the restaurant also offers many different other Singaporean and Chinese dish that we are familiar with. They also offer a dinner set menu for 2-4 people with economic price of 300-500 THB. I think it's very worthy. Before going home, I also order a take home Sichuan soup (hot and sour soup). Even with the reheat, the taste is still good.
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