Soi Thai Soi Nice took over the space at Alexandra Central previously occupied by Atmosphere Café and Bistro. If you are wondering, Atmosphere Café did not fold, it moved over to ARC. Incidentally, both restaurants belong to SIMYEE Holdings.
At first look, I didn’t think that Soi Thai Soi Nice will serve good Thai Food; even if they do, the prices may not be pocket-friendly.
Why is that? Because the décor is too classy, so much so that it screams pricey at me! But as a sense of strange familiarity strikes me, I realised that the classy decor may not be part of the concept; Soi Thai Soi Nice had simply taken over the flooring and furniture wholesale from Atmosphere Café! Checking the menu proved that my worries were unnecessary. The prices are okay.
Next, I tried to see if there are any Thais among the service staff- none. Not a good sign in my books, until I remembered to ask about the Chefs. I was happy to find out that the kitchen is mostly staffed by Thailand born chefs (who are so Thai that they can’t even speak a word of English) and headed by Chef Worawong Phairat (Olay). Chef Olay is from Bangkok and has 19 years of experience under his ladle!
With my initial biases out of the way, I opened my heart, mouth and tummy in anticipation of the food here!
This Royal Thai Hotpot was highly recommended by Soi Thai Soi Nice and can be spotted on almost every table. Shown above is the Big Pot suitable for 4 pax, priced at S$68.80++. For groups of 2, you can get the Regular Pot for S$38.80++. Each hotpot comes with prawns, crayfish, mussels, roast pork, eggs, enoki mushrooms, sausages and noodles. You can also opt to add on extra ingredients (extra charge applies) to make the royal hotpot even more magnificent. Soup is refillable.
After turning on the stove, we mixed everything up to reveal instant noodles, making it look a lot like a Korean Army Stew! Although there are many ingredients in this pot, the highlight is the homemade broth. Prepared daily without MSG, the chicken based broth is made to be a lighter version of Tom Yam soup. This is so that the soup will not become too strong after soaking up all the umami flavours of the seafood cooked in it. Overall, it is a flavourful soup with a good balance of spicy, salty, sour and sweet tastes. I like it and some of my fellow diners more than just like it; they were so impressed they were already making plans for the next visit!
Pla Kra Pong Phad Kun Chai, Sliced Fish With Celery ($13.80++) is also very good! The fried fish is served with its head and tail separated from the fish meat, which has been deboned for easy consumption. There is no fishy taste and all parts have been fried till very crispy, so crispy that I even ate the tail!
Kao Cha Om, Fried Omelette With Thai Herb Cha Om ($7.80++) is another of my favourites!
As it was my first time trying Cha Om (acacia leaf), an herb-like vegetable, one of my fellow diners kindly provided me with its backstory. According to him, raw Cha Om has a notorious sulphur odour that can put one off from a few feet away. Even though the stench is supposed to disappear after cooking, he claims that he could still detect the smell and he couldn’t eat it. Unfortunately for him but luckily for the rest of us, this fluffy and delicious looking omelette dish is out of bounds for him! So we could each have a larger serving!
Ignoring all his warnings (because this dish looks too good), I bravely went ahead to take my first bite of the Cha Om Omelette. And I was rewarded with a very tasty omelette! The Cha Om is slightly aromatic and has a texture that’s similar to that of whitebaits.
For research purposes, I also asked for some raw Cha Om to sample. Perhaps the kitchen staff were worried that it will be too much for me to bear and presented me with blanched Cha Om instead. I have to admit, even after blanching, Cha Om did smell bad- like the mildew on damp towels. Taste was alright though. So I say let’s stick to well-cooked Cha Om Omelettes!
Although Ka Nar Moo Krob, Bangkok Style Stir Fry Kai Lan With Roasted Pork In Oyster Sauce ($8.80++) is very similar to a Chinese dish found at Zi Char stalls, I was told that the roasted pork is Thai-style. But while I enjoyed the Kai Lan in Oyster sauce, I found the roasted pork belly to be average; I like my roasted pork belly to be crispier and preferably without sauce.
Seeing the Grilled Pork Neck, Kho Moo Yang (S$9.80++), I can’t help but wonder, is there any part of the pig that we don’t eat? The pork neck is tender but slightly gamey for me. For pigs, I prefer pork cheeks and pork belly! Probably not a dish I would order again.
The Fried Egg Salad, Yum Kai Dhao (S$6.80++) is off the menu special. It is probably one of few meatless salads that I like. A simple dish with super fluffy fried eggs done over hard then served with mixed vegetables and cashew nuts in sweet Thai chili sauce, it is not the healthiest salad but definitely one of the yummiest!
The dessert menu for Soi Thai Soi Nice is very small, consisting of only Mango Sticky Rice, Sticky Rice with Coconut Ice Cream, Red Ruby and Single Scoop Coconut Ice Cream.
In any Thai restaurant that I go to, I am always excited to try the Kao Niao Ma Muang (S$5.80++) dish. But as simple as it looks (after all, it is just rice and cut mangoes), most places in Singapore don’t get it right. Sometimes, they serve mangoes that are not sweet enough and other times they serve those that are too ripe. Even when they managed to get the mangoes right, the rice could be too mushy, too hard or too salty. Personally, I dislike the savoury type of sticky rice because I don’t like my desserts to taste like my mains.
For me, the one at Soi Thai Soi Thai is actually one of the better ones in Singapore.
Prepared daily in small batches, Soi Thai Soi Nice cooks their sticky rice in a steamer instead of an electric rice cooker. This way of cooking ensures that they will get the texture of the sticky rice right- soft but not too mushy. Taste wise, the sticky rice is a little bland on its own but perfect with the accompanying coconut sauce. And it filled the most important criteria for me, by not being salty.
The cut mangoes are quite sweet and not over ripe. But, there is still room for improvement. I think that the mangoes in Thailand (and even Hong Kong) are nicer.
I also sampled the Red Ruby, Thub Tim Grob (S$4.80++), a very pretty dessert. Served with crunchy chestnuts and jackfruit slices in coconut milk, it is not too sweet which I like. But I felt that the coconut milk was a little diluted. This is definitely not my favourite dessert for the night.
Finally, let me present to you my favourite dessert for the night, also the crowd’s favourite – Coconut Ice Cream with Corn Flakes in Palm Sugar, I-Team (S$3.80++)! In case you are wondering, the ice cream is not homemade. But for the price, it is a decent coconut ice cream; soft, creamy and not too sweet. It pairs very well with the crunchy corn flakes. And the best part is that you can get it FREE if you like Soi Thai Soi Nice’s Facebook page. Offer is good for once per person for a limited time only! Ermm… what if you have multiple Facebook accounts? I will leave you to get the answer from the folks at Soi Thai Soi Nice.
To be frank, I was initially a little worried about the drinks here; specifically, I was concerned about the sweetness level.
And that’s because Soi Thai Soi Nice’s Head Chef supposedly said this, “Thais love to eat fiercely intense and flavourful food – be it spicy or sweet or sour, and then gulp it down with a glass of super sweet ice milk tea. That’s Thai style!”
But I was pleasantly surprised that my worries were unfounded. Maybe the head Chef wasn’t involved in the drinks recipes. Or perhaps, the drinks recipes had been tweaked to suit the local palate. Either way, none of the drinks were super sweet. Phew! But, I will still order the Thai Milk Tea (S$3.80++) with less sugar since I like very slightly sweetened drinks.
My favourite of the lot is the Lychee Cooler (S$5.80++).
Soi Thai Soi Nice is worth a try! Here you can get pretty authentic Thai Food at pocket friendly prices in a clean and classy environment.
Soi Thai Soi Nice @ Alexandra Central
321 Alexandra Road, Alexandra Central #02-01, Singapore 159971
Tel: +65 6250 4863
Monday – Friday: Lunch 1130 to 1530, Dinner 1800 to 2200 | Saturday, Sunday and Public Holidays: 1130 to 2200
- Opp Blk 2 or opp OG Factory or Blk 1 along Jalan Bukit Merah 14, 123, 147, 153, 196, 197, 198, 855, 961
- Before Ikea along Alexandra Road 33, 120, 195
- Anchorpoint along Alexandra Road 33, 64, 120, 195
- East West line – Queenstown station
*Disclaimer: This was a media invite.
Written by Denise Chua myfoodstory.sg.