Affordable Thai food in Ang Mo Kio: Nagara Thai Restaurant
It all started with my sister's craving for Thai food, which I would fully emphatise with during this Phase 2 period (blame the sorely-missed Bangkok weekend getaways since Covid-19 cancelled out the travel industry).
Thankfully, for us long-suffering Bangkok-twice-a-year-pilgrims, there is an affordable Thai restaurant in Ang Mo Kio offering an extensive menu of authentic Thai cuisine: Nagara Thai Restaurant!
Heads-up to Toa Payoh-ians, there is also another outlet at your estate!
Our family of five went on a cold rainy Sunday afternoon, reaching promptly at the restaurant's evening opening time of 5.30pm. There was already a little queue of hungry Singaporeans waiting patiently next to the half-raised metal shutters. Once the restaurant was officially opened for the night, all parties in the queue were quickly accommodated at the tables.
For our party of five, the staff had to join up two tables. Observing the seat layouts of 2 or 4 at this Ang Mo Kio outlet, parties up to four people are easier to accommodate but if you have a group of five like we did, waiting time can be much longer. By the time we were finishing dinner at around 6.15pm, I observed there was another queue had formed again.
Choosing from the menu was not easy! It was very extensive, and encompassing all the necessary Thai delicacies to satisfy any-and-all Thai food cravings - at very affordable prices nonetheless!
Actually, given the very affordable prices, we were apprehensive about the portion size, but later, we found the dishes generally suffice for about 2-3 pax.
For our family of five, we ordered:
Papaya Salad (S$5)
Tom Ka (Coconut Milk) Seafood Soup (S$6)
Green Curry - Beef (S$8)
Stir Fried Kai Lan with Salted Fish (S$7)
Stir Fried Minced Beef with Thai Hot Basil (S$8)
Deep Fried Grouper with Dark Soya Sauce (S$23)
Red Ruby ($3) X 2
The food came fast - starting with the aromatic Papaya Salad (S$5).
Really loved the generous portion of shredded green papaya in a sour dressing. The julienned papaya strips were super crisp even though they were drenched in the aromatic dressing - which offered a hint of fish sauce in its burst of flavour. Watch out for the fiery red chilli! This dish definitely brought me back to the Land of Smiles!
Next up was a bowl of Green Curry (S$8). We had opted for the beef version, which had very generous slices of tender beef, with crunchy long beans and cute little pea eggplants added in! If you are bringing kids along, this is a safe choice as it is not at all spicy.
This was followed quickly with the Stir Fried Minced Beef with Thai Hot Basil (S$8). In comparison to the similarly-priced Green Beef Curry, portion seemed somewhat smaller. No complaints on this one but not the most memorable dish for me.
The Deep Fried Grouper with Dark Soya Sauce (S$23) was a real treat! With a fish as large as my forearm, the fish was super crispy and went really well with the Soya Sauce dressing (was a bit intimidated by the oil coating on top of the Soya Sauce though). Fish was definitely a popular choice here at Nagara Thai, and the staff can be seen dishing out a fish dish to almost every table. The table next to us ordered Steam Sea Bass with Lime and Chili (S$23) and that seemed pretty good too!
The vegetable dish Stir Fried Kai Lan with Salted Fish (S$6) we ordered was disappointing though. The portion seemed less generous compared to the meat dishes, and there was not really a hint of salted fish unless you directly munch on one of the tiny salted fish cubes.
For S$6, the tom yum seafood soup (Tom Ka Seafood Soup) was definitely a steal. Loved very much the generous harvest of squid rings, prawn, sliced fish in the delicious sour broth. I found the squid rings, while huge like Burger King's onion rings, rather limp - probably the frozen variety. The fish was probably from the frozen section too. Perhaps I should go for Chicken next time.
The strange thing was no serving spoon(s) was provided. When asked for them, the staff provided two but did not assist further. As a family, we were pretty okay though I wonder if dining as colleagues or acquaintances, it might be more sensitive.
After filling our belly, we requested for our Red Ruby (S$3) desserts to be served. The portion of each dessert was enough for two to share, with really generous red rubies and a topping of shreds of aromatic jackfruit! But if you are used to our local variety with snow-like shaved ice, you will be in for a shock with the rough-cut ice bits in this Thai version. Nonetheless, the crunchy red rubies made up for the roughness of the ice when you slurp up this sweet treat.
We spent just S$67 for our meal for 5 people, including four plates of white rice. There is no service charge or GST. However, Plain water was served and refilled, which was a nice touch. While the food was generally tasty and hit the spot in satisfying my Thai food cravings, one or two dishes were not too memorable. I think the differentiating factor for Nagara Thai Restaurant is really its affordable and extensive menu, which caters to the whole family.
Will be back for my next Thai food craving!
Nagara Thai Restaurant
Ang Mo Kio outlet:
Blk 529 Ang Mo Kio Avenue 10 #01-2371, Singapore 560529
Tel: 6256 8522
Toa Payoh outlet:
Blk 177 Toa Payoh Central #01-110 Singapore 310177
Tel: 6254 0058