Jai Thai

February 12, 2016 Ivan Teh - RunningMan 0 Comments

Jai Thai
7 Clover Way

27 Purvis Street

205 East Coast Road

11 Orchard Road
#B1-12 Dhoby Ghaut X'Change


http://www.jai-thai.com/


Steamed Squid With Lemon & Chili (SGD $8 / $12 / $16)



Affordable, Authentic Thai Casual Dining

(Ratings: On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 = Worst and 10 = Best)
Overall: 7
Ambience & Setting: 4
Food & Beverage: 8
Service: 6
Value for Money: 9
Spent about SGD $17 per person.


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Founded in 1999 by Ms. Suchana Swangsrisuthikul, Jai Thai is a humble casual eatery that serves affordable, tasty, and authentic Thai cuisine, passed down from her family. Among the most value for money Thai restaurants in Singapore, Jai Thai is popular both for its cheap prices, as well as its wide variety of traditional Thai food, made with fresh ingredients. With 4 outlets across Singapore and a catering service, Jai Thai is a good place for everyday dining, though not everything is consistently executed across their stalls.

Ambience at Jai Thai is their weakest point, with brightly lit but small seating areas, cramped with basic but functional cushioned wooden chairs, sturdy wooden tables, and hard wooden booths. There is minimal decor on the bare walls, and all outlets show signs of aging, be it peeling floor paint or aged yellow walls. The headquarters and catering outlet at Clover Way in the Marymount area has the most interior seating, while the Purvis Street outlet in the Bras Basah area is the only outlet with al-fresco outdoor seating.

Service at Jai Thai is decent. The mainly Thai staff can converse well in English, and are friendly and welcoming. They offer table side service, though you can also choose to self-service. Staff can provide basic descriptions of dishes if asked, though engagement is minimal. Orders are fulfilled very quickly, usually less than 10 minutes of waiting time even during peak periods. However, staff are not so quick to clear away empty / dirty plates or tables. I also find it somewhat difficult to attract their attention, and resorted to self-service on a few occasions. However, they display good service recovery skills.

Food at Jai Thai is authentic Thailand cuisine, with each dish being tasty, and a complex mix of flavours; sweet, sour, savoury, salty, or spicy. The variety on the menu is extensive, almost like you're visiting Bangkok, with dishes from all over the country. However, I also notice small variations in the menu options and pricing from outlet to outlet. Generally, food here is tasty with bold flavours, with portions nicely sized in small, medium, or large. Prices are affordable and wallet-friendly, making it great even for everyday casual dining. Budget about SGD $17 per person for a full meal here, or SGD $8 for an individual set meal.


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Jai Thai Facade


Jai Thai Menu Food


Jai Thai Menu Desserts & Drinks



A decent tasting, but expensive, glass of Thai Iced Milk Tea (SGD $3). I like that the taste of the tea is stronger than the taste of milk, and it's not too sweet.

Thai Iced Milk Tea (SGD $3)



A refreshing, floral, but also rather expensive glass of Cold Lemongrass (SGD $3). I like that the sugar syrup is served separately, so you can add as much, or as little, as you wish!

Cold Lemongrass (SGD $3)



A rather expensive plate of White Rice (SGD $1), considering it's just normal, steamed white rice. Portion isn't even that big. You're probably better off getting a set meal, or another Thai rice or noodle dish.

White Rice (SGD $1)



The Thai Fish Cake (SGD $5) here is nice, resembling those I had in Bangkok! Large, flat, pieces of fish cake, with a nice bouncy texture, paired well with the spicy chili sauce. Slightly more oily than usual, though the taste is good.

Thai Fish Cake (SGD $5)



The Pandan Chicken (SGD $5) is nice! Tender and moist, the medium-large chunks of chicken have a good amount of fat under the skin (which is easily removed), and a savoury flavour, being more intense around the skin. Great appetizer, especially when paired with the sweet, slightly spicy chili sauce!

Pandan Chicken (SGD $5)



The Mango Salad (SGD $8 / $12 / $16) here hits all the right notes of taste; sweet, sour, savoury, spicy, though it's not as intense in flavour as other versions. You can taste the layers; crunchy carrots, tender mango, sharp onions, crushed peanuts, prawn paste, making this dish a delightful combination. Good!

Mango Salad (SGD $8 / $12 / $16)



The fiery Tom Yum Soup Chili Paste With Prawn (SGD $8 / $12 / $16) is no laughing matter, because the chili burn hits you immediately, and continues to build with every spoonful. Yet, you can still taste the floral essence of lemongrass and ginger within, making this savoury spicy broth / soup delicious! The fresh, meaty, deshelled prawns were decent, with the small bowl featuring 6 medium sized prawns, along with soft oyster mushrooms. Recommended to pair with a cool drink!

Tom Yum Soup Chili Paste With Prawn (SGD $8 / $12 / $16)



The Tom Yum Soup Clear With Prawn (SGD $8 / $12 / $16) was underwhelming, marred by an overwhelmingly sour taste, without any balance of sweet or savoury. The soup / broth seems rather weak in body, and lacks the characteristic spicy heat of other better versions. And while the soft oyster mushrooms and 4 large prawns were substantial, I find the ingredients aren't too fresh. Skip this.

Tom Yum Soup Clear With Prawn (SGD $8 / $12 / $16)



Love the authentic Thailand Green Curry Chicken (SGD $6 / $9 / $12), with its smooth, floral, herb flavour within the green curry. A generous portion of tender chicken chunks and pea eggplant / aubergine complete this dish, which pairs well with rice. Completely delicious!

Green Curry Chicken (SGD $6 / $9 / $12)



Loved the Red Curry Beef (SGD $8 / $12 / $16), with its savoury, mildly spicy taste! The actual curry itself has a floral aroma, with a creamy smooth texture that pairs excellently with white rice. And the substantial portion of beef strip chunks within the curry are savoury salty, with a slight chewy texture. I'm glad the spicy heat is quite mild, without any lingering chili burn. Highly recommended!

Red Curry Beef (SGD $8 / $12 / $16)



The Deep Fried Fish Fillet With Tamarind Sauce (SGD $10 / $15 / $20) was well executed, with tender, white fish fillets in a light, crisp batter, served in a savoury sour tamarind and spring onion sauce. Love how each bite crunches softly, then you get the sweet freshness of the fish within, followed by the tangy floral gravy which makes you want to keep eating! Good!

Deep Fried Fish Fillet With Tamarind Sauce (SGD $10 / $15 / $20)



Similarly, the Whole Seabass Fish With Tamarind Sauce (SGD $32) was delicious! The fresh, clean, white fish meat comes clean off the bone, and the savoury sour sauce lends good flavour. The fish skin still remains crisp, crunching satisfiyingly when bit. The large portion size means this is suitable for communal dining, and makes for a fine centerpiece to a meal here!

Whole Seabass Fish With Tamarind Sauce (SGD $32)


Whole Seabass Fish With Tamarind Sauce



Loved the fresh, bouncy texture of the Steamed Squid With Lemon & Chili (SGD $8 / $12 / $16), which features several large squid rings. The sweet sour, zesty, slightly spicy lemon juice and chili sauce lends a nice refreshing kick, making this dish stand-out. Good!

Steamed Squid With Lemon & Chili (SGD $8 / $12 / $16)



The Tom Kha Chicken (SGD $8 / $12 / $16) here is among the best I've eaten! It's even tastier than some versions I've eaten in Bangkok, Thailand! Featuring a rich, milky soup / broth of coconut milk, galangal, ginger, lemongrass, kaffir lime leaf, lime juice, fish sauce, sugar, oyster mushrooms, and dried chili, along with tender slices of chicken. Lovely floral herb aroma, savoury sweet in taste, hearty and warm. Highly recommended!

Tom Kha Chicken (SGD $8 / $12 / $16)



Felt the Pineapple Rice (SGD $5 / $8 / $10) was possibly the weakest dish I had here. I disliked the use of frozen vegetables within, and even the juicy pineapple chunks and savoury pork floss can't help the fact that the rice is somewhat bland. Skip this.

Pineapple Rice (SGD $5 / $8 / $10)



The Phad Thai Seafood (SGD $9 / $14 / $18) here is tasty, with each strand of the flat rice noodles carrying a smoky, savoury sweet flavour, enhanced with delicious bits of egg. Add the crunch of fresh vegetables, and a mix of seafood, from bouncy squid rings, to a crisp fried fish fillet, to deshelled prawns, and this dish stands out for the price. Worth ordering!

Phad Thai Seafood (SGD $9 / $14 / $18)



The Fried Beef With Basil Leaf, Rice With Egg (SGD $7) is a small meal unto itself. With savoury salty minced beef, stir-fried with basil leaves and chili till fragrant, served with plain white rice, and a small salad. I also added an additional fried egg on top, which I later regretted, as it was swimming in oil, and the yolk had already been thoroughly cooked.

Fried Beef With Basil Leaf, Rice With Egg (SGD $7)


Fried Beef With Basil Leaf, Rice With Egg



The Olive Rice (SGD $7 / $10 / $14) here is rather weak. While I can still taste the earthy, savoury flavour of the olive infused rice, the overall flavour is not as pronounced as other versions elsewhere, being rather light on flavour. And I felt the salad garnish distracted from the flavour. Not that great.

Olive Rice (SGD $7 / $10 / $14)


Olive Rice



The Red Ruby Drink (SGD $3.50) is an icy cool dessert beverage, with a milky sweetness. Not overly sweet or cloying, I like the small tapioca coated water chestnut chunks within, which lend a chewy, crunchy texture.

Red Ruby Drink (SGD $3.50)



Only 3 components make up the Mango Glutinous Rice (SGD $6), sticky sweet warm glutinous rice, soft tender sweet mango slices, and warm floral coconut milk. It's executed well, each component married in beautiful harmony, making this dessert a delight. Highly recommended!

Mango Glutinous Rice (SGD $6)



The Young Coconut Jelly (SGD $3) dessert is a cooling, refreshing treat, pairing especially well with spicy food! The agar-agar (seaweed jelly) is nicely wobbly with a slight sweetness, though I felt they could have been more generous with the tender strips of young Thai coconut meat. Still a pretty decent dessert, worth ordering!

Young Coconut Jelly (SGD $3)



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