Established in 1991, award-wining Thai Village is listed on the Singapore Exchange in 2001. The Thai-Teochew restaurant has now 3 outlets in Singapore—the other 2 are at Goodwood Park, and Jurong—and franchises in China, Indonesia, and Vietnam. The Singapore Indoor Stadium branch is just in front of a carpark, very convenient for drivers. The décor is simple, elegant, and bright. Private rooms are available at a minimum spending of $600 (weekdays) and $700 (weekends).
The Spain-imported fins take Thai Village 4 whole days to process before it is ready to be cooked. Each bowl of shark’s fin ($65/ $98/ $130) at Thai Village comes with a complete, full comb of tail fin, chicken stock, and two spoonfuls of crab meat. The crab meat is fresh: live crabs are steamed, deshelled, and plucked in their kitchen. The soup is bursting with umami, so savory that you don’t have to add vinegar and pepper.
Although Thai Village is synonymous with shark’s fins, the restaurant has so much more to offer, so many equally delicious dishes. I highly recommend the baked crab vermicelli ($36/ $54/ $72) and abalone rice ($33 per serving). They are both simmered in stock until the carbs absorb the essence fully. The vermicelli has a beautiful springy texture, and, when eaten with the homemade Thai green chilli sauce, produces a sweet-spicy thrill that doesn’t overpower the crab flavor in the tunghoon. The abalone rice (more like muay fan) with shreds of crab meat is intensely sweet from the abalone imported from Mexico. The abalone has a soft, chewy texture, devoid of any fishy aftertaste that bad abalone has.
Baked Thai Style Cod Fish ($30/ $45/ $60)
Baked Duck Web ($20)
While Thai Village maintains the standards of its traditional dishes for 24 years, the restaurant isn’t complacent; it is continually re-inventing its dishes for younger crowd, like the pan-fried Japanese Wagyu beef with king oyster mushroom ($88/ $132/ $176). They experimented with both Australian and Japanese breed and found the Japanese ones to be superior. I don’t like greasy Wagyu full of only fat because what’s the point of eating beef when it’s just all fats? The grade A4 Wagyu Thai Village uses has a balanced proportion of fats and meat, so that it is rich and still has some bite. It is a starburst of burnt ends, with tender insides—this is my favorite dish.
Little wonder Thai Village obtains accolades after accolades, good reviews after good reviews, even after 24 years of history: the food is delectable, and they keep up with the times. They have an extensive menu, not just shark’s fins, and they don’t try anything gimmicky. The food is honest, made from premium fresh ingredients, and if you cook, you’ll know that having quality ingredients is already half the battle won. The other half? Chef Hau Ee Boon, who has been with Thai Village right at the beginning, helms the kitchen and ensures the culinary skills are top-notch. I highly recommend this restaurant for big groups and family gatherings.
Thai Village Singapore
2 Stadium Walk #01-02/03 Singapore Indoor Stadium, Singapore 397691
T: +65 6440 2292
11.30am-2.30pm, 6-10pm daily
Written by A. Nathanael Ho.
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