Two weeks ago, the people behind Thai Village Restaurant opened a food stall, SG Braised Rice, in the food court of Ion Orchard, Food Opera. It serves modern ricebowls doused with a fantastic sauce and topped with various premium ingredients. The ricebowls, which range from $6.80 to $18.80, are inspired by a very popular dish, Braised Abalone Rice, from Thai Village.
SG Braised Rice shares the same ingredients with Thai Village, so you really do get restaurant quality food at food court prices. The ricebowls consist of:
1. Egg fried rice, wok-fried.
2. Brown Gravy: this is exactly the same brown gravy used at Thai Village. They cook this gravy only upon ordering. It is cooked in individual portions for individual customers, and not in one big pot for convenience sake.
First they mix their secret Shiitake mushroom sauce with a real chicken broth slow-brewed from chickens for 6 hours (and not these chicken cube stock). Then they add either prawns or fresh hand-peeled crab meat depending on the order.
I strongly recommend you to order dishes with the crab meat because crab really makes a difference, adding a rounded, beautiful seafood-sweetness. They usually use Sri Lankan or Indian crabs, but when stocks are low, they may use crabs from other countries.
3. Premium toppings.
Of course, the first dish I tried had to be their signature, Braised Crab Meat Rice with Abalone ($16.80). Can you believe how ridiculously affordable it is?! Abalone and crab leh! This ricebowl consists of fried rice, their amazing sauce, abalone, a shiitake mushroom, snow pea, crab meat, cauliflower, and broccoli.
It is magical. The sauce is mindblowing; it is thick, slightly sweet with an uplifting savory aftertaste. It will make you want for more. The abalone, which is cooked in a superior stock for several hours, is also good; a nice bouncy texture.
My favorite ricebowl, however, is the Braised Fish Maw Rice with Crab Claw ($9.80). It comes with fish maw, an entire pincer, cauliflower, broccoli, snow pea, and shiitake. Usually fish maw has a mushy texture but here, they deep-fried it first so it is fragrant and gives a nice bite.
The Braised Seafood Rice with Eel ($11.80) comes with nicely grilled eel, sauce, scallop, shiitake, prawns, broccoli, and cauliflower. It’s quite nice: the sweetness of the eel goes very well with the savory sauce.
They use Australian wagyu with a marbling of 6 for the Braised Seafood Rice with Wagyu ($18.80). Besides wagyu, there are prawns, scallop, shiitake, cauliflower, broccoli. The quality of the wagyu is outstanding. It’s tender and succulent. The cooking is competent; the surface is charred pleasingly, giving a smoky aroma.
One last thing to take note is their homemade Thai green chilli, made from more than 10 ingredients. It is quite spicy with a hint of garlic and lime. It goes well with everything.
I really cannot believe how affordable they are pricing the dishes. A normal chicken cutlet at a Western food stall in a heartland hawker centre costs about $6, but here they, situated at Ion, have a Braised Seafood Rice with Chicken Cutlet for only $7.80 with wok-fried rice, sauce, prawns, scallop, etc. How can they make money? I don’t know, but to be sure, I don’t care; I only care for my own pocket and it’s saying yes, yes, yes to this super delicious food.
After eating, I texted my friends immediately and told them we have to come here before word gets out and there is a long queue.
SG Braised Rice 十格捞饭
2 Orchard Turn, Food Opera @ ION Orchard #B4-03, Singapore 238801
Sun-Th 10am-10pm, F-Sat & PH Eve 10am-11pm
Written by A. Nathanael Ho.