Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Thai Village at Indoor Stadium Walk - More Than Just Shark's Fin

Most of us tend to associate Thai food with tom yam, pineapple rice and pad thai, but there is also Teochew Thai cuisine which is often overlooked.

Teochew Thai food is quite close to classic Teochew Chinese cuisine, but is infused with Thai flavors and seasonings. Teochew Thai is also famous for shark's fin, which has become a controversial issue of late.

Personally, I rather not get into the whole shark's fin debate, and if it is presented in a banquet as part of the menu, I will gladly devour it.

On the other hand, shark's fin is still a premium dish and it is only on special occasions that I will patronize this delicacy. It is just harder to find in restaurants these days due to the sharp drop of consumption of shark's fin today.

Thai Village has a total of three outlets in Singapore, as well as having establishments around this region. They have been around for a long time and they are really the main flag bearer for Teochew Thai cuisine in Singapore.

They have just taken over a large area in Stadium Walk but have largely stayed true to their tried and tested dishes. And yes, Thai Village is not just about shark's fin. They do offer a great selection of Teochew Thai dishes that should please both the young and old.

Claypot Shark's Fin

The signature claypot shark's fin did not disappoint. While the stock is quite straightforward and had that familiar chicken stock flavor, it was the fins that were the attraction. Using the tail fin, the fins were bountiful and full of texture. I think this will be a favorite for the older generation.

Crab Vermicelli

Most of their dishes are served in the very vessels that they are cooked in. The group manager of Thai Village was on hand to inform us that by doing so, the food will retain most of their original temperature and flavors.

This crab vermicelli dish was one example of serving the food in this way. I really enjoyed the crab infused noodles, which was packed with bags of crab flavors and perfumed with a bit of Thai herbs.
Wagyu Beef and Mushrooms

One of the more recent additions to their menu is this well presented plate of wagyu beef and mushrooms which were stir fried. The beef was slightly tenderized, and each piece was beautifully cooked to a medium pink. The meat was moist and full of wagyu fat flavors that will appeal to the modern diner. There was also a nice smoky aroma to the beef and mushrooms.

Abalone Rice

Though this claypot dish is priced rather high, it was also one of the most popular dishes of the night. Slices of abalone and mushrooms adorned the claypot, accompanied with white rice. What worked was the simple coating of the rice with the rich and sweet abalone sauce. The resulting sauce coated rice was beautifully comforting and addictive.

Duck Web

The duck web dish looked a bit hideous, but believe me, it was an amazing dish. I tasted hints of star anise inside the braising liquid, and the duck web's gelatin texture was a joy to savor. For chicken feet lovers, this would be what I call a transcendent dish.

Orh Nee or Yam Paste

The desserts in Thai Village are classic and unpretentious, and plated very simply. The classic Teochew dessert, Orh Nee or yam paste, is one of the best that I have had. Though they do not use lard to make this dessert, it was still incredibly smooth and tasty. The flavors of the yam was beautifully accentuated by pumpkin which proved to be the ideal flavor combination.

Mango Pudding

The mango pudding looked simple but tasted out of this world. Considering that most chinese restaurants tend to use shortcuts to make this dish, Thai Village only uses real mango to make the pudding. And that extra effort is clearly evident in every spoonful. It was so good that there was no need to enhance it with condensed milk.

Thai Village may look classic and unexciting, but the food they put out here is simply a class of its own. Not showy nor gimmicky, but classic chinese cooking that is done with great integrity and consistency. Most of the dishes here really hit the mark, and every dish is of a high watermark.

Though it may not be suited to a weekly family gathering, Thai Village is ideal for special occasions and celebrating your grand parents' birthdays here will be a treat for the whole family.

Despite the fact that they are known for shark's fin, Thai Village should really be noted for their other wonderful and delicious dishes too.

Thai Village
Singapore Indoor Stadium
2 Stadium Walk

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