Airy bread, foie gras soupy buns, or grilled thinly-sliced bread with egg custard? Nah, not for me. Chilli crab? Ok, getting there, but I believe most who know Singapore really well will agree that the soul of signature Singaporean tastes lie in hawker centres. When I miss Singaporean food (not as much as I should, honestly, otherwise I wouldn't be only blogging about this after 5 years), I think of dishes like chicken rice, laksa, fried hokkien mee, bak chor mee, bak kut teh, popiah etc.
You might be surprised, given the HUGE diversity of cuisines in Bangkok (you can even find Ethiopian, Cuban and Peruvian restaurants here), but authentic Singaporean food is as rare as it can be. Though some have tried with reasonable commercial success, I will gladly tell you that if you see a supposedly Singaporean restaurant named after some famous shopping street in Singapore and wish for authentic flavours, it's better to stay as far away from it as you can.
That brings me to my new mini series, Singapore Food in Bangkok, where I do my best to unearth proper Singapore tastes for you, whether you are locals craving to reminisce your culinary enjoyments in Singapore, or Singaporeans/Malaysians living here, like me, who badly crave for some hometown comfort food now and then.
|Chuan Kitchen from the outside|
Chuan Kitchen is open and run by true-blue Singaporeans trying to introduce authentic "my-mother's-recipe" Singaporean dishes to folks in and around Bangkok. They have recently introduced an attractive new menu to freshen up their image, but really, it's their food that does the talking.
|Katong Laksa style with rice noodles cut into shorter strips, and people who love spicy will love this!|
|Small portion of chicken rice for Noah, only roasted chicken is available here, but there's the Singapore chilli sauce, impossible to find that in Thailand.|
|Char Kway Teow, very shiok! To the sweet side, like a very very delicious Kway Teow from your favourite breakfast economic beehoon auntie in Singapore, just with more liao|
|Dry Bak Kut Teh. Those who are familiar with it in Malaysia will be shocked to find it here, those who haven't tried it, it's like no other stew pork dish you have ever tried before.|
|Easily the star of the show, KL-style Herbal Bak Kut Teh. When you come here, order this first then decide on the rest.|
On top of the usual traditional suspects, Chuan Kitchen has a full range of Dim Sum as well as some creative dishes like salted egg fries and laksa fried rice to keep you interested if you come frequently. This is by no means a place where you will be content walking in and chomping down a laksa before speeding off to your next errand.
|Look at the hustle and bustle during lunchtime|
All's not perfect though, as Chuan Kitchen is located along Bond Street Road, a short drive beyond IMPACT Muang Thong Thani, which is incidentally the furthest drive-able place from my office which I will not consider a business trip/short vacation. For those who live around that area, please patronize them frequently so that they will consider opening some branches nearer to my place, for those who don't, an idea will be to visit them when you are going to IMPACT for any exhibitions (or at the Chaeng Wattana Immigrations for your visa applications), since you are already in the vicinity.
If you are lucky, you might find a young Singaporean lady zipping around in the semi-open kitchen making sure you get your dishes quickly. Speak to her and you will know that she is the brains behind this endeavour. She speaks perfect Singaporean English at such a pace that you will struggle to catch up, but it also means that she has all the right credentials to push Chuan Kitchen to greater heights.
PS. They are closed on Thursdays!