April 12, 2017

Kra Pow Thai Street Food @ Far East Plaza ~ Hidden Gem With Cheap & Good Food! Shiok!

Far East Plaza has long lost its heydays as a street fashion haven. When I do visit the mall nowadays, it's usually for mani-pedi sessions and lunch/dinner following that at..... Kra Pow Thai Street Food!

The casual eatery has somewhat took position as my default dining choice since it opened a year ago at the corner of level 3. Why? Simply because the food is good and cheap.

I guess many others would agree. Business at Kra Pow (meaning "holy basil" in Thai) has been steadily growing and it had recently taken up another unit to accommodate more dine-in customers.

The two units are located diagonally across each other. One houses the kitchen as well as the counter where customers order and pay for their food, the other is the dining area.

Though seating is rather cramped with closely-placed tables, it doesn't feel claustrophobic as the space is brightly-lit with calming "coconut trees-lined" walls. Pictures depicting the street food scene in Thailand added to the rustic ambience.

It is usually more bustling during lunch hour with office crowd stopping over for their mid-day break. Evenings are a lot quieter.

Menu wise, expect a selection of salads, starters, curries, soups, noodles, rice dishes, desserts and beverage.

Nothing fancy, just street food which goes straight to the tummy and captures the heart. No msg is added.

Perennial favorites include Mango Salad ($5.90), Crispy Thai Wings ($6.90), Chicken Green Curry ($8.90), Seafood Red Tom Yum Soup ($7.90), Pad Thai ($9.90), Krapow Pork with Rice ($7.90) and Thai Milk Tea ($3.90).

All are affordably priced with most dishes under $10 nett with no service charge nor GST.

Crispy Thai Wings ($6.90) ranks high as my must-order item whenever I'm at Kra Pow.

So far, the mid-joint wings are always satisfying with well-marinated, juicy meat enveloped in a light coat of golden brown crispiness. It gets my stamp of approval definitely!

The Vegetable Spring Rolls ($5.90) are pretty good too especially when it is still hot. While Squid Tentacle Fritters ($8.90) are not really my thing, I often see quite a number of tables enjoying it.

These would made great starters to complement the main dishes. Great for sharing too if you come in a group.

Though the popular Pad Thai ($9.90) with seafood is well-executed with adequate flavors, my recommendation is to venture out of the frequently-chosen route and try the other more interesting noodles dishes that Kra Pow has to offer.

For instance, order the deceptively innocent-looking but spicy Sukhothai Noodle ($7.90) with pork belly fritters in clear broth or Drunkard Noodle Pork ($7.90) instead.

The Drunkard Noodle Pork, or Kuay Tiow Pad Kee Mao as it is known in Thailand, has no alcohol added but is supposedly named so because the intense flavors and spiciness made the noodle dish goes well with alcohol, making it the drunkard's choice of complementary food during drinking sessions.

Think of it as the well-loved holy basil minced pork with rice dish, but instead of rice, the minced pork and crunchy long beans is stir-fried with broad flat, springy QQ "hor fun" rice noodles instead. Its spiciness did not hit immediately but lingered on the tongue before bursting into fiery thrills. Utterly shiok!

There is also the Thai Stew Chicken Soup Noodle ($7.90), a home-style comfort dish featuring chicken wings stewed with cinnamon and herbs to soft tenderness, before being added to slightly sweet soy-based broth with thin rice noodles.

My order is usually the no carb, noodle-less Thai Stew Chicken Soup ($6.90) version. Tip: Throw in a spoonful of chili powder (available at the table along with other condiments) to further elevate the taste.

Other soup choices include Clear Tom Yum of Seafood ($7.90), Red Tom Yum of Chicken ($6.90), as well as Golden Coin Braised Beef Soup ($7.90).

Sometimes I will also order the creamy, spicy, hot and sour Red Tom Yum Seafood Soup ($7.90) and Chicken Green Curry ($8.90), both which go very well with white Jasmine rice.

Talking about rice, the Devil's Fried Rice with Seafood ($8.90) deserves a noteworthy mention..... or should it be a cautionary advice?

The fried rice is insanely spicy!

We were forewarned and asked if we would like to request for less spiciness, but decided to go ahead as it is. My colleague couldn't get beyond two bites and surrendered for a non-spicy version instead. I felt sorry for dragging her into this oops.

As for myself, I happily relished in the spicy fried rice's kind of pleasurable torture. Totally digging every spoonful of that tasty, well-fried grains and tears-inducing heat.

A bowl of Kra Pow's specialty Red Ruby Green Emerald ($5.90) would be most ideal for dousing the flames. The vibrantly-colored water chestnut balls served over crushed ice and coconut milk are crunchy, and the dessert is thoroughly refreshing as a whole.

The Mango Sticky Rice ($6.90) is also a winsome choice with nicely-chilled mango cubes served with warm, soft glutinous rice and a light drizzle of fragrant coconut milk.

Service is usually efficient though understandably, we will have to wait for a while for food to arrive during peak hours.

With delectable food at affordable prices, Kra Pow is perfect as the place for a quick meal if you are in the vicinity. My repeated visits are not without good reasons, the crispy Thai wings and drunkard noodle pork are just two of them.

Can this Thai eatery be described as a hidden gem? I certainly think so.

Kra Pow Thai Street Food
Address: 14 Scotts Road, #03-89 Far East Plaza, Singapore 228213
Contact: +65 6734 1946
Opening Hours: Daily 11.30am-9.30pm

Prices are stated in Singapore dollars and Nett. Information is correct at point of published date.

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