Songkran, the Thai New Year, is a festival now marked with a nationwide water fight. Meant as a Buddhist purification ritual, the three-day affair helps bring in a flood of tourists eager to take part in the fun that accompanies the start of a new year.
If you’re drowning in work, and unable to make it to Thailand, here are a few restaurants to satiate your Thai craving till next year.
1. Diandin Leluk
Golden Mile Complex, Singapore’s ‘Little Thailand’, stocks almost everything you need from the Land of Smiles, short of taking a flight out. No exception when it comes to food, too. One of our favourites is Diandin Leluk that has been operating for over three decades in Singapore by a Thai couple. The food is affordable, authentic, fuss-free and delicious. Must-try: their Crispy Catfish with Mango Salad, which combines texture and the sour-sweet tango of the mango into a great starter.
Find it at 5001 Beach Road, Golden Mile Complex #01-67/68/69, Singapore 199588.
Click here for more information on Diandin Leluk.
2. Jim Thompson
This beautiful restaurant in the historic Dempsey enclave should be on your list if you’re looking for somewhere classy and elegant for a dinner date, but you want to ramp up the spice (with your choice of cuisine). Keep an eye out for the gorgeous cutlery and Thai dances, and be prepared to weigh your options, with over 80 dishes on the menu. Prices are on the higher end but worth it, given the ambience, service and quality of food.
3. Joe’s Kitchen
It’s easy to dismiss this heartland restaurant in the Alexandra area, with its orange signboard and questionable choice of fonts, but it would be your loss. The food here is hearty and wallet-friendly: our favourites include the stuffed chicken wings (generously packed to the brim), fragrant pandan leaf chicken and the fried vermicelli with a subtle wok hei flavour.
Find it at Blk 125 Bukit Merah Lane 1 #01-182, Singapore 150125.
Click here for more information on Joe’s Kitchen.
4. Long Chim
Australian celebrity chef David Thompson has brought street food with pizzazz at his Marina Bay Sands outlet, decked out in hipster grunge. He has upped the glam factor on some familiar street snacks, like using wagyu for his beef skewers. With others, there is a no-holds-barred approach to his dishes, like the sweat-inducing Chiang Mai Chicken Larp with Cabbage, Chilli and Mint. It’s almost like being in a Bangkok soi, minus the grime, plus the air-conditioning.
5. Nakhon Kitchen
There are always long lines outside every Nakhon branch, but grab a highly coveted seat and it’s easy to see why. Prices are low (aided by the fact that the outlets are not air-conditioned), and the vibe, authentic (we love listening to the Thai hits playing on the radio). Most importantly, the food is good. The curries here never fail to satisfy, and the Thai milk tea has mastered the perfect ratio of tea to milk.
Click here for more information on Nakhon Kitchen
6. Blue Jasmine
At this Halal-certified restaurant, diners can enjoy rustic Thai dining in a contemporary setting (be sure to grab an Instagram-worthy pic of those floor tiles). The food is decent too, ranging from the familiar (tom yum soup, pad thai), to the less common (prawn doughnuts and orange curry stingray). From Thursdays to Saturdays, there is also a buffet option — perfect for that Thai binge eating we need on some days.
If you are headed to Thailand to celebrate Songkran, check out this blog post! We give you the low-down on where to go for Songkran celebrations, and of course, where to find the best restaurants.