Wednesday, October 16

Food Review: Ah Loy Thai

Cuisine: Thai
Price: $40+ per person
Location: #01-39/40 Shaw Towers, 100 Beach Road, 189702
Website: N/A

Sweet and sour fish and tom yam soup

In my search for great Thai food, Ah Loy Thai was one that was mentioned more than once. It seemed a must visit and while I'm not sure it lived up to the hype, it was still an enjoyable dining experience.

When we arrived at Ah Loy Thai for the first time, it was just past 8 pm on Friday. The waitress told us that they were closing soon and we'd have to come back another time. What? Closing before 9 pm?! Insane right? So we came back a couple of weeks later earlier, at around 7 pm. We were greeted by a large queue and told that they would stop taking orders soon. For some reason the waitress seemed confused. She told us we could continue to queue, the queue length was around 30 minutes, and they would stop taking orders before that, so in other words we might as well go home. Yet she didn't understand it was impossible for us to order food. Utterly confusing. Thankfully the waitress who we met last week was extremely generous and allowed us to skip the queue!

The menu has a lot of variety, with over 20 dishes to choose from. There is surprisingly little curry and the dishes do not come with rice as standard. We ordered a good selection of items to try; mango salad, fried sweet potato leaves, tom yum seafood, stir fried white basil leaf with pork, sweet sour sauce fish and romitt (Thai chendol). Most dishes were under $8 each. The food arrived haphazardly, whenever it was cooked. At one point we had to remind a waitress of our order. I should also mention that a waitress managed to spill food on my bag, which I didn't notice until later. Whichever waitress was responsible never apologised. We were also had to rush the final portion of the meal because the restaurant closes after 8 pm. At least the uncle was not rude, in fact quite gracious about it. All in all I have to say the service is terrible, as is the restaurant's early closing time.

Now enough about service, lets talk about food! 

Everything we ate that night was fresh and delicious! I knew what to expect with the green mango salad and I was not disappointed. Crunchy, refreshing with a little sour kick.
The fried sweet potato leaves were something I hadn't tried before, so I didn't know what to expect; the leaves were succulent, crunchy and spicy! I would definitely recommend this dish, especially if you like your veggies.
The tom yum soup was extremely hot, to the point I struggled to finish it. It was also quite a generous portion, easily enough for 2 people.
The stir fried basil leaf with pork was quite a small portion, I was disappointed with the size. It was certainly tasty though, the basil easily distinguishable but not overpowering the meat.
The sweet sour fish was perhaps the most generic dish I tried that night. It had a decent amount of meat on it, with a good firm texture. It came with a few vegetables like pineapple. The sauce was nice, without being overtly sweet. Make no mistake it was tasty, but it was also the most expensive item we had (around $15) and didn't wow me.
Finally we finished the meal with romitt. I'm a sucker for sweet dessert so the mix of jellies, coconut milk and sugar was perfect for me. The romitt was better than most chendol I've had in Singapore, so if you have a sweet tooth dig in. Sadly by this point we were the last ones in the restaurant and the place was closing down, so I didn't have the opportunity to savour it fully!

Overall every dish was extremely well seasoned, tasty, fresh and had a real depth of flavour. It was clear the chefs knew how to please the taste buds. I highly recommend the tom yum soup and sweet potato leaves. Unfortunately the service sucks, so be forewarned. I would still recommend Ah Loy Thai and I'm definitely going to go again, this time I need to eat the famous butter calamari and pandan chicken!