A few months ago I reported on the downfall of our hitherto favourite Thai place in Golden Mile Kompleks – the Nong Khai Beer House. Such was our dismay at its fall from grace – manifested in the form of insolent service and inedible food – that we vowed not to return for a long time. We didn’t and we shan’t, although we have been keen to find a decent replacement. Hence it was in the spirit of discovery that we went rummaging around Golden Mile last Saturday, and happened to stumble upon Thida Cuisine Corner. It’s a relatively small place that was packed when we arrived. By any stretch of the imagination, this is usually a good thing.
Thida’s specialises in the cuisine of North-Eastern Thailand (or “Isan” cuisine), which is known for its fiery chilli kick and mollifying sticky rice (although, ironically, the rice we were served was anything but sticky – more like dry and scratchy). It’s also a region famous for its pungent fish sauces (so pungent that they are known to deliver crippling tong sia – stomach aches!) and porky dishes (kor moo yangi/grilled pork neck; laab moo/minced pork salad; nam tok moo/grilled pork salad, and so on). Hardly a vegetarian nirvana. Not that we were complaining, as this only justified our decision to stick to our perennial favourites – green curry and phad thai, veg-style. Yes!
The green curry (SGD 10.00) was cooked in a pot with meat, but we were willing to turn a blind eye to such unforeseen fraternising. The gravy looked a little light and frothy, and turned out to be rather coconut-heavy. In my view, a good green curry is meant to be a lot like a trampoline – buoyant and exciting, but with the knowledge that there is always something underneath to stop you from breaking your neck, and to provide a springboard for the next dose of excitement. I know, what a metaphor! Unfortunately this trampoline proved to be too taut to deliver any excitement. The curry was too creamy, too heavy, a little salty and really quite bland. The range of vegetables was commendable, but it seemed to downplay the few key ingredients that make a good green curry sing (or bounce): kaffir lime, lemongrass, chilli, and maybe a little galangal. Quelle dommage.
The phad thai (SGD 5.00) came suffused with high expectations after the disappointment of the green curry, and it certainly made up for it in terms of portion size… Gargantuan! Although I think they kindly ramped up the size a little as a trade-off for us asking the prawns to be omitted. How nice. This dish was good – the noodles were a little overdone and mushy, but overall it had a nice sourness to it. It also came with a very generous helping of crushed peanuts on the side, which never fails to be a redemptive move in my book.
Thida Cuisine Corner
#01-48 Golden Mile Complex, 5001 Beach Road
Open 11:00-23:00 daily