Thursday, 5 September 2013

Food Review: Lai Thai, PJ

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Another hidden gem in Section 17, this "hole in the wall" eatery has been on my radar for quite sometime, and I finally had the chance to drop by - today!. 

The thing is, this place has been getting real popular due to word-of-mouth, not to mention being posted on several bloggers' site, and it really only has 4-5 tables max.  You see, this place is actually not a proper eatery per se.  It is actually a mini-mart, selling everyday Thai perishables and dry goods, with a small cooking area smacked right at the entrance.  So the key is to get there real early and beat the crowd - and heat.  Hubby and I had just finished an early session at the gym, so we were thinking of getting an early lunch, when I suddenly thought of this place.  It was only 11ish am, on a mild cooling day.  Perfect to check out Lai Thai.

Happy Mansion in Section 17 has seen a flurry of eateries mushrooming in recent years.  There is practically something for everyone on different budget range, from the no-frills coffee shops (one of the best char siu rice is here), to yuppie cafes/Western and Asian bistros.   

Lai Thai is as no-frills as you can get.   

We reached there the same time as the delivery man.

I wouldn't call this a kid friendly eatery in any sense.  The place is strewn with wet perishables being delivered and sorted out, dry goods yet to be sorted and haphazardly arranged on racks that are already filled to the brim, and the floor is kinda wet and slippery. 

As you can see, having so much stuff and activity crammed into such a small space, there's hardly any room to manouver.  This is a eat-and-scram place, unless you belong to the over 50s gang of aunties who seem to treat this place as a kind of post mid-morning marketing hangout :P

I was so tempted to get a few of those prepacked
Meng Kham, and the grilled pork rolls in the plastic container.
Oh well, another time.

Aunties having their ice coffee and tom yam noodles

I ordered several of our usual Thai favourites : Stew Pork Leg Rice, Green Curry Chicken with Brown Rice and Pork Noodle Soup. Unfortunately they didn't have the popular Mango with Sticky Rice.

I forgot to take a photo of their menu, but it's basically a bare list of about 10 items.  No drinks - you just grab a bottle of either soft drinks or thai coffee or coconut from the industrial fridge. 

The food is served in these cute enamel mini-pots.
Pork noodles in clear soup.  One of the best I've eaten.

I could eat this everyday.  Portion is not big. 
A little less than your average bowl of chinese noodle soup.

Green curry chicken with brown/red rice.
The gravy was fiery, with chunky chicken thigh pieces.
Personally I would have preferred the taste to be a little sweeter,
and with more vegetables - like brinjal or long beans. 
Overall, it was decent but no wow factor.

Stew Pork Leg rice. 
Again, it was passable.  I found the gravy a bit watery,
with a faint flavour of spices.  The generous addition
of salted/preserved mustard was nice.
The bill for our three dishes came up to $21, no drinks.  Overall, the food is very decent, and for that kind of prices, I'd gladly come back to try the rest of the menu.  Hopefully they tidy up the place a bit more. 


  1. Esther, this place is interesting! But does not look too comfortable. Have to eat and then quickly cabut!

    1. Hi PH, no this is not a comfy place to hangout at all :p just some good thai street food, eat and cabut like you say :)


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