Lotus Thai Restaurant
145 Jln Besar,
T: +65 6291 3869
This brand has been around for nearly a decade, starting out just a little stall in a coffee shop. Over the years, the brand has changed owners, each new owner buying out the business and adding new spark to it. To date, Lotus Thai can be found in several food courts across the island, and now, with a new owner at the helm, is steering Lotus on a new course.
Accessible by public transportation, and if the weather is fine, you can power walk, (or, take a leisurely stroll) all the way from Bugis Junction, which I did, after running some errands. The bustling traffic in the evening in a conservation setting is pretty nostalgic, I’d say. Parking is not a big issue, as there’s multi story carpark if you follow Veerasamy Road, and walk out along Hindoo Road.
This cozy 40-seater restaurant is located along Jalan Besar, on the corner of Hindoo Road. Situated road facing with full height windows, interior is nicely decorated with Indochinese motifs & artworks, airs retro Thai ballads & classics, with occasional loud traffic throttle from the road, bring me fond memories of settings in Bangkok districts.
Attentive staff displays urgency in the upkeep of cleanliness & table readiness for turnover of diners, and beverage recommendation upon sitting is a gesture I appreciated much. The menu offers very familiar Thai dishes that locals would find comfortable attempting, and what’s most distinct is, there wasn’t pork nor lard listed.
Iced Lemongrass Drink – in my opinion, is one of the better tasting Lemongrass drinks that truly has the essence & fragrance of lemongrass. To top it off, isn’t overbearingly sweet, and I enjoyed it much
The Iced Thai Milk Tea – fragrance of chai, flavor of evaporated milk & sweetness doesn’t differ to those that I’ve tasted in Thailand.
Thai Stuffed Chicken Wings – deboned mid-wing section is stuffed with finely minced stuffing, so fine I wasn’t able to enjoy the bite & crunch that I’m used to. It comes with a tangy sauce for dips, which I hardly needed.
Prawn Cakes – I’ll use the famous Thai phrase “same same but different”. Breaded crunchy crusted savory sweet prawn cake rings, halved down the middle Also served with it tangy sauce for dips that I barely needed.
Green Curry Beef – this is no stranger to anyone who loves Thai food. Beef slices were tender with a light bounce to the bite, the curry is sweet & fragrant, with little crunchy eggplants. I should think this is child friendly.
Stir Fried Baby Kailan – also a very familiar dish in most Thai kitchens, nicely done where there’s a good level of crunch & sweetness of the plant, doused with oyster sauce.
Tom Yum Seafood Soup – this is the milky version that has a fair deal of seafood within, although I wished they’d thrown in more blue ginger slices to bring out more fragrance & heat.
Basil Leaves Chicken – this is a little stronger in flavor than most others that I’ve tried, so it’s a must to go with rice. But it would have been great if there were a little more basil punch
Thai Style Fried Whole Grouper with Chili Sauce –by local standards, this is quite impressive. The spice factor is not as fierce as it looks, crispy on the outside, tender on the inside, suffice to enjoy the chunks of flesh. Must try!
Be warned, it’s a whole fish, and all fishes have bones.
Pineapple Fried Rice – the beauty is in the caramelized chunky pineapple bits, topped with stir fried prawns with a little bounce to the bite, served with chicken floss & deep fried shallots on the side for those who favor a little more flavor
Thai Style Fried Prawns on Bean Vermicelli in Claypot – all-time classic, the fried bean vermicelli is salted to taste using light soy sauce & fish sauce, giving it a hue of fishy fragrance, topped with broiled fresh prawns.
Thai Mango Sticky Rice – the sliced mango has a balance mild tangy sweetness, and the lump of glutinous rice has a light tinge of sweetness to it too. Both drizzled with thick aromatic coconut cream
Tako – jelly like coconut pudding stacked on a layer of pandan flavored agar-agar jelly base, with bits of corn & crunchy water chestnut.
I find the overall experience to be pleasant, and the food reminds me much of Chinese Thai style culinary from Yaowarat. Flavors & price point should appeal to the local palates & wallets. If diners don’t want the sweaty experience of dining at Berseh Food Centre, Lotus Thai offers cooling respite from our tropical climate. Needless to say, loyal fans of Butter Studio, just next door, now have good reason to pop in for a taste of Thailand.