I am Wilber and I love all things Thai! I travel to Thailand very regularly. It is like a second home to me. I blog about all things Thai as well. As I have had so much Thai food, both in terms of quantity and quality, whenever a restaurant or cafe opens and its main theme is Thai, I am very keen to try and see how a particular Thai restaurant in Singapore will match up to the original Thai dishes in Thailand.
To start, I think Thai food is usually better in Thailand than anywhere else in the world. This is obvious because it is in Thailand that you can be ensured that all the ingredients, especially the spices, are authentic Thai products. When restaurants outside of Thailand claim to be “original”, that is a very big claim!
This is not the first time I am having a meal at The Original Boat Noodle. I had previously eaten at this restaurant before. On this particular day, I was visiting the Bugis Junction branch. Previously I tried other branches. It was a weekday evening and the place was almost full. There were only a few tables left and my colleagues and I got a table relatively quickly.
For those who do not know what are boat noodles, they are called Kuay Teow Rua. It is a Thai-styled noodle dish commonly served with pork or beef. However, as The Original Boat Noodle is a halal establishment, there was no pork. Instead, the options are chicken and beef. This would be in the form of sliced meat or meatballs. The dark broth is usually extremely thick. The original version in Thailand infuses the broth with pig’s blood. In Singapore, that would not be permitted hence it would be infused with herbs and spices to try to mimic the original version. Toppings for boat noodles would be beansprouts, cilantro, or a variety of herbs.
Singapore’s version looks like this.
There were options for us to have various styles of boat noodles. Why not right? Thailand is so large as a country and it would make sense that they have a variety of options and styles for different parts of the country. There were Pathumthani, Ayutthaya and Tom Yam-styled boat noodles. We ordered all three versions. For starters, the portions are very small. They are not to be gulped down in one mouthful but I think for the average person, this would be a three-biter. Looking at the pictures, I think you can easily guess which is the Tom Yam version. It did look a lot like Laksa to me rather than Tom Yam.
Verdict for the boat noodles: According to my Thai tongue. Just alright. Nothing fantastic. Nothing beats the original versions in Thailand but this is still a valiant effort. The broth was nowhere as thick as it should be and the spices were way weaker than the original.
If you are wondering, “Wah lau, go there can only eat boat noodles meh?”, relax lah… still got other types of food.
Thai Fried Rice…
Pad Thai (this was the vegetarian version)…
Pad Kra Pow! This is the basic item that EVERY Thai restaurant should have. This is cooked with chicken meat instead of pork and it was good…
Wok dishes were good. My barometer is the tried and tested wok hei taste! The dishes do have that nice char to them. I think their wok dishes are the ones to visit the restaurant for. Although it sounds weird, if you visit The Original Boat Noodle, you should go for their wok dishes instead of their boat noodles. Ok, that did sound weird. But it is true.
The Crispy Fried Som Tam (papaya salad) was good change if you are sick of the usual Som Tam. But I have tried better Fried Som Tam elsewhere.
The Thai Fried Chicken was decently good. It was nothing to rave about though.
I wanted to try the Tom Yam Mama Noodles but they were sold out. This is extremely popular. If you have ever been to Jeh O Chula in Bangkok, this is trying to mimic that popular Tom Yam Mama Noodle monstrosity.
You need to end off the meal with this Hot Steamy Sangkaya dessert if you have sweet cravings. Soft pillowy bread dipped into the Thai-style kaya. Satisfying!
The Mango Smoothie loses to whatever is being sold at the various night markets in Bangkok. However, this should be way better for your health as in Bangkok, a usually overly large amount of sugar is added to your smoothie. What you are consuming in Bangkok can be extremely high in calories and sugar content.
Ok, drinks-wise, just passable. But we were not here for the drinks.
Overall, The Original Boat Noodle is a very viable option for good Thai food in Singapore. While it is a bit strange, my favourite items are not the boat noodles themselves. You have to try their wok dishes. That is what I was there for and that is what I will go back for.
Kob Khun Krub for reading!
The Original Boat Noodle
Locations: Changi City Point, Bugis Junction, Vivo City, The Seletar Mall, Suntec City and Northpoint City.
Opening Hours: Dependent on shopping malls opening hours