Ernie was back over the weekend and we met up for our usual "Saturday date". He wanted Thai food and I wanted to check out this little family-style Thai eatery Lips had told me about so we went to E-Sarn Thai Kitchen, right smack in a condominium off Ulu Pandan Road.
This neighbourhood eatery serving Northern Thai cuisine is part of a chain of 4 eateries that has its roots in a humble hawker centre stall. The chefs are apparently from Thailand to ensure that the food turns out authentic. I don't know whether it is because Northern Thai cuisine is milder than the usual Thai food I eat, or whether it is because this place is frequented by expats, but I felt that the spice level of the food here was pretty watered down. I have a normal spice tolerance level, although I'm not the kind to eat raw chilis (even the green ones), but even I thought the food was a little too mild. Ernie, who sweats up a storm every time he eats something remotely spiced, naturally thought the food was spicy enough. The next time I'm craving for Thai food in a similar neighbourhood eatery, I'll just head to Thai Noodle House instead. The food there is cheaper and better.
We started off with Tao Hu Tod ($6.50) Crispy Beancurd served with sweet sauce and crushed peanuts. The batter was nice, but the beancurd was a little waterlogged and rough in texture, it didn't have that plain clear taste fresh beancurd should have.
The Tom Yum Koong ($7.50), Thai spicy and sour soup with prawns, fared better, but was not spicy enough. I liked that the prawns were sweet and crunchy though.
The Pad Ka Nang ($7.50) Baby Kailan with Garlic and Oyster Sauce, was simple and well done. Vegetables retained its crunch and the oyster sauce wasn't too salty.
The Gaeng Gai ($12.50) Green Curry Chicken, wasn't great either. The coconut milk overpowered the distinctive taste of the green chilis and galangal.
The Moo Kra Pao ($10.50) Basil Pork was probably the best dish. It was spicy enough, but I would have preferred a stronger basil accent.
E-Sarn is probably more posh than the haphazard digs of Thai Noodle House, with its clean modern lines, I guess you're paying extra for the nicer ambience as compared to Thai Noodle House.
E-Sarn Thai Kitchen
5 Ridgewood Close
Unit G2 Ridgewood Condominium
Tel: 6466 8078
Open daily from 11.30am to 10pm, Closed on Mondays