We had dinner at Patara Fine Thai recently, along with Ry and Ernie, who was back for a visit. Patara Fine Thai, along with Sabai and Thanying, are one of the few notable fine-dining Thai restaurants in Singapore. It was a good place to catch up, Ernie loves spicy food and our lively chatter didn't sound out of place in the noisy restaurant. That's the one thing I noticed about fine-dining Thai restaurants, they all tend to be relatively boisterous places. You'll be hard pressed to find one that's quiet and requires diners to speak in low tones. Maybe there's a correlation between spicy food and loud diners.
While the food at Patara was authentic and delicious, the prices weren't as palatable as the food. I was quite shocked at discover that plain white rice cost $3 per person. This was really quite ridiculously expensive, in my view.
The Kong Thod Saweuy ($19) was a trio of deep-fried appetizers comprising prawns wrapped in rice vermicelli, chicken and vegetable spring rolls and golden pouches. My favourite was the sweet juicy prawns with crisp fried vermicelli twirled around it for a textural contrast.
The Phad Pak Bung Kapi ($19) was a well fried dish of still crunchy stir-fried morning glory with aromatic shrimp paste, garlic and chilli.
The Gang Khaw Wan Gai ($24) was a creamy goodness of chicken green curry with sweet basil and bird chilli.
The Pad Gaprao Moo ($22) is a fragrant minced pork dish stir fried with basil and red chilli for aroma and heat.
Apart from the usual tom yum goong, the Ka Poa Pla ($17) is my next-favourite Thai-Chinese soup. The full-bodied thick fish maw broth is filled with crab meat and quail's eggs. I love it for its delicate, seafood-based flavours.
The Khao Tang Naa Tang ($15) was a delectable snack of crispy Thai crackers served with a dip of minced chicken and prawns simmered in light coconut cream.
While the Sen Jan Phad Thai Goong ($19) was a tad sweet, a sprinkling of red chilli flakes gave the Thai-style fried rice noodles with prawns a much needed dimension of spice and heat.
Patara Fine Thai Cuisine
163 Tanglin Road
Tel: 6737 0818
Open daily from 12noon to 3pm for lunch and from 6pm to 10pm for dinner