BaliThai, Novena Square

Adee and I drove out of the CBD to meet up with Jal for lunch. These 2 guys were the funniest guys in my jc class so meeting up with them is always so jolly and fun. I always find myself looking forward to meeting up with them because they're such sunshiney persons to be around. It was non-stop laughs the second we met up. My sides were hurting by the time I returned back to the office in the afternoon.

To accommodate Jal's dietary requirement for halal food, we headed to BaliThai, a casual eatery serving both Thai and Indonesian cuisine. The fare here is homestyled and unpretentious. As long as you don't go in expecting authentic fine-dining, you should like the simple stuff here. BaliThai is more like a bastardised take on Thai and Indon fare. I like to think of this as a slightly upmarket cze char eatery, by virtue of its comfortable air-conditioning, less-than-bustling ambience and slightly higher pricetags.

Despite its less than saliva-inducing appearance, the Cumi Bakar ($11), grilled squid with sweet sauce, was quite delicious. It was cooked just right, so it was soft and ever so slightly chewy. The sweet sauce, upon grilling, resulted in a smoky charring that complemented the clear fresh taste of the squid.

The Peek Gai Sod Sai ($3.50 per pc), boneless chicken wing stuffed with Thai herbs and minced chicken, couldn't quite follow in the stellar footsteps of the grilled squid. While the chicken was juicy, this just tasted exactly like good ol' fried chicken. If there was any reconstruction, I couldn't taste it. Some mushrooms or water chestnuts or radishes thrown into the mix would have cut through the monotony of the mince.

The Gai Nuer Chanron ($15), hotplate black pepper chicken, was really nice. There was a very hometown cze char appeal to it. The chicken was succulent and juicy and the black pepper sauce was robust. A smattering of capsicums and carrots lent subtle peppery elements and sweetness.

The Tao Hoo Chanron ($10.50), a sizzling hotplate beancurd was another respectably good cze char-standard dish. Choc-a-bloc with crunchy vegetables (even if the mixed veggies were of the frozen variety), a bed of fluffy scrambled eggs, and baby bottom-smooth egg beancurd, this was really nice and light.

The Khao Pad Numlieb ($8.80), fried rice with olive and chicken, was also very decent. Salty minced olives were scattered liberally atop the rice, to be smeared into the fluffy fried rice. Tart raw shallots lent a sharpness and cashews provided a little crunch and nuttiness. Even first-timers initially scared off by the faint purple hue like Jal loved this.

238 Thomson Road
#03-61 Novena Velocity
Tel: 6256 0021
Open daily from 11.30am to 3pm for lunch; and 6pm to 10pm for dinner

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