Nara Thai, the famed Bangkok-based restaurant chain, landed on our sunny shores with much fanfare. The casual eatery (think an upmarket, more frilly Thai Express) serves up an extensive array of Thai street food in comfortably lush digs. In fact, with over 100 items on their menu, you're bound to order something that tickles your fancy.
Food-wise, Nara Thai is one of the fairer upper-mid-priced casual Thai establishments around. Not the best, but certainly one that makes for a pretty satisfying meal that's easy on the wallet.
The Tord Mun Kung ($13.90), deep fried shrimp cakes, were succulent and juicy to the bite, with a crispy breadcrumbed coat of gold. They were excellent au naturel, leaving the honeyed dip quite dispensable. An absolute must-try here.
The Kao Tang Na Tang ($9.90), crunchy rice cracker discs sided by a chunky pork and prawn coconut dip, were excellent as well.
The Massaman Gai ($14.90), a heady peanut-based curry with chicken and potatoes, was wonderful ladled over steaming white rice.
The Moo Phad Kra Pao ($13.90), stir-fried pork with chilli and hot basil, packed a real punch, but would have been a knockout if it was more saucey. This was far from dry, but we'd prefer a wetter version.
The Phad See Eiw Gai ($12.90), a mass of slippery flat rice noodles stir-fried in sweet soy with tender chicken was balanced out by the earthy mushrooms and crunchy greens. Not a lot of wok hei, but more than passable.
2 Orchard Turn
ION Orchard B3-21
Tel: 6634 5787
Open daily from 11.30am to 10pm