It wasn't part of the plan to have dinner here.
We were set for a budget meal on a Tuesday night.
However, we had a persistent friend who disregarded our budget (even though I had expressed concern that the restaurant would go beyond our budget before the gathering) and thus we found ourselves here at Aroy Thai in Novena Square at his convenience (near his house)... and with an unexpected guest.
Unfortunately, the meal started off poorly with those surprises, but it is not the fault to Aroy Thai. The restaurant was formerly from Funan IT Mall and it moved here after the mall ceased operations for a re-development and renewal. The friend who made us came here did all the ordering before I joined in. He ordered a starter of Lemongrass Salad or Yum Tha Krai which is a tasty mix of crunchy lemongrass, dried shrimps, cashew nuts, citrus juice, lime juice, shallots, long beans, fish sauce and sugar.
The mixture is eaten with lettuce leaves. Not bad, the flavours and textures reminds me of another popular Thai snack : Miang Kham which is a similiar mixture but with roasted coconut and the more herbal cha phlu leaves and topped with palm syrup or sugar cane syrup.
We also shared a small bowl of Tom Yum Kung, Tom Yum Soup. This is rather decent. The spiciness is rather muted and thus it is enjoyable for diners who can't take the Thai level of spiciness but loved the fragrant, sour and spicy blend of lemongrass, galangal and kaffir lime. The prawns were pretty big, springy and cruncy as well.
The Cha Om Omelette was something that I enjoyed back in Bangkok. They have it here as well. It is Thai-style omelette with cha-om known as "Climbing Wattle" in English and a member of the acacia family. The leaves has a mild earthy and herbal flavour which gives a interesting twist to a classic omelette. Aroy Thai's version is not bad but lacked the "Shiokness".
Pad Kra Phrow, Stir-Fried Pork with Chili and Basil Leaves was okay.
Lastly, we shared a plate of Thai-style Balachan Rice served with Sweet Chicken. This was not bad as well. Interesting choice to go with the meats and vegetables compared to usual pineapple or plain rice.
Meal was 28 SGD per person in the end without drinks, bursting our initial budget ceiling of 15 SGD. It was a rude surprise for a gathering, saved by the food at Aroy Thai. Aroy Thai offers decent Thai cuisine at an relatively premium price. However, if you go for the ala carte orders like Pad Thai and their rice items only like tze-char, it might be under 15 SGD. I would love to come back for the Lemongrass Salad again though.
238 Thomson Road #03-61/63
Novena Square (Velocity)