6 affordable Thai restaurants in Singapore to get your tom yum and green curry fix

Photo: Boat Noodle SG/Facebook
Photo: Boat Noodle SG/Facebook

Cheap and good is our mantra when it comes to food – we’re probably not alone – and Thai cuisine is no exception. Sure, you’ve got plenty of options at Golden Mile, but when you’re nowhere near its vicinity, these Thai eateries are just as satisfying and easy on your wallet, too.

Check ’em out below and bookmark a few for the next time you’re in the mood for tom yum, boat noodles, basil chicken, or green curry.

Nakhon Kitchen

Photo: Nathan Chia/Nakhon Kitchen Facebook page

One of the dominating chain eateries in Singapore, Nakhon Kitchen is pretty much impossible to miss on Google when it comes to cheap and good Thai food. With several branches spread across the island – mostly in heartland areas – the no-frills spot is known for is long lines, fiery spice levels, and extensive menu.

No matter if you’re a fan of green curry ($8), tom yum soup ($6), stir fried minced pork/chicken with basil leaves ($6), pineapple fried rice ($6), or pad Thai ($5) – they’ve got you covered. Plus, you can always wash down the  spice with mango sticky rice ($5) for dessert.

Six outlets, including 27A Lorong Liput, Holland Village. Thurs-Tues noon-3pm, 5:30pm-10pm.


Real Thai

Photo: Real Thai Sg/Facebook

Fast food, Thai style – that’s the basic concept of this casual joint in the CBD. Place your order at the counter like you would at Macs or KFC, then head to your table and wait for your buzzer to flash (it goes off quickly) so you can collect your food. The sets are most worth it – for $11.50 you can get khao soi (egg noodles in curry broth) with lemongrass juice, or Thai boat noodles with fried chicken and a soda for $14.90.

But if you’d like to do things your way, customize your meal ($9.80) by picking your base (rice vermicelli, jasmine rice, rice noodles, or roti), followed by the type of curry (massaman curry, green curry, chicken coconut soup, tom yum creamy soup, or chicken red curry), and your drink of choice (lemongrass, mango, or tamarind juice). There you have it, fuss free.

Two outlets, including #B1-44F Raffles City Shopping Centre, 252 North Bridge Rd. Mon-Fri 10:30pm-9pm, Sat-Sun 11:30am-9pm.


Siamese Cat

Photo: Siamese Cat Café/Facebook

Fans of Tuk Tuk Cha may have been surprised if they walked past the Novena Square and Suntec City branches recently – apparently, due to some kind of fallout between the owners, these outlets have been converted into a new (but similar-looking) concept called Siamese Cat. Just like its predecessor, the menu here offers a whole range of ice cold drinks, from good old Thai milk tea ($2.80) and Thai milk coffee ($2.80) to avocado coco ($5.50) and butterfly pea drinks ($3).

As for the savories, you’ve got mini chicken, tom yum, and beef noodles ($1.90 each) to try, as well as Thai standards such as green curry rice ($7.80), pad Thai prawn ($7.80), and mango salad ($5.80). On the sweet side, thick and fluffy shibuya toasts abound ($11.20-$13.20), with toppings like cheese, matcha, coconut, and mango.

Should you feel slightly more adventurous, sample the coco yolk ice cream ($4.80), made of half-cooked egg yolk bits mashed into coconut ice cream for a creamier texture.

Three outlets, including #01-68/69 Novena Square, 238 Thomson Rd. Daily 10am-10pm.


Soi 47 Thai Food

Photo: Soi 47 Thai Food/Facebook

What started out as a hidden little treasure in a Toa Payoh HDB estate has now extended its reach to Jalan Besar. With its proud policy of “no added MSG, no GST, and no service charge”, the unpretentious eatery named after its block of residence is known for popular shared plate favorites like claypot tang hoon with prawns ($10) and steamed seabass ($19).

While you’re there, pad your order with classics such as green curry with chicken ($6), stuffed chicken wing with minced chicken ($6.80/three), and clear or creamy tom yum soup with seafood ($6.80). Carbs worth their calories come in options like fried belachan rice with seafood ($6) and fried olive rice ($6).

Two outlets, including #01-130, Blk 47 Lorong 6 Toa Payoh. Wed-Mon noon-2:30pm, 5:30pm-10pm.


Sticky Rice

Photo: Sticky Rice/Facebook

A Halal-certified joint in Bugis, Sticky Rice is a chill spot that welcomes diners with quirky illustrations and phrases like “I larb you” on its walls. Thai dishes that everyone knows and love feature on the menu, with the likes of tom yum seafood soup ($7.50), green curry chicken ($8), prawn pad Thai ($7.50) and basil chicken ($6), alongside snacks to share such as crispy chicken skin ($8) and cha om omelette with Thai belachan dip ($8).

If the heat gets to you, cool down with a scoop of Thai coconut ice cream ($6.50), or go for the café’s namesake dish: sweet mangoes with warm sticky rice ($7) drenched in coconut cream. Alternatively, you can get $15 Thai bentos packed with the signatures and sides like Thai fish cake, veggie spring rolls, and garlic chicken wings if you’re on a grab-and-go lunch run.

23 Bali Ln. Mon-Sat noon-3pm, Mon-Thurs 6pm-10pm, Fri-Sat 6pm-11pm.


The Original Boat Noodle

Photo: Boat Noodle SG/Facebook

Boat noodles, for the uninitiated, are a type of Thai noodle dish named after the practice of vendors in Thailand hawking them between boats along waterways in the past. But really, the best part of scarfing them down for a meal is the fact that you can sample a variety of them, thanks to the bowls they’re traditionally served in — typically small enough to cup in just one hand.

This chain restaurant, which debuted in Malaysia in 2014, brings Thai street food to our shores with its recently-opened first outlet in Singapore at Changi City Point. With its focus on boat noodles, it offers two types of soups: Pathumthani ($1.20/bowl), a spicy and sour dark soy sauce broth, and Ayutthaya ($1.20/bowl), a creamy concoction that’s rich and aromatic. Both come with rice noodles and a choice of chicken or beef – but really, you can get all four variations to try in one go (unless you’re a small eater).

Sides to share include crunchy Thai Popeye’s tempura ($3.80), papaya salad ($4.80), flame grilled ayam legend ($8.80), and hot steamy sangkayaa ($4.80), a tray of steamed bread with creamy house-made kaya. Damn, we’re hungry now.

#B1-34A Changi City Point, 5 Changi Business Park Central 1. Daily 11:30am-9pm.

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