Tucked away in Circular Road, Tom Yum Kungfu is a casual Thai eatery serving a variety of traditional Thai dishes. Having heard good reviews, my friend E suggested we try this place and I gladly agreed as I had been on a recent Thai food craze. Sparsely furnished with tables occupying most of the free spaces even the corridors, it was testament to the popularity of the restaurant as it was pretty packed even on the early Friday evening we were there.
The little retro-looking glass bottles of soft drinks that lined the sides of the granite tables were a nice touch that reminded me of the little street hawkers that dotted Bangkok.
Reminiscent of those little hawker stalls as well is the lively atmosphere of chatter combined with the delicious waft of spice from the kitchens. Hungry for our dose of Thai food, we decided to order a few classic dishes to share.
Clear Seafood Tom Yum Soup $8.00 (S)
If one were to notice my past few Thai food reviews, then you would have guessed that we would start the meal with a serving of Tom Yum soup. A benchmark by which I usually use to compare Thai restaurants, Tom Yum Kungfu’s version trumped the ones at similarly-priced eateries Ah Loy Thai and Porn’s. Less rich and oily than Ah Loy Thai’s and more fragrant than Porn’s, their rendition of Tom Yum Soup was heady with a strong lemongrass essence and sufficient spices to get my tastebuds tingling.
Another perennial favourite of mine, Thai Mango Salad, the fresh slices of mango with the potent seeds of the chili padi and the crunchy roasted peanut served as an excellent palate cleanser and appetizer. Crunchy and juicy, the mango slices was deliciously tangy and sweet.
To complement our meal, we also ordered from their selection of Thai beverages. E had the Thai version of the popular Vitamilk which came in a glass bottle. Thicker and more flavourful than our localized version of Vitamilk, E’s craving for soyabean was well-satisfied although she did feel it the drink a tad bit too rich.
Thai Iced Tea with Milk $2.00
Complementing my meal, the Thai Iced Tea with Milk was a perfect thirst quencher after all that spice as it was refreshing and not too sweet.
Kungfu Fried Rice $9.00
One of their house specialties, the sambal fried rice was “packaged” in a thin skin of fried omelet. Thick and short grains of Jasmine rice coupled with a mildly spicy sambal and basil leaves, the rice was flavorful, fluffy and moist. Not too oily and complemented by a nice and tasty omelet, I could tell why this dish was one of the favourites amongst Tom Yum Kungfu’s customers.
Pad Thai $6.00
A traditional dish of rice noodles fried with a generous portion of prawns, tofu and fish sauce; Pad Thai has always been my favourite noodle dish to order whenever I am dining at a Thai eatery. A rather competent version of the dish, Tom Yum Kungfu’s was full of flavour and the rice noodles were thick and chewy just the way I like it. I did however find that it was slightly too dry but otherwise the noodles were a well-balance of sweet, salty and sour.
With tasty and reasonably authentic Thai dishes at prices that won’t burn a hole in your wallet, Tom Yum Kungfu is definitely a place I’d recommened for a pleasant casual dining experience. Packed crowds and excited conversations contributed to a vibrant atmosphere, though it was nice that one had enough personal space to feel comfortable. A very competent addition to the low/mid-priced range of Thai eateries, I am already excited to go back and sample a greater variety of their dishes.
** On a sidenote, TheFoodNomads has hit more than 50,000 views in about four and a half months! We thank you for your continual support and we hope that these reviews will continue to serve you well on your food adventures!
Tom Yum Kungfu
16 Circular Road
Contact No: +65 6536 1646
Mondays – Fridays: 11.30am–3pm, 6pm–10.30pm
Closed on Sundays
Thanks to E for the recommendation and some photos! (: