Thai Express @ Esplanade

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In the background is “Harvest” by Han Sai Por – a visual art commissioned by Esplanade for the occasion of Singapore’s 50th Anniversary.

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Contrary to what most would think, Harvest is named not because Miss Han wanted to epitomise our nation’s “yield” but to celebrate nature’s bounty and the natural environment even in an urbanised Singapore.

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“Han Sai Por is a leading Asian sculptor and Singapore Cultural Medallion recipient. Celebrated for her works in stone, her accolades include the Grand Prize at the Triennale-India 2005 and Outstanding Sculpture Award, China in 2006.” – http://www.stpi.com.sg/artist_hansaipor.htm

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Han Sai Por with great grand nephew 태진.

Harvest
Han Sai Por

Like one who sows and nurtures seeds with love and care, Han has pursued her art-making with perseverance and dedication.

Han’s signature stone sculptures always exude an intense, quiet determination beneath the solidity of the material; a sense of undying love for and obligation to the natural environment is apparent and the hard rocks are softened by their forms through her delicate hands. Her work has always centred on man’s rapid destruction of the natural, native environments in harsh, urban landscapes.

Approached to work with Esplanade once again for the occasion of Singapore’s jubilee year, Han has adopted a lighter and more celebratory note, gathering a fruitful Harvest to mark Singapore’s golden 50th anniversary and the new beginning of the next 50 years to come.” – Esplanade website

See more here:
https://www.esplanade.com/festivals-and-series/visual-arts/2015/harvest
and here: http://eresources.nlb.gov.sg/infopedia/articles/SIP_467_2004-12-23.html
You can even find her on Wikipedia:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Han_Sai_Por

In between a personal tour of her art work both at the concourse of Esplanade and outside at the surrounding public areas and parks, my aunt gave us a dinner treat at Thai Express @ Esplanade.

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I have never been a fan of Thai Express but this branch seemed to suit my taste. Was it the chefs or was it the gathering of 4 generations that has whetted my appetite?

Let’s see what we had…

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Poo Tod Kratiem Phrik Thai.
Soft Shell Crab with their chef’s secret batter.

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Tom Yum Talay.
Tom Yum Seafood Soup in clear broth.

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Yum Yai described as the Famous King Rama II of Thailand’s salad.

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Kaeng Khiew Wan Gai.
Tender juicy chicken in jade green curry

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Phat Thai Talay.
Phat Thai (thin rice noodles – kway teow) with seafood.

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Khao Gai Phat Krapow.
Rice with stir-fried spicy minced chicken with Thai basil.

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Phat Pak Bung Fai Daeng.
Thai style stir-fried Kangkong (morning glory) with fermented beans and chilli padi.

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Tau Hoo Si Ew Dam.
Dark Soya Tofu.

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Massaman Beef Curry with Thai-style pancake.
The pancakes were very similar if not the same as roti paratha (roti canai).

While Thai Express may not be a mind blowing place to go for “authentic” Thai street cuisine, it certainly is one of the more successful chain restaurants with 24 branches islandwide.

I am only speaking for myself about not being a fan of Thai Express. My children do patronise the chain every now and then. A couple of non-exciting meals I had at their Holland Village branch had failed to “electrify” my tongue.

This time, however, at the Esplanade branch, I told my children during dinner that I was actually pleasantly surprised to find certain dishes delectable. Of course, there were hits and misses at the table! Even this branch is not going to miraculously convert me but I did enjoy the Soft Shell Crab, Tom Yum Soup, Phat Thai and Massaman Beef. The dish that least impressed me was the one recommended by the order-taker, it was supposedly the more popular soya beancake item, Tau Hoo Si Ew Dam. I find it dense and dry, and the black soya sauce did not help with flavour either. In fact, I find the sauce to leave a little bitter aftertaste. The rest of the dishes weren’t overly exciting as well, just standard fare – if only I wasn’t such a Thai street food snob!

Happy eating and bonding 🙂

Thai foods I’ve blogged:
Recipe:
PAD KRA POW – ผัดกะเพรา RECIPE
MAN CHEUAM (THAI-STYLE STEAMED CASSAVA) RECIPE

Singapore:
NAM NGEW CHIANGRAI – THE HIDDEN GEM
NA NA THAI FOOD
THAI NOODLE HOUSE @ CORONATION ARCADE
SPICY THAI THAI CAFE
THE FORGOTTEN BACKYARD FOUND @ SPICY THAI – THAI CAFE!
IGNITING A PASSION @ A-ROY THAI
MA-KAB-CHAN RESTAURANT THAI VILLAGE 泰国村酒楼
CHANG THAI @ 151
TAMARIND HILL RESTAURANT SINGAPORE
GIN KHAO – THAI STREET DELIGHTS AND MORE!
THAI PAVILION RESTAURANT

Thailand:
Bangkok:
PULSATING IN THE HEART OF SIAM
FIRST NIGHT IN BANGKOK MADE A FOOD SNOB HUMBLE
BOUNDING PULSE – BANGKOK
T&K SEAFOOD ต๋อย&คิด – BANGKOK
THERE IS ORDER IN CHAOS
TUG OF WAR

Phuket:
BANGMUD (FLOATING) SEAFOOD RESTAURANT @ PHUKET, THAILAND
THE VILLAGE SPA AT COCONUT ISLAND – PHUKET TRIP DAY 1
BREAKFAST @ THE TAMARIND RESTAURANT, THE VILLAGE, COCONUT ISLAND – PHUKET TRIP DAY 2
LUNCH @ THE TAMARIND RESTAURANT, THE VILLAGE, COCONUT ISLAND – PHUKET TRIP DAY 2
PHONG PHRANG SEAFOOD RESTAURANT & APHRODITE CABARET SHOW – PHUKET TRIP DAY 2
RANG YAI ISLAND – PHUKET TRIP DAY 3
RAYA THAI CUISINE RESTAURANT @ MUANG – PHUKET TRIP DAY 1
RAYA THAI CUISINE @ PHUKET TRIP DAY 3

Macau:
NAAM THAI RESTAURANT GRAND LAPA RESORT MACAU 灆泰國菜餐廳

Melbourne:
YING THAI 2

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