The Place Bangkok’s popular Yen Ta Fo By A.Mallika opens in Singapore, with its first location at Cathay Cineleisure Orchard. Yentafo Kruengsonge is a casual dining concept, with a easy self-service concept where you place your order at the front cashier, and proceed to collect your spread at the kitchen counter once your order number blinks up.
Well-lit during the day, you might get some heat from unforgiving Singapore’s weather during the day, and people-watch should you be dining at the counter seats.
The Food Expect the Yong Tau Foo you are familiar with in Singapore, just done with a Thai-twist to it. In fact, as some of the originals ingredients could not be imported in, Yentafo replaced them with some familiar items on our local Yong Tau Foo, although the owners have painstakingly ensure these ingredients are of top quality and befits the brand spirit they will like to ensure ensues in the Singapore branch as well.
To start, Yentafo has a variety of Thai appertizers, with my personal favourite being the Kao Tang Rice Crisps (S$6 for 4 pieces). Dip the rice crisps into the delish paste made from minced chicken and red curry paste – it is quite to-die-for shiok.
You can go for the Kratong Tong (pastry shells filled with stir-fried minced chicken, S$5 for 6 pieces) and Yum Salmon Skin (S$7) here as well, with the latter scoring better with me. The dip for the Salmon Skin is slightly on the spicy end, coming across as a more watery version of popular Thai Sweet Chilli sauce.
The main highlight here, the Yentafo Kruengsonge (S$8.50) has eight items served together with the flat wide rice noodles and pink sauce. The eight items includes fish ball, squid ball, fish ball with tofu, fried tofu, fried seasoned taro and black gufus mushroom, or you can go for the smaller Yentafo Kruengsonge with only five items (S$6.50). Comes in soup and dry version, this is very similar to the local version, but the difference comes in the sauce. The pink sauce here gets done by fermented red tofu and Thai red rice, and it is less sweet as compared with the local red sauce.
If you find the predictable, then you should go for this Original Thai Tom Yum Noodles (S$9). Done with the same eight items and the noodles, but all done in Tom Yum soup base, this is my favourite of the lunch during my visit. The sour soup goes really well with the fresh ingredients, and yes, a very comforting lunch. For the folk who cannot take spices well, fret not, the Tom Yum here is manageable – if not, just order this with a milk-based drink, and you should be able to take it down well.
Other mains here includes Gai Pad Krapow (stir-fry minced chicken with Thai holy basil, S$8.50) and Nam Prik Khai Poo (rice with fried egg and a spicy, sweet and sour crab dip, S$9).
The desserts options here are definitely authentic Thai, and not options which I am personally familiar with. The Nam-Wa Banana in Coconut Milk with Sesame Seeds (S$5) has specially imported Nam-Wa bananas, an area North-eastern of Thailand. The bananas are cooked in coconut cream, palm sugar and salt, expect the banana in soft texture, in a sweet coconut broth. This dish reminds me of the Singapore’s own hot Bo Bo Cha Cha. Also available is the Santol Sweety Delight (S$5) which really is Palmyra Fruit in a iced sugar syrup.
Local Thai beverages are available here as well, with my personal top choices being the Thai Iced Milk Tea (S$3) and Thai Iced Coffee (S$3), simply because these options can do no wrong.
Rants The direct sunlight from the shopping mall’s facade makes dining here during lunch hours a less enjoyable one. Make sure you grab any tables with bits of shades from the unforgiving sunrays.
Will I Return Again? We often expect dining in Orchard as an expensive affair; at Yentafo, you get to enjoy some very comforting food at relatively affordable price. Go for the dishes here with more Thai-influence to avoid disappointment that it taste just like the Yong Tau Foo at the coffeeshop below your house.
This was an invited tasting, though all opinions expressed are our own.
Taste bud: 4/5
Hole in the pocket: 3.5/5
Overall Experience: 3.5/5
8 Grange Road
#02-06A/B Cathay Cineleisure Orchard
Tel: +65 6736 0971
Daily 10am to 10pm
Ranted by The Rantee