Mention Purvis Street to my family and only one thing will pop into their minds, the old school Hainanese Chicken Rice/Steamboat/Cze Char place that we have visited since forever (story for another time). With First Thai just beside our chicken rice restaurant, I will always notice their long queue outside but have never gotten around to trying it till now.
Thanks to a friend mentioning First Thai to sis and Mum’s birthday, we trooped down on a Friday night. There was surprisingly no queue at all and we got a table straight away. That got me a little worried that they are past their glorious days since I wanted Mum’s birthday dinner to be nice. Their policy is to not seat you till everyone in your party arrived but Dad managed to get me and him in with a look on his face hurhur, probably because the restaurant wasn’t full as well.
Thai Iced Tea to start everyone off in the non-air conditioned place! This is not as sweet or milky as the ones in Thailand or Golden Mile, which didn’t make us very happy. Maybe they adjusted the formula to suit Singaporean tastes?
Please note that there’s a substantial portion of the menu that is only available during lunch time! Did not know this previously so was very disappointed to discover the whole dessert section and som tam (papaya salad) to be not available for dinner. Major sadness, I love som tam and thai desserts!!
Got a medium Olive Fried Rice to share. Mildly fragrant, this was enough for 4 of us, love eating it with the cashews!
A stable dish for our family for thai food (we always order extra tang hoon), this version was passable. Not as fragrant and peppery as I would have liked, oily near the base of the pot and prawns were a little tough. Certainly had better ones elsewhere.
Seasoning was ok, pretty forgettable pandan chicken.
Totally the star of the evening, this dish redeemed everything else! We had a choice between sea bass and snapper. The fish was delightfully crispy to bite without being oily, meaty and paired with the sweetish brown sauce, we picked this to the bones.
A little salty on its own, but alright paired with rice. Nicely fried and fresh, I love love kai lan!
All in all, First Thai fell short of expectations. Go with a open mind and this may actually be a good place for dinner with its central location, reasonably priced menu with no service and gst charge. Probably have to depend on your luck with regards to queues, or you can always pop by my chicken rice spot right beside them, Jai Thai 2 more shops down or even Gunther’s.
First Thai Restaurant
23 Purvis Street, Singapore
Tel: +65 6339 3123