Refreshed Thanying Restaurant adds more to its massive Thai menu
One of the most enduring and top Thai restaurants here has been refreshed.
Thanying Restaurant at Amara Hotel, which opened in 1988, is famous for how chi chi it is.
It operates in the tradition of Thai court cooking, so to please pampered and high-class diners, everything is in bite-size portions, with all seeds, bones and pith removed.
This level of devotion comes at a price, so do not expect to pay Golden Mile prices. But treat yourself occasionally because the food is good.
One big worry is that post-renovation, some restaurants try to change things up.
Luckily, Thanying just added more dishes, so it's more of the same.
Like many Thai places, the menu is massive. You'll get cross-eyed trying to take it all in. If I listed everything I ate and enjoyed here, this column will run over two pages. So here are some memorable items.
I like the Gaeng Panang Nuer (special thick curry with beef, $18) because of the depth of flavours. It is like a velvety blanket of aromatics over slices of tender beef. The meat adds a layer of texture.
TRY THE PRAWN PANCAKE
Another multi-textural dish is the Khao Ohb Nam-Liaeb (black olive rice with minced chicken, $17).
This has bits of chopped lime (which also provides that burst of bitter and tanginess), and the chopped onions add a bit of heat.
It does not look like much, but the Goong Krabueng (deep-fried prawn pancake, $22) proves to be one of the best dishes.
It is basically flattened savoury prawn paste tucked between sheets of pancake.
It is easy to eat and should please all age groups.
The Peek Gai Sod Sai (boneless chicken wing stuffed with minced chicken and Thai herbs, $20 for four pieces) is a favourite with many of my foodie friends - and for good reason.
It is a visually pleasing dish that is as tasty as it is pretty.
While I prefer my chicken wings as har cheong gai (fried prawn paste chicken), this is good too.
It has minced chicken stuffed in chicken, so expect a tender juicy bite.
The sweet/salty marinade whets the appetite too.
I was surprised that the Tom Yam Goong (spicy prawn soup with mushroom, kaffir lime leaf, lemongrass and chilli, $10 a bowl) turned out to be too sweet.
The wonder of Thai food is that delicate balance between sweet and tart, and sweet won.
The fresh ingredients helped, but there was only so much it could do.
Amara Hotel Level 2
Opens 11am to 3pm, 6.30pm to 11pm