Thai food is everywhere Singapore. Visit any shopping mall and hawker center and you can find an array of restaurants and stalls selling your usual selection of Pad Thai and Tom Yam. But speaking from a Thai person’s perspective, good Thai food is rare and hard to come by in the Republic.
One trusted location that most Thais turn to for authentic, affordable Thai food is the Golden Mile Complex, a commercial and residential building on Beach Road, also known as Little Thailand. The building itself – built in the early 70s – is notorious for being an eyesore and is, perhaps worthy of discussion at a later date. But in this Untapped article, we’ll look more at what’s on offer inside the complex.
There are approximately 40,000 Thais living in Singapore, 80% of whom work in low-skilled jobs such as construction and cleaning. This may help to explain why Golden Mile has the look and feel of a Thai provincial train station rather than the cosmopolitan Bangkok – which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Visit the complex and you can find CD shops stocked with Thai country music, Thai magazine stands and even some Thai Discos (although the latter is not for the faint-hearted). It is also one of the few places Singapore that sell vital ingredients for Thai cooking such as Thai eggplants and Tamarind pastes.
Then there’s the food – unashamedly spicy and fragrant. You can find the most unusual Thai dishes and regional delicacies such as the Northeastern Tom Sap (a spicier cousin of the Tom Yam) and the Northern Khao Soi (crispy egg noodles in curry broth). The Thai snacks and desserts here are also worth a try – look for the popular mango and sticky rice and Luk Choop – colorful mung bean candies molded into the shape of fruits and vegetables.
So if you’re looking for (literally) a taste of Thailand here in Singapore, pay the Golden Mile Complex a visit. Even better, go on an empty stomach.