Go-Ang Kaomunkai Pratunam — Bangkok’s acclaimed chicken rice eatery has opened its first overseas outpost in Singapore at NEX.
This tiny little island of ours has got a fair amount of quality restaurants and hawker stalls dishing up untold plates of Hainan chicken rice that is widely trumpeted as one of Singapore’s national dishes.
Now meet Go-Ang Kaomunkai Pratunam, which could be a serious contender in the Chicken Rice scene. This new kid on the block has collected accolades and fans galore all thanks to its Aroi-mak chicken and rice hailing from Bangkok, Thailand.
Go-Ang Kaomunkai Pratunam has been around for more than 50 years and lately this year, the humble Thai eatery received a Bib Gourmand mention in the first edition of Michelin Guide Bangkok. I’ve been to Bangkok numerous times, but in truth this is my first time trying the Thai version of chicken rice — even better, without a plane ticket.
I managed to find some free time to head to Go-Ang‘s Singapore restaurant for some delightful Thai chicken rice. As NEX is one of the largest retail mall in the country, it took me a while to figure out where Go-Ang was. It’s located on #B1-05/06 at NEX (next to Shokutsu Ten) where most of the dining establishments were clustered together and Go-Ang took over the space previously occupied by a ThaiExpress outlet.
As I arrived, I could find a bright pink restaurant sign which leads me inside to the land of chicken rice. The restaurant features a clean contemporary ambience with design elements and details that represent some of Thailand’s culture and ideologies.
Interiors of Go-Ang Pratunam Chicken Rice
The menu is straightforward and appealing with various dishes specially curated for the Singaporean palate. Dishes to name but a few include Stir Fried Sliced Tofu with Dark Soya Sauce ($8.00), Bean Sprout with Salted Fish ($8.00), Prawn Omelette ($9.50) and Deep Fried Sea Bass with Thai Chilli Sauce ($28.00).
The star of the show is the Signature Thai Hainanese Chicken ($4.50 single portion / $5.50 chicken thigh). The poached chicken here was succulent and perfectly complemented with the tangy house-made chilli sauce which carries a spicy kick. The special recipe sauce is made with dark soya sauce, fermented chilli, fermented bean paste, vinegar, cut ginger and chilli padi.
It was mentioned that the aromatic rice is cooked with chicken oil, but sadly it didn’t fare well as I would enjoy a more flavorsome grain — perhaps, with a tad more oil. The texture of the rice was just right though!
Go-Ang also added some Double Boiled Soups on the Singapore menu which is available in Bangkok as well. Options include Duck & Mushroom Soup, Chicken Feet Soup and Bitter Melon & Pork Ribs Soup — each bowl at ($6.50) is delicate on taste and perfectly nourishing.
Selected stir-fried dishes and Thai-style offerings like Fried Tofu Cube with Thai Sweet Chilli Sauce ($8.00), Bean Sprout with Salted Fish ($8.00) or the Steamed Sea Bass with Chilli, Lime & Garlic ($28.00) makes a good accompaniment to the meal.
Another highpoint of my meal at Go-Ang was the desserts. A Thai meal will not be complete without classic Thai desserts like Red Ruby with Coconut Ice Cream ($5.00) and Steamed Tapioca with Coconut Cream ($4.50).
Not sure if Go-Ang makes their own coconut ice cream — it was super creamy, coconut-y but not overly sweet, and the red jewels of water chestnut coated with tapioca flour provided a delightful gummy ball-like bite with a surprisingly crunchy center.
A typical Thai dessert — the Steamed Tapioca with Coconut Cream was simply pleasant and irresistible. It would have been better if the steamed tapioca was more moist and softer in texture.
I believed the hype that Go-Ang serves up good quality and palatable Thai-style Hainanese chicken which I have tasted and think it deserves a nod for its tasty varieties.
Local chicken rice purists might scoff off at anything that involves the desirable and authentic Hainanese chicken rice flavours, but you gotta give credit where it’s due. Go-Ang Pratunam Chicken Rice is fairly different and might hold back on the heavy seasoning for good reasons.
If you haven’t been to Go-Ang in Bangkok yet, this is definitely a good chance to try it first in Singapore!
GO-ANG PRATUNAM CHICKEN RICE SINGAPORE
Location: 23 Serangoon Central, #B1-05/06 NEX Shopping Mall, Singapore 556083
Opening Hours: Daily 11am to 10pm