What makes Thai food so delicious and well sought-after? In my opinion, it’s the contrasting flavours like spicy and sweet which tantalise our taste buds. I decided to visit Pinky’s Kitchen Nakhon Si, a relatively new hawker stall at Bukit Canberra Hawker Centre, to try their dishes.
What caught my attention first was a flag of Thailand that was proudly hung at the front of the stall. The stall lady offered me a 3-page menu which featured over 50 dishes that included dessert— simply amazing!
The 3-month-old stall is helmed by 39-year-old Pinky who is upbeat and super friendly. She hails from Nakhon Si Thammarat and this is her first food stall.
She shared that she was super busy as her staff was on leave. There was an elderly assistant helping her in the stall as well and they worked hand-in-hand getting all the orders out.
What I tried at Pinky’s Kitchen Nakhon Si
We started our lunch with the Phad Thai Seafood (S$6.50). It was a mix of rice noodles stir-fried with 2 pieces of prawns, a couple of sotong rings, cubes of tau kwa, bean sprout, egg and spring onions served with a wedge of lime, crushed peanuts and chilli flakes.
Before savouring the noodles, I gave the lime a little squeeze to release all its citrusy goodness, then went on to add the peanuts and chilli flakes.
I mixed all the ingredients and proceeded to take my first mouthful… my eyes instantly lit up. Pinky’s Phad Thai Seafood was more savoury than sweet, which was great for me as the sweetness of this dish usually puts me off.
The noodles were also not lumped together and the crunchiness of the bean sprouts and peanuts was a joy to have. This, my friends, was the best phad thai I’ve ever eaten— even my dining partners attest to it!
We proceeded on to our next dish, the Green Curry Chicken (S$8).
The bowl of curry contained a medley of chicken pieces, Thai eggplant, radish, sliced red chillies, and basil leaves.
The amount of chicken pieces in the curry was substantial. The meat was well-seasoned and managed to absorb the creamy and herby notes of the broth really nicely. Speaking of the gravy, it was perfectly spiced and had the right balance of flavour.
It was my first encounter with daikon being used in Thai green curry. I Googled and apparently it’s commonly used.
“Why was this the first time I’m seeing this ingredient after eating this dish for so many years?” I thought to myself. The smaller pieces disintegrated in my mouth with ease but the larger ones could’ve been simmered more to achieve a softer texture.
An abundance of small textural seeds were released into my mouth when I bit on the pieces of Thai eggplant. If I had a bowl of plain rice to go with this curry, I would have been a very happy man
Our next dish, the Basil Leaves with Minced Pork (S$5.50) or pad kra pao had all the usual suspects— plain rice, minced pork, sliced onions, chilli, basil leaves, chopped long beans and a sunny side-up egg.
The minced meat mixture had the right amount of spice and savouriness which paired really well with the rice. The bits of long beans added a satisfying crunch in-between bites. However, that being said, I wish that the basil notes were more distinct.
The yolk of the egg was still runny and I prodded my fork to allow the luscious yellow liquid to flow down the rest of the ingredients. Mixing everything up made the dish more creamy and decadent.
I decided to order the Mango Sticky Rice (S$6) when I found out that the Red Ruby (S$5) wasn’t available.
The crispy mung beans that were lying on top were a great contrast to the soft and starchy rice. The fragrant coconut milk lying below enhanced the combination even more.
The mango was undoubtedly the star of the dish. It was soft, fragrant and extremely sweet. I was glad I made the right choice to complete my meal with this sweet finish.
Judging from the number of Thai words that were exchanged between Pinky and some of her customers, it seems like this stall has a steady stream of native supporters.
Look out for the Thailand flag and come say hi to Pinky. I hope you’ll enjoy her dishes as much as I did!
Expected damage: S$5.50 – S$16 per pax