I began a mission in October 2022: to find the lowest-rated stalls in Singapore and decide if they deserved the poor grades. My first adventure was a 50-50, with Bedok Western Food kinda, sorta redeeming itself. Next on my list was Thai Dynasty Cuisine at Serangoon NEX Mall which, despite the alluring name, is currently rated a disappointing 2.4 stars.
As I write, 10 out of the 22 reviews give it just 1 star. The complaints are plenty, ranging from allegations of non-authentic ingredients to super oily food to an apparently devilishly rude auntie at the counter. Some of the pictures were worse!
I stared at them, aghast that I’d be putting myself through the ordeal of tasting the unappetising dishes. But that’s the job, ladies and gentlemen, and someone’s gotta do it. Onward to NEX!
What I tried at Thai Dynasty Cuisine
Pain must be shared so I made it a mid-week lunch date with our social media guru, Rachel who had also accompanied me to the Bedok Western Food tasting. Lucky her!
Thai Dynasty Cuisine is located inside Food Junction on the 4th floor of NEX Mall. There was a small line before us, probably made up of people who don’t read Google Reviews. The lady who took our order had a serious face but she was just nonchalant, nothing like the dragon I had read about.
Our first order was the Pineapple Fried Rice with Seafood (S$7.50). It looked very boring when it arrived, just a pile of yellow rice partly covered in pork floss. Poking about, all we could uncover for ‘seafood’ were just 2 prawns and 2 squid rings under the dusting of floss. Disappointing. There were bits of egg and some raisins, too.
Rachel and I stared at each other as we poked out clumps of rice from the pile. Putting them aside, we did the taste test.
Too sweet. This dish did not have any hint of pineapple in it and all the sweetness was from the raisins, which have a more intense saccharine character compared to the citrus-balanced pineapple. With all the other flavours drowned out by it, every mouthful was an ordeal.
I gave up on the Pineapple Fried Rice after 3 spoons and hoped for respite in the Tom Yum Soup (Thick) with Rice and Chicken (S$6.50).
Now, there was some respite but not how I had assumed. Let me start off by saying that the Tom Yum Soup with Chicken served at Thai Dynasty Cuisine is… umm… unique.
The use of coconut milk was just way too much. My tom yum soup also had an overload of cabbage in it. As others have noted in their own reviews, cabbage seems to be an unusual addition in the first place. The chicken was just tasteless boiled chunks thrown in almost as an afterthought— there was actually more cabbage in the bowl than chicken!
That said, we enjoyed the soup! It was like pot luck, with the unexpectedly good taste countering the disappointment of not receiving what we had ordered. What a surprise that it was our fave. Hah!
The Basil Pork (S$10) was the saltiest of the 3 dishes we tried at Thai Dynasty Cuisine. Another shortcoming was the amount of oil that was used— seeing that much oil floating in the gravy was a downer. However, the tender pork bits went well with the crunchy vegetables and the proportion of meat to vegetables was ideal.
Just as it was with Bedok Western Food, my experience at Thai Dynasty Cuisine was better than the reviews would suggest. The food here is middling and the service, while not heart-warming, was not especially terrible.
I think that this is because people are more likely to write a review if they have a negative experience. When you feel that you have been given a bad deal or spoken rudely to, the inclination is to vent via an online review.
On the other hand, it would probably be more helpful to speak or write to management. No, not ‘Karen’-style but rather to offer constructive criticism to the people who are best positioned to implement a change. That was what we did at Bedok Western Food and the uncle was very appreciative.
We also gave our feedback to Thai Dynasty Cuisine and hope that they will take our suggestions on board in the positive spirit that it was given. Meanwhile, I would rate it at least a 3 instead of the 2.4 it is currently on.
Expected damage: S$6.50 – S$12 per pax
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