Monday, March 24, 2014

Singapore Food Blog - Bangkok Jam @ Plaza Singapura

Location: Dhoby Ghaut, Central Business District (CBD), Singapore

Note: This post is written base on the dining experience in Plaza Singapura branch. Experience may vary from that of other outlets.


I visited this establishment when the riots were in full swing in Bangkok. The flow of tourists who once flocked to the vibrant city slowed to a halt, countries advising their citizens against entering the city, or the nation even. Bloodied images of chaos painted a grim picture of the city, with most captions questioning the future of the nation in the coming months. And the name Bangkok Jam reminded me of all that even as I was seated in its compound.

A riot of color and organised chaos (if there is such a thing) greeted my senses at the entrance of this establishment. Lampposts and traffic lights stood randomly in the "compound", itself an interesting but effective utilization of space by situating itself next to a bank of elevators and in a spot where the geometry of the floor plan induce headaches with most interior designers. Seated within the restaurant was akin to street side dining without the noisy traffic and dusty environment such seating came with.

To my utmost surprise, the menu was presented like a newspaper, with the news content being the dishes and the hottest news being none other than the recommended dish. Such a concept was employed by Ambush, invoking memories of delicious European dishes as was shared in Singapore Food Blog - Ambush @ Jurong Point.

The menu was presented in a newspaper format, in a way reminding me of Ambush restaurant which uses a similar concept.


The theme behind the eatery is to reflect the chaos behind Bangkok's street, hence the lamp posts and traffic light strewn around the "compound".

Bangkok Jam is owned and managed by Creative Eateries, which is also the owner of a variety of eateries like XiMenDing (西门町) and Sho Teppan (しょうてっぱん). You could expect the usual range of Thai fares available here - curries with their variety of colours (green, yellow and red), dishes cooked in Thai styles, and last but not least, desserts. What got my attention was a Lemongrass Tea on the list, and I got myself one to see if they could reproduce the taste.

It was not the best drink which I had tried before, but the distinctive taste was undeniable. The sharp tang filled my mouth, threatening to overwhelm my senses but not pushing them over the limit. Since the acquired taste of this herb may not suit everyone, it is advised that only the adventurous and those who fell in love with lemongrass to order this.

One could call this glass of Lemongrass Tea (SGD4.80) a distinctive beverage, and I would agree with them. It bombards your sense of smell and taste with the acquired taste of lemongrass, itself having a love/hate relationship with most people. A subtle hint of sweetness lingered a little while after the dominating taste dissipated.

My benchmark of Bangkok Jam's fare is against that of Thai Express, one of my favourite Thai chain restaurants, and the focus of this title fell far from its competition despite the snaking queue that often form in front of its establishment. The taste is not as good but this is a rather personal preference. To elaborate the point, for dishes which are traditionally available in Thai restaurants across Singapore and Malaysia such as Green Curry Chicken, I find the taste not as strong as I would like yet my wife finds it agreeable.

Phad kana moo daeng (Kailan with roasted pork) (SGD10.50) is what you would order if you want something familiar on the table. Crunchy kailan with roasted pork would have been a great combination, if the latter was crunchy. One could not hope for everything I guess. The dish was average in taste, nothing especially nice with it, yet nothing bad about it as well. An overall agreeable dish for the less adventurous.

Gang keaw wan gai (Green curry chicken, served with steamed rice) (SGD11.50) is what every Thai restaurant should offer. It is not the best which I have tried so far, but it is agreeable. The spiciness came late as an aftertaste, not too much for beginners. Tender chicken lurked within the murky green curry broth, the latter a nice gravy to be served with white rice.

Ahh... How could one not fell in love with a term called Ba mee poo (SGD11.90) when it was translated as 'Stir-fried egg noodle with bacon and crabmeat' (emphasize on the last two item instead of the first). Unfortunately it fell far from expectation. The noodles were springy and bacon tasty, but the rather dry dish left much room for improvement in terms of texture and taste. Less salty and some available gravy would be help improve the appeal in this dish.

In overall, I find Bangkok Jam agreeable although I also find that they have much room for improvement. A hectic and always busy staff is proof that the system running behind the establishment not efficient enough, leaving some customers evidently fuming while waiting for their orders to be delivered or bills to be settled. It would be faster to just walk to the cashier's counter and settle it sometimes. The dishes could do with additional touch-ups to improve the taste and texture.

Despite these little complaints, I would still return to Bangkok Jam. When sometimes you crave for Thai food, it can be a practical alternative to other bigger Thai restaurants.

This is a rare glimpse of a sparsely filled Bangkok Jam due to the early hours of our visit. It is usually packed with diners as their name suggests.








Suitable for:            for family or friends, or just for usual dining
Cost:                           an occasional visit would not strain your wallet


Website:                    Official homepage of Bangkok Jam Singapore
Contact:                     +65 - 6341 9188 (phone)/+65 - 6884 7601 (fax) (Plaza Singapura branch)
Address:                     68 Orchard Road, #03-85 Plaza Singapura, Singapore 238839.

Operating hours:   10.00 a.m. - 10.00 p.m.
Directions:                Disembark at Dhoby Ghaut MRT station and make your way up the escalator. Head towards the new extension wing (it is further from the escalator from MRT once you reached the Ground Floor) and go to the third floor.









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