Some said we learn cultural similarity and diversity through food and this sentiment headlined my experience with Thailand’s Go-Ang Kaomunkai Pratunam, which has recently opened its door at NEX Shopping Mall. Established in 1960 as a food stall specialising in Hainanese chicken rice in the Pratunam district of Bangkok and awarded a Michelin Bib Gourmand award in 2018. This Thai Hainanese chicken rice may or may not make it to your top list but it will change your perception of how this iconic dish can be consumed.
Chicken Rice 3.5/5
Go Ang Chicken Rice comes with either Thigh ($5.50) or Breast ($4.50) meat. As expected, the thigh meat is naturally more tender than the breast meat, and the layer of plump skin was certainly not those to be chucked at one side. The grainy and firm rice worked well to bring out its pleasing texture. That said, the breast meat fared well too if you like firmer meat. The rice, however, didn't manage to captivate my taste buds. I feel it lacked a certain fragrance and aromatics, which make the chicken rice itself addictive.
But ultimately, what gives this Go Ang Chicken Rice its unique identity is the chilli sauce that comes with it. Based with fermented chilli, fermented soy beans, coarsely chopped ginger, this piquant sauce is a tapestry of Thais' flavours in another perspective.
Like what they always say "same same but different", this goes the same for their Omelette. Its accompanying sauce again, has all the elements to whet your appetite. Chye Pok version ($6.50) is available as well.
Braised pork 3.5/5
In Bangkok, the locals not only love their chicken rice but also their braised pork and surprisingly soups too. The Bitter Melon & Pork Rib Soup ($6.50) wowed us with its tender pork ribs and the depth of flavour. As for the Signature Braised Pork ($8/$12), considered that lean meat is used, its fork tender meat was impressed. I like the braising sauce too, which was relatively much lighter compared to our version but packed with flavours. Love it with the omelette's dip sauce!
Steamed Sea Bass 4.5/5
Among all the dishes, I enjoyed the Steamed Sea Bass with Chilli, Lime & Garlic the most. I had this dish a couple of times but theirs by far is the most memorable. Judging by the what was left on the plate, it just showed how tasty this dish was. We were fighting for the last drop of the lemony and spicy gravy.
Basil Chicken with Kai Lan 3.8/5
To ensure the authenticity and quality of the cuisine, all kitchen staff were trained by Go-Ang founder Mr. Sombat Pruekpaiboon at the original restaurant in Bangkok. Hence, even simple dishes like Stir Fried Basil Chicken with Kai Lan seemed to exude a taste that was much elevated than what are available elsewhere.
Red Ruby 3/5, Steamed Tapioca 3.5/5
For desserts, we tried Homemade Red Ruby with Coconut Ice Cream ($5.00) and Steamed Tapioca with Coconut Cream ($4.50). Homemade red ruby is a rare gem these days and these gems can also be found in their Thai Chendol ($5), which I highly recommend you to order it over your usual Thai Milk Tea. The strands of chendols were soft with a bite and so yummy to chew on when I seeped them with the milky concoction. Nothing was overly sweet, except for the red ruby but these are the gems that make them so delicious for the dessert. I like the steamed tapioca too, which was warm and comforting to end a meal.
Go-Ang Chicken Rice may not replace that sense of comfort and familiarity given by your favourite plate of chicken rice but it sure stirs up some excitement when you need it.
Photos and words by Si An. A girl who is allured by travelling, loves the feel of freedom, smell of the rain and the aroma of fine coffee and food. Note: This is an invited tasting.
Go-Ang Chicken Rice
Nex Shopping Mall
23 Serangoon Central
Nearest MRT: Serangoon (CC Line, NE Line)
Daily: 11am - 10pm
1) Alight at Serangoon MRT station. Take Exit B, E, G & H. Walk to destination. Journey time about 3 minutes. [Map]