Over the bridge, though the greenery, round some corners and then through some more greenery again lies the Amara Sanctuary Resort….which houses Thanying – a fine dining Thai restaurant.
On this occasion, it was due to a recommendation from a good friend of mine who possibly is as much of a foodie as I am….certainly close anyway.
Having visiting the Thanying in the Amara Hotel in Tanjong Pagar, I was keen to explore further afield and see if this relatively new establishment could live up to the stellar reputation of its Tanjong Pagar sister.
Arriving at the Amara on a weekday evening, it was extremely quiet (not unsurprisingly – it is Sentosa after all) with only a few tables around the restaurant occupied.
To get our palates in the mood for the some sour and spicy food, we decided to order a couple of margaritas, which at $11.50 each is really not that bad. I also noticed that they have beer on the menu for $9-11. Browsing through the menu it was immediately good to see that a lot of care had gone into the menu to make it 1) a great cross-section of Thai cuisine, and 2) well priced. Nothing worse than a scary menu.
To start the evening’s delights we decided go on recommendation (and a bit of tradition) and order some Tom Yam soups. The one directly below is actually Tom Yam Pla Krapong – a fish slice version. This was simply outstanding. A rich, spicy coconut broth with juicy oyster mushrooms sliding around my tongue. Gorgeous. This is one of the best tom yams I have had in a very, very long time.
Having said that, the traditional prawn version was not too shabby either. What struck me was its purity. Seen below, this was a broth full of flavour and perfectly balanced. Spicy but not overbearing, and very, very more-ish.
Moving on, the Pomelo Salad ($18) arrived. When it comes to Thai food, I always remember when I was training as a Chef, my boss used to say, ” Thai food is all about balance, sweet, salty, sour and spicy”. This could not have been better applied to this dish. A sweet sauce and the pomelo to cut the spice from the chili, the salt from the naam pla (fish sauce) and a wonderful sourness from the lime juice. On top of the that, the texture of the ingredients was excellent. The crunchy peanuts with the soft flesh of the pomelo an prawns. Magic!
Also a surpring winner was the Pad Nor Mai Farang at $18 (Stir fried asparagus). Aside from being a massive serving, the asparagus was perfectly al dente with a lush sauce to flavour the rice.
Unfortunately the final two dishes were somewhat disappointing. I do love my curries (seriously, who doesn’t?) so we decided to go for a standard Kaeng Keow Wan Gai (green chicken curry). Sad to say, the sauce was a little thin for my liking and the eggplant was just undercooked.
As for the second dish, the Pla Kao Rad Prik ($35) – effectively a deep-fried whole fish. The meat itself was quite tasty and the chili sauce that came with it was superb. Unfortunately there just wasn’t much meat on the fish and way, way too many bones, making it very fiddly to eat. With hindsight, I would have gone with the whole steamed seabass instead. Oh well.
Overall it was a positive experience. The ambience is true to the name and very ‘sanctuary-like’, the service was relatively good (though I noticed that the majority were not even Thai – call me old-fashioned, but I like the authenticity of real Thai people working in a Thai restaurant). It would be a great place to have a quiet, relaxing meal with family and some of the dishes are fantastic, however I feel it lacks a certain pizazz that other Thai fine dining joints have cultivated, nonetheless, I’d still very much recommend this branch of Thanying. It’s elegant, classy and the food is aroy maak!
Thanying is located at 1 Larkhill Road, Amara Sanctuary Resort Sentosa, Singapore 099394. To make a reservation, call 6825 3881.
Written by The City Nomad
Meal paid for by City Nomads.