Un-yang-kor-dai in South Bridge Road adds to the breadth of Thai cuisine available in Singapore with its offering of Isaan dishes and more mainstream Central Thai favorites. The Un-yang-kor-dai brand, which literally means “anything goes,” hails as a chain in Thailand where it traces its origins in Khao Yai. Having visited Isaan previously and well aware of the lack of Isaan cuisine in Singapore, I was quite curious to try them out after the restaurant sent me an invite for a tasting.
The Isaan region of Thailand is traditionally known as the country’s breadbasket. Agriculture is still the primary way of life for many residents there and the artwork in this restaurant reflects that simpler pace of life.
Larb – which is essentially minced pork and greens – is one of the essential dishes in Isaan cuisine. It usually comes with varying sourness and spice level depending on the region. Here, the minced pork is actually stuffed into relatively thin fried sticks in the form of Larb Sticks (S$10.90). Make sure to dip it in the accompanying Thai chili sauce for that extra kick.
A more conventional starter is the Spicy Pomelo Thai Salad with Fresh Prawns (S$17.90). This is served old-school style in a tiffin carrier. The service staff then mixes the three layers for a well-balanced dish. I requested to have this mine on the milder side and hence, the peanut flavor coming from the dressing was more pronounced.
One of the more theatrical dishes at Un-yang-kor-dai is the Leng Zaab (S$28 for small). Here, prime pork ribs are cooked until tender. The whole dish – comprised of several pieces of pork ribs on a rectangular metal plate – is first served dry. A service staff member then pours soup on the plate and torches the pork for a little bit. Barring the dramatic presentation, this is a good option for sharing. I found that even the smallest portion which advertises to feed 2 to 3, could actually accommodate more than that. The soup is a clear broth with a mix of spicy and sour. If you like Singapore’s version of bak kut teh, you would find this similar, except for the soup which here is more chili spicy/sour rather than the peppery type.
Un-yang-kor-dai’s signature dish is the Grilled Chicken (S$12 for half). It was cooked just to the right done-ness – the meat came out tender and juicy, and was also marinated well with hints of various herbs. A highlight here has got to be the sauce which is made in house. It’s relatively thicker and darker than the usual Thai chili sauce and this one came with a nice sweet and spicy flavor.
My companions loved the Stir-fried Whole Sea Bass (S$28). I have seen different takes of this classic seafood dish. Un-yang-kor-dai does it a tad drier than others (this one’s stir-fried after all) but comes with hearty servings of mushrooms which went well with the fish.
While in Un-yang-kor-dai, make sure to save tummy space for desserts. I tried two and loved them both. Truth be told, I have been curious about their Thai Milk Tea Pudding (S$5.50) for some time. I actually made a previous attempt to dine at Un-yang-kor-dai a few weeks before this but arrived on a Monday to find the restaurant closed. Anyway, this dessert combines two things I really love – Thai iced tea and milk pudding! Un-yang-kor-dai’s version stays true to the Thai Milk Tea proposition. It tastes just like unadulterated cha yen with the the condensed milk topping providing an added sweetness.
I also liked the Rice Balls with Sweet Coconut Milk and Whole Egg (S$6.50). A warm and nourishing sweet ending to have with little chewy and colorful rice balls adding texture to the creamy coconut milk. I wouldn’t mind coming back for this!
I would consider Un-yang-kor-dai to be a balance of Isaan and mainstream Thai in terms of cuisine. You do get some of the classic Isaan dishes here but I’d imagine more exotic stuff like my personal favorite, the Isaan sausages, would take time to get local government approval to be sold here. Until then, you do get a dependable array of dishes. If you prefer to taste some Thai dishes that you won’t normally see in other Thai restaurants, this is the place to be.
57 South Bridge Road
Opening Hours: Tuesday to Sunday | 11:30AM to 3PM; 6PM to 10PM