Imagine Suvarnabhumi Airport right next to Changi Airport? It’s not just possible with a small scale map but right smack adjacent to Changi Airport, within a stone’s throw from Changi Prison. Of course, I’m not talking about the airport in Thailand but a sign bearing its name along with many other popular places in Bangkok, such as Chatuchak and Siam Square.
The signages are part of the decor at 555 Villa Thai, an authentic Thai restaurant tucked deep into Cosford Road. I only stumbled on this jewel while taking a walk around the neighbourhood. The curator of Changi Chapel Museum asked if I had been to Johor Battery and pointed me in that direction.
After walking past the World War Two site, I spotted a few eateries, one of which is the Thai joint.
I decided to bring my family for a meal here on a Sunday and we were pleasantly surprised by the crowd. Makes me wonder how these folks knew about the place.
At the entrance was a tuk tuk, a popular form of transportation in Bangkok.
We asked for a table near the stage and ordered a mookata set for four which comprised various meats, seafood, vegetables, and bak kwa!
The entire set up is so Thai that one of my Thai friends on Facebook really thought that I was in his hometown. The ambience was very Thai, as were most of the staff. Best of all, the view is to-die-for with only a small gathering of trees separating us from the runway. Every now and then, we had to pause our conversation as a plane took off or landed.
Back to the food, we opted for chicken instead of tom yum soup and it didn’t disappoint. The juices from the meats and their marinades flowed down to the soup, making it simply delicious. The only catch is that the soup area is so narrow that the ladle provided could not fit. We resorted to using our metal spoons instead, which worked perfectly because it was straight from the steamboat to the mouth.
As for the meats, they were very well marinated and tasty on their own but the chilli fan in me couldn’t resist a dip in the hot sauce.
Besides tang hoon, the set also came with a packet of instant noodles which blended really nicely with everything. If you need your carbo fix, just order a bowl of white rice or other staples from the a la carte menu.
Having just returned from a trip to Bangkok and a visit to Chatuchak Weekend Market, I had to try the coconut ice cream at 555 Villa Thai. The verdict: It’s just as good except for smaller amounts of toppings.
Even though we were dining in the open air, the place was nice, breezy (albeit with fans on) and the experience is great. Plus, the price is reasonable at around $15-20 per person.
Of yes, before I forget, a live band played on the stage from around 7.30pm. Their repertoire of songs in multiple languages and dialects took the already wonderful atmosphere to another level. I’m looking for another reason to have a meal here.