Gin Khao: I wish I have more than two thumbs (up)

I will get to the heftier items on the menu. I will sing praises about the Stir Fried Squid with Runny salted egg, that I still finish the sentence usually with a longing sigh. I will reminisce the intensely flavored Kang Ob Woon Sen, the glass noodles dampened with the concentrate of seafood broth and stippled with Thai garlic and pepper. I'll try to explain how I manage to make space for the Thai Green curry Gelato and sticky rice at the end of lavish meal- because it was so good - in due time. All in due time. 

But first, let me explain the culinary landscape of Gin Khao, a relatively new Thai restaurant along the East Coast Park stretch that had taken the spot that Waruku used to occupy. As you enter the casual space, you'll be greeted by the roar of the boisterous gas stoves and the heavy metal clanging of ladle against wok, in the kitchen as the chefs fire up the engines in a bid to impart as much smoky flavor as they can into their quick stir fries. If you're in a rush for a quick meal, Gin Khao makes for a terrific stop over, as meals are guaranteed to be full on flavor, easy on waiting time and more importantly, no sweat to the wallet.

Pandan Chiffon Fusion Tea 
First things first, make sure to order a drink. Preferably their Thai Tea ($3.80) which will assist in putting out some major fires that will arise during later parts of the meal.

The Prawn and Green Mango Relish served with Thai Rice Crackers ($7.80) pushes the boundaries with its feisty presence. The relish spiked with ample amount of chili is sure to bring a tear to your eye. The supply of freshly fried crisp Thai rice crackers on the side providing vessels to transport the high strung mixture into your mouth, with a pop, snap and crackle. Of course, there's nothing stopping me from ingesting the mix on its own; actions which I learnt to regret later. *grimaces*

Bored of the conventional Tom Yum Soup, order the Tom Kha Gai ($12.80) instead. The staff won't exactly chorus to this recommendation, but I would, using the thick coconut broth as justification that it would be a helpful source in dousing the flames once again. Chuck aplenty in there are hunks of  juicy chicken that have captured the essence of the broth, a good squeeze of lime overhead going a long way.

Weakest links manifest themselves in the form of the Gai Tod Had Yai ($7.80), the deep fried chicken pieces, not entirely enthralling with a general lack of flavor albeit for the sweet spicy sauce on the side that rescued the dish from certain suicide. Unless you're super hard out for fried chicken, my advice would be to steer clear of this dish and opt for the stir fried dishes instead. The powers of the kitchen lying in its intrinsic ability to control fire and heat.

A good example of kitchen's aptitude comes in the form of the Stir Fried Squid with runny salted egg ($14.80). After my first mouthful, I tried to hide my spontaneous head rolling and sensuous moaning as the pan seared squid disappeared with little resistance in the mouth, the runny salted egg yolk leaving a lubricious umami feel in its wake. 

Other side dish options include the classic Larb Moo ($7.80), a warm minced pork salad with Thai mint leaf. To be honest, I much prefer the Aroy Dee version, this rendition dealing more sweet notes and lacking the mandatory balance.

For something a little more substantial to share, get the Khao Phat Dtaeng Moe ($11.80) or the Kang Ob Woon Sen ($16.80). The former is a queer watermelon fried rice with tidy cuboids of watermelon strewed through the mixture during the stir fry process, leading to these cubes evolving into bombs of warm juices when bitten into. As mentioned before, the devil is in the details, and Gin Khao knocks it out of the park with their expertly fried rice, each grain imbued with a touch of smoke. Squid and prawns up the ante whilst a smorgasbord of accompaniments like the crispy bean curd skin, toasted cashew nuts and hailing of pork floss, pleases the condiment monster in me. Similarly, the Kang ob Woon Sen is expertly composed. Juicy crayfish and glass noodles simmered in Thai garlic and pepper sauce and served in a claypot. This and the salted egg yolk squid paving the way for Gin Khao's seafood know-how.

Desserts are no less charming with the Thai Tea molten lava cake ($8.80) with Sticky rice gelato and Green curry gelato with black sticky rice ($8/80) providing pretty imaginative desserts that combines modern day techniques and presentations with classic Thai flavors. I'm more inclined to the sticky rice option, the green curry gelato -  a refreshing alternative to the usual suspects; it's innocently green tinge leaving a chaos in its wake. Perfumed with galangal, lemongrass and kaffir lime peel, the gelato itself packs quite a spicy punch that is fortunately balanced out by the smidgen of coconut milk overhead.

I've state my case, the transparent pricing, as democratic as it gets. 

If you ask me, why wait?

Gin Khao
1020 East Coast Parkway
t: 6604 8996

Operating Hours:
Mon - Thurs: 11 30am - 3pm; 5 30pm - 10pm
Fri - Sun: 11 30am - 10 30pm
(last order 9 45pm)

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