Yentafo Kruengsonge @ Kallang Wave Mall is a thai restaurant specialising in ‘yen ta fo’. But whenever I mention Thai cuisine, what are the dishes that will come to your mind? Tom Yum Goong? Pad Thai? Mango Sticky Rice? And never Yen ta fo. What about Kua-Gai Chicken? Kanom Tuay? No? Then you are at the right place!! Read on to discover lesser known but just as delicious Thai food, ones that are intensely spicy but mildly sweet and sour.
About Yentafo Kruengsonge
Founded in 1999 by Madam A. Mallika, Yentafo Kruengsonge is a Thai Noodle Specialist Restaurant that started in Bangkok, Thailand. It has 28 outlets in Thailand and two in Laos. In 2016, partnering Minor Food Group Singapore, Yentafo Kruengsonge came to Singapore, bringing with it the ubiquitous Thai noodle dish ‘yen ta fo’. Currently, there are three outlets in Singapore- Cathay Cineleisure Orchard, One@Kentridge and Kallang Wave Mall (latest outlet).
Recently, Yentafo Kruengsonge has revamped their menu. In their new menu, Yentafo Kruengsonge will continue to serve yen ta fo plus a small selection of Thai appetizers, rice dishes, noodle dishes, desserts and drinks. Instead of the usual Pad Thai, Green Curry and Mango Sticky Rice, you will find lesser known Thai dishes like the Spicy Fried Rice with Tuk Tuk Herbal Pork, Kua-Gai Chicken and Kanom Tuay. The reason Yentafo Kruengsonge chose to serve these relatively unknown dishes is to ensure that these dishes will not be lost and forgotten in the mists of time.
As the shop name suggests, yen ta fo is obviously the signature dish here.
Thai yen ta fo is similar to Chinese Yong Tau Foo; they even sound alike! Thai yen ta fo comprises of rice noodles with a selection of ingredients in a light pork bone broth flavoured with a mildly sweet fermented red rice sauce, which is regularly shipped in from Bangkok.
Incidentally, I find that the broth tastes like the sweet sauce used in our dry Yong Tau Foo is added into a ikan bilis soup. Unlike our local Yong Tau Foo where we can pick and choose the ingredients that we want, this Thai yen ta fo, Yentafo Kruengsonge Soup (S$8.50 Nett) is served with fixed toppings. These toppings are sourced locally but made according to Yentafo Kruengsonge’s requirements. Some of these toppings (like fishballs and fried tofu) are very similar to the Yong Tau Foo items we are used to. However, there are also unusual ingredients like white radish, fried seasoned taro and fried salmon skin, all of which I like. Personally, I am not a fan of their flat and wide rice noodles because of its slightly sour aftertaste, but my fellow diners like it for the wonderful soft with bite texture.
Like in Thailand, we can opt for three levels of spiciness- ‘Dek Dek’ (not spicy), ‘Jai-soh’ (spicy) or ‘Rod-Dek’ (screaming spicy).
For fans of Tom Yum Goong, fret not, Yentafo Kruengsonge also offers their yen ta fo in Tom Yum flavour- Original Tom Yum Noodles Soup (S$9 Nett), where you get the same delicious ingredients in a spicy and citrusy Tom Yum broth. Compared to other Tom Yum broths, this one is less sour, which I like.
This dish is only available in one spice level- ‘Rod-Dek’ (screaming spicy). Personally, I find this spice level just right for a Tom Yum soup.
[Note: Dry versions are available at the same price.]
Highlights Of The New Menu
The Yum Crispy Salmon Skin (S$7 Nett) probably needs no detailed introduction since most of us are familiar with fried salmon skin. However, suffice to know that Yentafo Kruengsonge serves this dish with a little twist by adding a side of prawns in a delightful sweet, spicy and sour sauce. It is recommended that we add in the side of prawns and sauce and mix well before consumption. Once that is done, eat fast! Else the salmon skin may turn slightly soggy because of the sauce.
The Sesame Wings (S$5 Nett) is another nice appetizer to have. I like the addition of toasted sesame seeds on the chicken skin, which gives the dish a distinctive sesame fragrance and an interesting textured mouthful.
Don’t be fooled by the Spicy Fried Rice with Tuk Tuk Herbal Pork (S$9 Nett)! It may look like harmless fried rice but it actually packs the most punch among all the dishes here!
Fried with chilli padi, the spiciness of this dish is a force to be reckoned with! Even the Thai server who is used to spicy dishes concedes that this is too spicy for him to eat solo. To enjoy this without burning our tongues too much, he recommends that we come in a group and order this with other less spicy dishes to share. But if you can take your spice well, who’s to say you can’t have this all by yourself? Besides, you won’t want to share the Tuk Tuk Herbal Pork, which is really delicious! For me, this is my favourite dish and I will brave the heat for it!
Frankly, I was surprised to see the Steamed Pork Ribs in Gravy with Rice (S$12.90 Nett) on the menu here. I mean, this looks too uncannily familiar, don’t you think? Oh yes, the Chinse braised pork trotters! But, the difference is that instead of pork trotters, pork ribs are used here. And only specially selected ones are used. For this dish, the pork ribs used are all rendered from pigs that weigh at least 200kg and have no more than eight pieces of cartilage so that they possess the perfect pork tender flesh to gelatinous cartilage ratio. These choice ribs are then slowed cooked in a proprietary spice mixture to yield this exceptional dish. I really enjoyed the texture and also love the gravy, which is well balanced between peppery, sweet and savoury.
The Kua-Gai Chicken (S$8.50 Nett) is a wok fried noodle (using their flat wide rice noodles) with chicken and egg. I love the wok hei in this but because I am not a fan of their rice noodles, I will not order this again. Additionally, I am a spice lover. Since this dish is non spicy, it didn’t really work for me.
The Santol Sweety Delight (S$5 Nett) is a simple dessert in which the Santol fruit (or cottonfruit) is cooked in a sugar syrup until it is soft. The Santol is what makes this dessert interesting because it has two textures. The outer flesh is like a pear’s and tastes slightly savoury. The inner flesh is cottony soft like a mangosteen’s and tastes sweet. Overall, this is a light and refreshing dessert that you MUST order here!
Although the Kanom Tuay (S$5 Nett) is supposedly a common dessert in Thailand. We covered this dessert first at Basil Thai. This is a dessert with two layers. The bottom layer is a soft and sticky steamed cake that is sweetened with palm sugar. The top layer is a creamy coconut cream that is seasoned with salt. Overall you will get a sweet and salty dessert with two textures. As a fan of coconut desserts, I like this. I especially adore the textures and find the sweetness perfect. But I wished that they didn’t add any salt to this. But this is a personal preference.
If you want to discover Thai cuisine beyond the usual Pad Thai and Mango Sticky Rice, give Yentafo Kruengsonge a try. The name may be difficult to pronounce but the food is easy to like. Prices are also very affordable.
Yentafo Kruengsonge @ Kallang Wave Mall
1 Stadium Place, Kallang Wave Mall #01-15/K7, Singapore 397628
Tel: +65 6702 7344
Monday – Sunday: 1100 to 2200
- Circle line – Stadium station
- Singapore Indoor Stadium along Stadium Crescent 11
*Disclaimer: This was a media invite.
Written by Denise Chua myfoodstory.sg.